MMA

Bruins’ Marchand picked quite the time to do the Conor McGregor strut

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Before the Bruins’ Saturday game against the Blue Jackets, MMA superstar Conor McGregor began the festivities. In a way, he “ended” them, too.

McGregor was on hand to drop the ceremonial first puck heading into that game (doing so in Boston, which might beat out the Maple Leafs’ St. Pats jerseys as The Most St. Patrick’s Day thing in the NHL today). With that in mind, Brad Marchand decided to bust out McGregor’s “strut’ after scoring the 2-1 overtime game-winner against the Blue Jackets.

[More on how this game influenced the East playoff races.]

You can also see it in GIF form:

Marchand would probably need to be more excited to fight in his own “weight class” to truly be the McGregor of the Bruins (going after Lars Eller isn’t that far from McGregor getting in the octagon with CM Punk), but one can see how the two are, in many ways, kindred spirits.

Both inspire plenty of controversy (has McGregor ever licked a foe?), yet they’re both so talented that they really can’t be denied.

It’s part of what makes them both entertaining, and attention-grabbing … and that much more annoying, if you’re not a fan of Marchand and/or McGregor.

Here’s McGregor dropping the puck:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear to try his hand at mixed martial arts

When you’re an enforcer in the new NHL it’s tough to keep your career chugging along if all you’re capable of doing is just dropping the gloves and having a go of it at the opposing team’s brawler. These days you have to bring a little extra to the table and for former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear he wasn’t able to keep up with things.

After playing his last NHL game back in January 2010 with the New York Rangers, he was demoted to the minor leagues where he stayed until he was traded to Atlanta and then released. Since then, Brashear’s been making his home in a low level Quebec professional league. With that not being anywhere near as glamorous as the NHL or even the AHL, Brashear is taking his bare-knuckle skills to an arena that’s much more befitting his skill set.

Brashear is set to become a mixed martial arts fighter as he’s apparently signed a deal with a Canadian promotion called Ringside MMA. It’s not just a career change for Brashear though as there are some extenuating circumstances for him switching from hockey to fighting. Patricia Vincent of MMADiehards.com says that Brashear might just be running from the law.

Now playing in the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH), Brashear has recently been investigated for an incident that allegedly occurred at the end of a game against the Trois-Rivières team on March 25.  Charges of assault were filed against Brashear, who was also suspended for five games.

The complaint has been filed against Brashear, on behalf of the alleged victim, Eric Labelle, by the Trois-Riviere team, Caron et Guay, and is now in the hands of the crown prosecutor.

Perhaps we can just say that Brashear was just getting warmed up for his latest career choice instead and call it a day. It’s fascinating to see this kind of move for the 39 year-old Brashear but if nothing else he’s shown over the course of his NHL career that he’s capable of throwing lefts and rights. If Brashear gets licensed in time he could be ready to fight in the promotions June 4th event in Quebec City. Let’s just hope that Brashear knows he can’t just grab on to the jersey and hug it out when he’s inside the octagon.