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Breaking: The NHL has reportedly made a decision on Brad Marchand's hit

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Brad Marchand is a tremendous goal scorer and one of the Bruins' best forwards, but the numerous controversies surrounding the 5 foot 9 player have shifted the focus. We tend to forget he scored 39 gaols in 2016-17 and 37 in 2015-16, because he's now mostly known for his questionable hits and the numerous suspensions he was given by the NHL's department of player safety. 

However, it seems like his hit on Chicago Blackhawks' forward Anthony Duclair will not be punished by the National Hockey League.

According to a report from Steve Conroy, of the Boston Herald, it sure looks like the NHL has decided against suspending Marchand. The league reportedly deemed the hit to be an accident:

"Hearing that Brad Marchand will not have a hearing for his collision with Duclair."

NBC Sports' Joe Haggerty echoed Conroy's assertion about the league's decision:

"My sense is Brad Marchand collision w/Anthony Duclair is being viewed as accidental rather than intentional, and therefore wouldn't be considered for supplemental discipline."

Same thing for Chicago Sun Times' Mark Lazerus, who added this whole controversy has probably been started because of Marchand's reputation:

"I don't expect Brad Marchand to receive any supplemental discipline for his hit on Anthony Duclair. Sounds like it's being perceived as more accidental. And let's be honest, any other player, we're probably not talking nearly as much about it."

It is fair to believe it was a great day to be a Bruins fan, as the team beat the Blackhawks 7-4. As Kevin Paul Dupont reported earlier tonight, it is the first time in almost 17 years that the team is able to score five goals on special teams (4 power play goals, 1 shorthanded goal). 

Boston now has a record of 43 wins, 15 losses and 8 overtime losses, good for 94 points. They're still six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, who just beat the Montreal Canadiens in shootout today. Boston still has three games in hand.

PIERRE LEBRUN REVEALS WHO THE CAROLINA HURRICANES CONTACTED FOR THE GM JOB

Despite the fact that there have been some tremendously disappointing teams this season (looking at you Edmonton OilersOttawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens!), there is only one general manager who lost his job this season: Ron Francis, of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was actually "promoted" to President of hockey operations, but it doesn't really feel like a promotion for him, as the new GM will report directly to the owner, Tom Dundon.

As we reported this week, ty promoting Francis and keeping him within the organization, Dundon can save a bit of face while still giving the team a new direction. There had been no real indication of who might replace Francis or what the team’s timeline is for finding a replacement... until now.

TSN insider Pierre LeBrun identified an important number of candidates who were contacted by Dundon over the past few days. Here's what he said on Twitter, earlier today:

"Hearing that Carolina had preliminary phone call with Mike Futa, from the Los Angeles Kings, on Friday; also believe Hurricanes have reached out to former Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman. Belief is Carolina has reached out to the Nashville Predators regarding Paul Fenton and Tampa Bay Lightning  regarding Julien Brisebois, obvious names..."

"It is still early in the process, obviously other candidates will surface as well... But it sounds like  Carolina  is not wasting time trying to talk to people..."

His colleague, Darren Dreger, also added that Dundon reportedly asked the New Jersey Devils for permission to speak with Tom Fitzgerald.

This is going to be an interesting story to follow, as the Hurricanes have a very talented young group of players, who could do great things if they were surrounded with seasoned veterans. We'll have to wait and see what happens in Carolina.

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