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Bruins legends -- from Bucyk to Bergeron -- congratulate Brad Marchand on 1,000th NHL game

BOSTON -- Last week, Bruins captain Brad Marchand skated in his 1,000th NHL game. All 1,000 of those games, of course, came with Marchand wearing a Bruins sweater.

So on Monday, ahead of Marchand's 1,003rd game, the team honored the winger with a pregame ceremony ahead of the team's matinee game vs. the Dallas Stars at TD Garden.

Included in the celebration was a video message from the seven other players who have played 1,000 games for the Bruins, all of whom sent their messages of congratulations and support to the 35-year-old.

That included Johnny Bucyk, who played in 1,436 games as a Bruin (after playing 104 games for Detroit), welcoming Marchand to the club. Wayne Cashman, whose 1,027-game career happened entirely as a member of the Bruins, said he's hoping to see Marchand "hold something big and silver over his head" this coming spring. Ray Bourque (1,518 games played with the Bruins) sent his congratulations, and Don Sweeney (1,052 games with the Bruins) praised "Bradley" for his incredible career.

A beaming Zdeno Chara, who played 1,023 games with the Bruins and helped Marchand become a better professional, said, "I can't be more proud of you." David Krejci (1,032 career games, all with the Bruins) said that Marchand "became, in my eyes, the best left winger in the game."

Of course, former linemate Patrice Bergeron (1,294 games, all with the Bruins) was part of the video, saying, "It's been an honor to watch you grow into the player, the leader and the person that you are today. You bring in the laughs, the energy, every day since day one. It's an honor to be a teammate of yours, and I'm so very proud of you, and thank you for being such a great friend."

The celebration continued into the game, too, with the Bruins playing a video during the first break in play showing messages from former teammates and competitors. That video included messages from Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Gregory Campbell, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin (who marveled at Marchand being "one of the best-looking guys in the league"), Mark Recchi, Nathan MacKinnon, Martin St. Louis and Sidney Crosby, who said he much prefers being Marchand's linemate for Team Canada over playing against Marchand.

Marchand ranks fifth in franchise history in goals, five behind Rick Middleton for fourth and 30 behind Bergeron for third. He ranks eighth in assists, one behind Cashman for seventh, 38 behind Phil Esposito for sixth, and 40 behind Krejci for fifth. He ranks fifth in franchise history in points, 100 behind Esposito for fourth and 128 behind Bergeron for third.

Marchand has one year left on his contract after this season, so he'll have at least another year to climb those all-time franchise leaderboards. Monday, though, offered at least a moment to reflect on what's already been a remarkable Bruins career.

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