Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports Bruins forward Brad Marchand will have a telephone hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan tomorrow to discuss his hit on Vancouver’s Sami Salo. The hit — whistled as clipping, though commonly referred to as “low-bridging” — earned Marchand a five-minute major and game misconduct and left Salo with a concussion, according to the Canucks.
The method in which Shanahan and Marchand will converse is key, as telephone hearings can only result in suspensions of five games or less. Anything longer than five games requires an in-person meeting, unless the player waives the right to a face-to-face.
If you’re wondering what Marchand’s explanation will be, consider what he told the Globe after watching replays of the hit.
“I did go under him,” he said. “But I felt the base contact was about his hip point. That’s usually a pretty legal hit from what I’ve seen in the past. I have no idea how the league feels about it. I guess we’ll see.”
Marchand’s disciplinary history won’t help his cause. He’s in the repeat offender category after being suspended two games for hitting Columbus’ RJ Umberger in the head last year; this year, Marchand was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen. Given how sternly Shanahan’s come down on other repeat offenders this year (Andy Sutton, Dan Carcillo, Rene Bourque), things aren’t boding well for ol’ Nose Face.