The offseason has only just begun for the Boston Bruins and already trade chatter and serious questions are being asked on what should be done about controversial player Brad Marchand moving forward. And we all know what happened that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
During Game 4 of the second round match up between the Bruins and Lightning, Marchand was up to his hold tricks again as it all started when Marchand tried to hip check Lightning veteran Ryan Callahan. The hit ended up catching the Bolts forward quite close to the knee, and he was not happy about it. However, he was even more infuriated when Marchand licked his face from the chin up during another altercation between the two men.
The following morning, 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. The gritty forward made headlines during the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he got a little too intimate with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov. During the incident in question, Marchand was seen licking the man's face, after he had planted a kiss on his cheek earlier in the regular season.
Last Saturday, it was announced 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.
It begged the question: could Marchand's ludicrous and annoying behavior in the Leafs series towards Komarov and especially in the Lightning series with Callahan have caused the Bruins bosses to lose patience?
“Then it goes to 'Well, what do you want your legacy to be?' He's at a stage in his life and maturity where he understands, he truly gets it that he doesn't need the other stuff to make him to truly be an elite player,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy of his star player this past week.
While the Bruins management might think he is at a stage in his life where he will learn from this, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell warns the fanbase that they should not believe Marchand.
“So why should we believe Brad Marchand this time? Well, clearly we should not. Like Lucy van Pelt, Marchand simply cannot just allow Charlie Brown to kick the ball. He has to pull it away every single time and at some point it becomes more about the subject who keeps getting fooled and less about him,” Campbell writes.
The senior writes goes further by saying that right now, Marchand is making a fool of the NHL, and laughing in its face.
“Because right now, Marchand is laughing at the NHL. He’s making a fool of the best league in the world and he knows it. That was no more evident than late in the season when Marchand, who already had six suspensions and four fines on his rap sheet, received a $5,000 fine for crosschecking Andrew MacDonald of the Philadelphia Flyers in the face. That brought his total in fines paid to more than $900,000, which is the best investment a player such as Marchand could ever make in his career. The league pointed out that the $5,000 was the maximum allowable fine it could levy on a player without suspending him, but given the fact that he makes $6.2 million a year playing for the Bruins, there’s a good chance he’d be able to find that much in his couch cushions if he looked hard enough.”
So what is the solution here for the Bruins? To keep a disrespectful player on board, trade him, demand more serious punishment, or simply ignore all of this?
What’s your approach?