Brad Marchand appeals suspension

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Brad Marchand did not hide from his actions on Tuesday night. He called them “stupid” and said he was embarrassed to be suspended yet again.

But that doesn’t mean Marchand agreed with the whopping six-game suspension for contact that did not injure the object of his ire, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, or really pose any more physical threat than what usually goes on in hockey scrums. And on Friday, Marchand filed an appeal through the NHLPA on the suspension he deemed “very, very hefty.” The appeal will first be heard by Commissioner Gary Bettman and then possibly to an independent arbitrator.

Part of his beef goes back to the three-game suspension he received for was deemed a slew-foot on Vancouver’s Oliver Ekman-Larson. Prior to that, Marchand had not been suspended since 2018, after which he had made a concerted effort to stay out of trouble.

But while a player’s repeat offender status is wiped out after 18 months when it comes to the money that he can be fined, according to the CBA, he doesn’t escape his history when it comes to the number of games he can be whacked.

“They don’t measure progress, which I’ve come to find out. It goes back to the last one, that’s where I found that out. We believe the last suspension was very hefty,” said Marchand, meeting with reporters on Friday for the first time since his eighth suspension came down. “I got three games when I should have got one, based on the fact that I’d turned my game around and become a pretty good player in this league. But again, it goes back to the history part of it, which ultimately set me up for this one. Again, I’m not going to justify what I did was right. But this was a very, very deep suspension for these infractions.”

Marchand said he believes the process needs to be scrutinized in the next CBA negotiations. While not denying his history, Marchand said it’s hard to stay on the right side of the line when he doesn’t know where it is.

“At this point, it’s tough to say what a suspension is. I never would have thought I would have gotten suspended for either of those things, so if I had known where the line is, it would be different. There’s been a lot of guys who get punched over the years after the play and they don’t get suspended, especially if there’s no injury,” said Marchand. “There are lot of sticks around people’s heads and, again, I barely touched him with it. Was it stupid? Yeah, it was stupid. I’m not denying it. I absolutely should not have done it. But suspension-worthy? I don’t think so. Again, that’s where in the moment, if I thought I would have been suspended, yeah, I wouldn’t have done it, especially if I thought it would have been six games. That’s the part that gets tough sometimes, to know where the line is when it changes for each player.”

He did not get into what triggered his outburst, saying it would not have justified what he did. But he said there are different thresholds for different players.

“Mine’s obviously a lot lower than other guys’ at this point, which obviously I’ve brought on myself,” he said. “I’m not denying that I’ve crossed the line a lot and that’s factored into it. But at this point and where I’ve brought my game to in the lt number of years…again, they threw the book at me on the last one, which really doubled it up on this one. These plays are not going to injure Jarry. There as no potential injury on that play. He was very well protected. The fact that it’s six games, its based on history and not on the play. They make the decision on the way the see it, but we feel it was very steep.”

Marchand said this could affect how he plays, if he lets it.

“I have to go back to the drawing board to get my head ready again. I’ve done it for a while now and I know the player I am in this league and for this team. The last thing I want to do is let my team down the way I did in this situation. I lost my cool. There’s no question, but I’ve been pretty good about (not) doing that the last couple of years,” said Marchand. “But it was a really stupid decision on my behalf and it did hurt the team and will hurt the team moving forward, so that’s not something I want to do, whether we feel the suspension is just or not. I put myself in that situation, my team in that situation so I have to continue to work on being better and working on my game, and I have for a long time now. It’s not something that changes in a day, a week or month, it’s something that I have to continue to work on. Maybe I got a little complacent with where I was and I wasn’t focusing on it as much. But I’m an emotional guy. I always have been. It will never change. I never want it to change because that’s what makes me the player that I am. But again, it’s just making sure it’s reined in.”

Marchand said he has to be careful, but past suspensions have affected his game at certain times.

“What it does is it sets it up for if there’s another one, it’s going to be 10. So that’s where with my game, it will hurt my game if I let it. I know I did in the past where I was timid on the ice, making sure I didn’t do anything wrong, so that’s the battle I have moving forward, trying to play a game I’ve played for years within the lines at all times. And again, I play on emotion, I always have and I’m going to have to not do that, so that’s the part that’s frustrating, that I have to rein in. But at the end end of the day, I’ve got to do what will help this team and that’s to play the way that I play. If I cross the line, I’ll deal with it, but that’s also something I don’t want to do again. It’s frustrating and embarrassing to be in this situation again. But it is what it is.”

This and that

The little good news that did come out of the B’s 6-0 loss ot Carolina was that Matt Grzelcyk, who left with what appeared to be a fairly serious shoulder injury, was back on the ice on Friday. Coach Bruce Cassidy was not sure if he’d be ready to play in Ottawa on Saturday.

The B’s did bring up Jack Ahcan from Providence. If Grzelcyk can play, it appeared as though Cassidy could scratch Mike Reilly, but that is not etched in stone. …

Cassidy said that Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a head injury on Tuesday, rode the stationary bike on Friday. He did not travel with the team to Ottawa. …

Cassidy made some line changes, moving Jake DeBrusk to Jack Studnicka’s wing and moving Trent Frederic to play with Charlie Coyle. Cassidy said he liked Studnicka’s game on Thursday. …

Jeremy Swayman will get the start against the Senators.



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