It took the NHL a while to make the decision, but Brendan Shanahan eventually fined Brad Marchand $2,500 for slew-footing Matt Niskanen. Many believe that Marchand deserved a suspension for that incident. While Marchand didn’t exactly plead for that kind of punishment, he admitted that it was indeed a slew-foot and told Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston that it was “a bit of a cheap shot.”
“It was a dangerous play and it was definitely a slew-foot,” Marchand said. “Those are dangerous plays and guys can get hurt like that. It’s something I shouldn’t have done and they penalized me for it and I’ll move on now.”
Obviously it would be ideal if he didn’t commit the act at all, but at least he’s owning up to that bad moment of judgment. Generally speaking, sports fans (and people in general) are more likely to forgive someone if they don’t try to deflect blame.
Taking responsibility for that act is part of what makes Marchand one of the better “pests” in the NHL. Claude Julien gave this great quote about hoping that Marchand agitates the right way.
“As I’ve put it in my own words: I want him to be a good brat, not a bad brat,” Julien said. “That means don’t cross the line and I think he did that time. His response was, ‘I thought I was going to get away with it.’ That’s not what you want to see from your players.”
Hopefully Marchand and the rest of the bruising Boston Bruins stay on the right side of that fine line more often than not.