So, should Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand be considered in the Hockey Hall of Fame conversation at this point?
It’s an interesting theory posited by WEEI.com this week, and one that’s deserving of some pretty serious consideration.
Certainly, the Little Ball of Hate is not a shoo-in or a no-doubter at this point like former teammate and current Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara is going to be as his era’s premiere shutdown defenseman, or like Boston Bruins linemate Patrice Bergeron and the long, continuously growing list of accomplishments on his winning hockey resume.
And he’s always going to have to battle the stigma that he’s nothing more than a glorified pest even though he’s become a perennial top-10 Hart Trophy candidate over the last few seasons. But there are some interesting stats to consider for a 32-year-old left winger that’s likely to produce at his current elite level for at least three or four more seasons.
He has more shorthanded goals (28) than anybody else currently playing in the NHL, tops the Bruins all-time franchise list and is climbing up the all-time list while tied for 28th place with notable players like Mark Howe, Jeremy Roenick, Rod Brind’Amour and Bernie Nichols. Marchand has more playoff points (52) than anybody else since the 2017-18 NHL season.
Marchand has been first or second team All-League at the left wing position in three of the last four seasons and has been the left wing on the NHL’s best forward line for the last handful of seasons. The 295 goals and 657 points aren’t quite there yet, but he’s also not that far off from the 395 goals and 694 career points that Hall of Famer Cam Neely had in roughly the same number of games during a career cut-short by injuries.
Similarly, Marchand’s numbers are in the same neighborhood (50 more goals, 200 less points) as Peter Forsberg with another three or four years to continue growing his career totals. Marchand already has the Stanley Cup title and has played in two other Stanley Cup Finals, and he’s an iconic player in his generation given his personality, his style of play and his genuine impact on the game.
Will there be some backlash against his Hockey Hall consideration based on his disciplinary transgressions earlier in his career? That’s certainly possible, but there are other Hockey Hall of Famers that haven’t exactly been choir boys either.
And Marchand will have the numbers, the accomplishments and the overall resume to be considered if he keeps things on their current path. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Bergeron and Marchand possibly inducted together as a Boston Bruins duo after being one of the most dangerous combos in the NHL over the last 10 years together?
It certainly would, but we’ll have to see how it all plays out for the Nose Face Killah. All I’m sayin’ is that he’s definitely got a pretty good shot.
Now on to the puck links:
*So, Connor Garland doesn’t drink alcohol, but he’s really super into coffee? Interesting tidbit about a local hockey that’s done really well for himself with the Arizona Coyotes. (NHL.com)
*What can you say about this goal scored by Connor McDavid on a one-man rush against the Toronto Maple Leafs except that it’s absolutely filthy?
CONNOR MCDAVID IS NOT FROM THIS PLANET! 😮👽
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) January 31, 2021
*New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo has been placed on waivers by the Blueshirts. There are rumors it happened after a scuffle with one of his teammates, but it sure sounds like the Rangers have been trying to get rid of DeAngelo for a while. (ESPN.com)
*Is there going to be some fallout with the Philadelphia Flyers after they health scratched Travis Konecny? It’s an interesting topic broached by partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy in this week’s “Off The Record” column. (Boston Hockey Now)
*The New York Islanders are trying to get “joy” back in their game amidst a losing streak, as FOH (Friend of Haggs) Christian Arnold writes. (NYI Hockey Now)
*For something completely different: It’s a sad day as Toys R Us has shuttered their last two US stores. (Boston Herald)