Brad Marchand has seen plenty of turnover in his decade-plus with the Bruins, and the defections have come in bunches as the years pass by. So it would stand to reason that Marchand, 33, would at least contemplate when the end might come for him.

But make no mistake — he may be closer to that end than he is the beginning, but he doesn’t plan on starting a second career any time soon — at least not willingly.

How long exactly does he want to play?

“Till they boot me out of the league. Which with my history, it could be tomorrow,” joked Marchand, who finished fifth in Hart Trophy voting last year and has four more years left on his deal. “But that’s the one thing that, you talk to a lot of the older guys that have retired and moved on, there’s the feedback that you should play as long as you can.

“Once you’re done, it’s not coming back. There’s a long life ahead of you. That’s kind of how I intend to look at it. Maybe I transition from first to second to third to fourth line again. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a defenseman at one point.”

Last year, neither former captain Zdeno Chara nor Torey Krug were re-signed. And this season, David Krejci is playing in the Czech Republic and Tuukka Rask, who may still return to the fold, is without a contract while he rehabs his surgically repaired hip.

Any NHL roster is forever, turn, turn, turning. It can be hard for a veteran still in place.

“When you have guys that have been around the length that they have, they’ve been on the team since I’ve been here. It’s tough to see guys move on,” said Marchand.. “They’re big holes to fill. You can’t do that with one individual player but as a collective group you hope you can. It gives other guys opportunities to step in. For (Jeremy Swayman), it’s an opportunity for him to come up, also for Linus (Ullmark). Great opportunities there and also through the middle.

“Obviously, (Charlie Coyle) is going to have a much bigger role this year and for whoever fills in at that third hole. But it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, but we have a lot of depth and we plan on doing it with collective depth.”

How long the captain Patrice Bergeron decides to play is anyone’s guess. At 36, he’s in the last year of his contract and has said he’ll make a decision about his future when the season is over. Marchand and Bergeron have been attached at the hip since former coach Claude Julien put them together midway through the 2011 Stanley Cup season. If Bergeron decides to retire, that would be the most seismic shift of all for Marchand. But it clearly doesn’t have to be the end for Bergeron if he doesn’t want it to be, said Marchand.

“You see the level he’s playing at. He’s still the best two-way forward in the league. He’s getting robbed every year for the Selke,” said Marchand. “It’s completely up to him. He has the potential, he’s still at the top of his game. He could play for a long time. But this is the year we’re worried about and focused on and he’ll go from there at that point.

“It’s tough with a contract year and things like that. You want to stay focused and you want to make the most of your opportunity. And we have a good opportunity this year. We have a really deep team, a lot of excitement in the room and we want to make the most of that. He’s the same way.”

COACH BRUCE CASSIDY said Rask has been getting treatment at Warrior Ice Arena, though he didn’t think he has been on the ice and wasn’t sure of what the NHL regulations would be for an unsigned player. Rask, who is not expected to be ready to play until January at the earliest, has said he’d like to return to the Bruins; GM Don Sweeney has left the door open for that.
Cassidy conceded that the situation could potentially be problematic but is trying to make sure that it’s not.
“It could,” said Cassidy. “We’ve talked to both the goalies (Ullmark and Swayman) about the goaltending situation and where Tuukka is at. I can only go by what Tuukka’s told me and everyone else, that he’d like to stay and return to Boston, so we understand that and I think the goalies understand that. But it’s way too early to say that that’s a definite or that it’s not happening. Can it get sticky? It could. And if it gets sticky, we have to do right by the guys that are signed here and we’ll address it if it is. I think Tuukka acknowledges that, he’s a good pro, he’s a good person. I don’t think he’s here trying to create any issues. I think he’s just trying to get healthy.”

Ullmark, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract in the summer, is not concerning himself with what could happen.

“I stay in the present, I stay in the moment. That’s something for the future. It’s nothing that I’m focusing on right now,” said Ullmark.

MANY OF THE lines were what was pretty much expected on the first day of training camp. With Coyle (knee) out of the mix for the time being, Jack Studnicka centered Taylor Hall and Craig Smith, Erik Haula skated between Jake DeBrusk and Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek centered Trent Frederic and Curtis Lazar.

The one tweak was that the star of the Prospects Challenge Jesper Froden skated with Bergeron and Marchand and David Pastrnak skated on a line with Jakub Lauko and Cameron Hughes. But no, Pastrnak is not getting bumped off the top line.

“(Froden) had a good camp in Buffalo. He’s a little bit ahead of guys because of his age (27) and the level he’s played at (in Sweden), so we came in with a plan to see him with some higher end players. I talked with Pasta about that. That’s obviously his line,” said Cassidy. “And I think Pasta could help Lauko along as well. He’s getting closer and Jakub probably looks up to David.”

The top defensive pairings had Derek Forbort playing with Charlie McAvoy, Mike Reilly with Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk with Connor Clifton.

TRAINING CAMP for Providence opens Oct. 4, which will give Cassidy, Sweeney and the staff at least four preseason games to evaluate player before making the big cutdown.

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