As you’d expect, Brad Marchand is no fan of the six-game suspension the NHL Department of Player Safety handed him for his incident with Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry Tuesday night.
Marchand is so unhappy that the NHL Players’ Association filed an appeal on his behalf Friday. The first appeal goes to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. If he upholds the the ban, Marchand has the option to take it to an independent arbitrator.
Late in the third period of the Penguins’ 4-2 win, Jarry denied Marchand’s point-blank opportunity in front to cut the lead in half. After the whistle, Jarry said something to Marchand, which set off the Bruins forward, causing him to punch the Pittsburgh goalie. As linesman Andrew Smith was navigating Marchand away from the Penguins’ crease and towards the penalty box, Marchand jabbed Jarry in the mask with his stick.
Marchand was assessed a roughing minor and a match penalty.
What set off Marchand? He wasn’t saying. But he’s shocked — shocked! — that his history (seven suspensions, five fines) played a role in the length of time he’ll sit.
“Was it stupid? Of course it was stupid,” Marchand said. “I’m not denying that. I absolutely should not have done it. But suspension-worthy? I don’t think so. So, again, that’s where in the moment, if I would’ve thought that I was getting suspended, yeah, I wouldn’t have done it. Especially if I thought I was gonna get six games. So that’s the part of it that gets tough sometimes, is to know where the line is. It changes for each player and from each night.”
[Marchand suspended six games for incident with Penguins’ Jarry]
Marchand was previously suspended three-games in November for slew-footing Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Canucks.
Marchand’s argument for this one is that the glove punch and stick jab weren’t in the realm of injury-causing actions. NHL DoPS czar George Parros and his team were clearly not convinced.
“[Those] plays were not going to injure Jarry,” Marchand said. “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. We believe the last suspension was very hefty when I got three games. It should have been one, based on the fact that I’ve turned my game around and become a pretty good player in this league. But you’re not going to escape the history part of it, which ultimately set me up for this [suspension].”
Barring a successful appeal, Marchand will be able to return to the Bruins’ lineup Feb. 24 against the Kraken.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.