“Was it stupid? Of course it was stupid, I’m not denying that,” said Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand. “I absolutely should not have done it, but was it suspension worthy? I don’t think so.”
On Wednesday night, the NHL handed Marchand a six-game suspension for sucker-punching Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, then jabbing his stick in Jarry’s mask as officials escorted him off the ice. On-ice officials gave Marchand two minutes for roughing and a Match penalty. Wednesday morning, Marchand had an in-person hearing via zoom with the NHL Department of Player Safety.
For the eighth time in his career, the NHL suspended Marchand. The league fined him five other times, but Marchand obviously disagrees with the severity of his current punishment.
Update: Marchand is appealing the suspension.
“I’m an emotional guy. I always have been, and it’ll never change. That part of me will never change…because that’s what makes me the player I am. It’s just making sure it’s reined in,” Marchand said. “I’m not going to justify that what I did was right, but this was a very, very deep suspension for these actions.”
The Penguins won the game, 4-2 at TD Garden, but the story was Marchand, who will forfeit over $100,000 with the suspension. Despite Bruins fans’ contention, the NHL DoPS said in the disciplinary video that Jarry did not instigate the incident that occurred “well after the conclusion of play.”
The NHL also called Marchand’s actions “unacceptable.”
“These plays were not going to injure Jarry. No potential injury on that play. He was very well protected. The fact that it’s six games is based on history, not on the play,” Marchand argued.
Jarry was not injured, but Marchand’s punch knocked the unsuspecting Jarry to the ice.
Here is the video released by the league offering play-by-play of the incident and a further explanation of the suspension.
“…Very, very heavy suspension for these plays. The only way they can justify that is on the history side of things.”
Brad Marchand has been an entertaining, if not controversial, player. This season he’s also been active on social media, trolling both Vincent Trocheck and the Arizona Coyotes.
“The only way they get 5,000 fans at their games now is if they give 4,500 away for free, so wouldn’t change much,” Marchand poked Arizona over plans to play at the 5,000 seat arena at Arizona State University.
The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Boston Bruins on April 21. Pending no further suspensions or injury, the Penguins will then get a chance to express their feelings on the matter. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan and Tristan Jarry declined to get into specifics of the incident.
“I think it’s just the heat of the moment. I think everyone’s battling hard out there, and he’s just trying to get the puck to the net, and I think the team did a great job,” Jarry said after that game.