From hockey rink to outfitting camp: Brad Marchand and teammate launch hunting venture

Wearing the crest of the Bruins — or brown bear — is fitting for Brad Marchand, who recently took ownership of an outfitter's lodge on Red Indian Lake with teammate Kevan Miller.

'It truly is a beautiful place,' says Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand and Kevan Miller own March and Mill Co., an outdoor clothing brand that has now opened its new outfitters lodge in central Newfoundland and Labrador. (March and Mill Co./Facebook)

Wearing the crest of the Bruins — or brown bear — is fitting for Brad Marchand, who recently took ownership of an outfitter's lodge on Red Indian Lake in central Newfoundland with Boston teammate Kevan Miller.

The pair of National Hockey League stars are expanding their March and Mill Co. outdoor apparel company by getting into the business of offering hunting and fishing expeditions in Newfoundland's interior. 

"It truly is a beautiful place. I've only been there one time, this past week, but I was blown away with the landscape. I mean, anyone who has been to Newfoundland knows it's a very beautiful place," Marchand told CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning.

"It just seemed like a great opportunity. It allows us to have different options, to do hunts each year, and it's a passion that we have and that we love. So we wanted to further our business in that sense."

The previous owners were Fred and Shirley Thorne of Buchans, who have been in the province's outfitting industry as Red Indian Lake Outfitters since 2002.  

Marchand said he has since become close friends with the Thornes. 

"They're just great people. So, any little things, I plan on giving them a phone call," said Marchand.

"[Fred's] a Montreal Canadiens fan, so we'll jaw a bit back and forth about that, but this is the first year of hopefully a very long tenure."

The past meets the future

Marchand isn't new to Newfoundland and Labrador's wilderness. Hailing from Nova Scotia, Marchand said he visited the island for a hunting trip last year.

But it's also a tradition in his family, originally started by his grandfather, to make the trek to the island for big game hunting annually.  

Miller and Marchand play for the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League. (March and Mill Co. )

"We got home and we just said to each other, 'we need to get our own place over there,'" said Marchand. 

"So we started looking around, and it took a while, but we finally made it happen and we're very, very excited about it."

Marchand said the deal came together pretty quickly, something he was planning for in the future, after his life in the NHL and as a retirement investment. 

During his most recent trip to his newly purchased property last week, he had a chance meeting with other hunters who were also staying at the camp. Marchand said the group were very happy with their experience, adding some reassurance to his business decision. Marchand said he did get a moose on that trip.

Beyond just the investment opportunity, Marchand said he also plans to use the new venture as a way to give back to charity. 

"The one thing we did this past year, [which] we're planning to move to the Newfoundland operation, is we are going to do a veteran hunt each year. We're going to bring a veteran out to do a hunt with Kevan and I," he said.

"[We'll] just spend some time with him in the woods, have some conversations, talk to him, learn a lot about him, and it's more of a thank-you for their service and what they have done for us."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Bernice Hillier

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