Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was suspended for 5 games for clipping Sami Salo of the Canucks. Here is Brendan Shanahan’s video explanation:
That’s pretty dangerous. Marchand is a known pest in the NHL. He was suspended last March in his first full NHL season for elbowing RJ Umberger in the head. He served two games. Back in December, he was fined for slew-footing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen.
So, Marchand is a repeat offender. He is placed at 10th in the league in penalty minutes with 75. This is now his third offense. 5 games?
This is where my idea for a tiered structure regarding repeat offenders comes into play. He could have seriously injured Salo beyond the concussion with that move, as well as what he did to Niskanen.
These young players need to learn now how to play clean. The league seriously needs to institute player safety training clinics league wide. (Read my player safety ideas here.) This is unacceptable. For a third offense, this is a slap on the wrist for Marchand.
And once again, Shanahan is considering too many variables in a suspension and coming up with a nonsense number. Punish actions, not results.
The most alarming thing to come out of the Marchand suspension is the reaction of the Bruins General Manager and Head Coach. GM Peter Chiarelli stated: “While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.” I agree with this statement to the extent that there is a lack of consistency here, however Marchand is a repeat offender and must be held accountable for his actions.
Head Coach Claude Julien stated: “Sometimes you’ve got to look in your backyard. We all know he has the same type of players on his team and they’ve all done the same thing. … It’s so hypocritical.” Will he be fined $30,000 for his statements against the NHL like Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella?
Also, the Anaheim Duck’s Jean-Francois Jacques was suspended for 3 games for an illegal hit to the head on RJ Umberger (video). Jacques is also a repeat offender, having been suspended in the pre-season for leaving the bench to engage in a physical altercation on the ice. He served 4 pre-season games and 5 regular season games. (Eric Goddard served 10 regular season games last season for the same infraction. Jacques should have served 10 regular season games.) Per Rule 70 of the NHL Rule Book, no player may leave the bench to engage in an altercation. This is an automatic 10 game suspension, as stated in section 70.4.
The Flyers Zac Rinaldo (once again back to the consistency thing) was not reviewed for this hit on Penguins Robert Bortuzzo, who suffered a concussion from the hit. Same situation and manner as the Jacques hit on Umberger.
Wake up, Shanahan. I’m tired of writing about your lack of consistency and poor methodology, but I won’t stop until you do something.