I recently had a debate with a friend over who the bigger pest in the National Hockey League was; former journeyman Sean Avery or current Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand.
Leaning towards Avery, more so known for his “sloppy seconds” comments and being the reason for what is popularly known as the “Sean Avery Rule” it wasn’t until I watched a fan-made video of Marchand intentionally trying to injure opposing players in various ways, such as sticking out his leg on unexpecting victims or taking out their legs by ducking underneath their knees.
It was disturbing to say the least but the second half of the video showed how talented Marchand actually is and boy, nobody can deny that.
As of April 4, Marchand has scored 458 points in 599 games and in the past two seasons, he’s scored over 80 in each.
But the 29-year-old Halifaxite has spent his whole career in scrutiny over some of his decisions. Being only five foot nine inches, the winger has been scrappy. Most short players are, as they have to prove they belong and won’t be pushed around by the big guys.
Marchand redefines scrappy though. The repeat offender has been suspended six times and fined multiple times, including a $10,000 fine for slew-footing Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall in 2017. Kronwall was standing still watching the play in the Bruins zone unfold when Marchand came behind him and intentionally tagged one of the defender’s feet with his.
The fine was the maximum allowed per the collective bargaining agreement.
His most recent infringement (April 1) was cross-checking Philadelphia Flyers’ Andrew MacDonald in the face while the latter was on the ground after he hit Marchand. He was fined $5,000 and it was the third time Marchand has received a fine or suspension this season.
Almost single-handedly supporting the argument that the NHL needs more enforcers in the league to protect the player’s from play like Marchand’s lunacy, it’s a wonder that the league hasn’t made some sort of example of the player who is as dirty as he is skilled.
It’s only a matter of time before someone’s career is ruined by his antics or maybe his if someone decides to retaliate like when former Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi infamously sucker-punched Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in revenge for Moore cause Markus Näslund to suffer a concussion after hitting him in the head in a previous game during the 2003-04 season.