The Boston Bruins officially put a bow on the 2017-18 season on Wednesday morning when owner and chairman Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely addressed the media at TD Garden in their annual end-of-season press conference. While the Bruins management group reflected on a season that exceeded the expectations, it still had to face the fact that it ended in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where the Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Bruins in five games.
Unfortunately for the ownership group, questions of the behavioural issues of top forward Brad Marchand were once again on the agenda, which prompted Jacobs to give a final quite bold answer.
Of course, it all has to do with Marchand licking veteran forward Ryan Callahan’s face from the chin up during Game 4 of the second round series.
While the league had no choice but to address the issue, especially seeing that it wasn't the first time Marchand attempted such a controversial move, announcing that NHL’s Colin Campbell had spoken with Marchand and GM Don Sweeney, and that the League put the player on notice that his actions were unacceptable and that similar behavior in the future will be dealt with by way of supplemental discipline, Jacobs might not feel it was enough.
As reported by Bruins insider Joe Haggerty of NBCSports, Jacobs mentioned that he told Marchand to cut it out, basically saying that he’s run out of warnings.
"This is a player that, I can only think of 30 other teams that would love to have him, so there’s a margin that you give him. But, I think he used up that margin."
This sure sounds like quite a bold ultimatum coming from the Bruins owner. Fortunately for Marchand, his teammate Patrice Bergeron, a very well-respected player around the NHL, has had enough of hearing everyone getting on Marchand’s case and decided to come to his defense during a radio interview on the air of Quebec’s CHOI Radio X.
Here is what Bergeron had to say about his teammate, translated from French:
"I know he's not proud of that (...) It's often said that the players who are the least appreciated by rivals are the ones who are most appreciated by their teammates, it's not wrong with Brad.”
Bergeron is also very well-liked by the ownership group and could manage to calm Jacobs down on his attitude with Marchand. However, one thing is certain: Marchand will be on a short leash next season...