Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been suspended three games for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Canucks Sunday night. Marchand had a hearing on Monday and just after 5 PM ET, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced the suspension.
“As the video shows, Marchand and Ekman-Larsson skate towards the boards with speed in pursuit of a loose puck, jockeying for position as they approach the wall,” an NDPS video statement explained. “Marchand engages for position with his upper body, pulling Ekman-Larsson backward as he simultaneously extends his right leg to use as leverage to take Ekman-Larsson down. These actions cause Ekman-Larsson to fall dangerously to the ice. This is slew-footing.”
This is Marchand’s seventh suspension and his second for slew-footing. The first came in 2015 on then-New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard, who now plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. Brad Marchand has also been suspended twice for elbowing (two games and five games), two games for spearing, three games for clipping, and five games for a low-bridge hit. Brad Marchand has also had to pay $24,500 in fines for the following infractions since entering the league in the 2009-10 season:
2011-12: $2,500 for slew-footing Matt Niskanen
2015-16: $5,000 for roughing Gabriel Landeskog
2016-17: $10,000 for tripping Niklas Kronwall
2017-18: $2,000 for diving
$5,000 for cross-checking Andrew MacDonald
New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban has been fined three times for slew-footing this season and even ended the season of New York Rangers forward Sammy Blais with a slew foot two weeks ago. Yet Subban was never suspended and didn’t even get a hearing for his actions. That’s why there was plenty of criticism hurled in the direction of the NHL Department of Player Safety Monday and accusations of bias against Brad Marchand due to his status as a repeat offender despite his last suspension coming in 2018.
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said he was surprised Marchand was even called to a hearing given the precedent that has been set this season, specifically with Subban.
“I mean, I guess (I was surprised),” Cassidy told reporters Monday morning when asked if he was shocked that Marchand heard from the league. “There was nothing called in the game. They do revisit certain incidents, but the precedent, for the most part, this year has been a fine if they feel that’s deserving of it. So, I guess we’ll see what happens there.
“I thought it was two guys battling for a puck, got tangled up. They’ll have to decide. You see a lot of those in a game, they’re typically along the boards more often than in the open ice, but I’ve seen a lot of it this year.”
Brad Marchand will now miss games against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday at TD Garden, Thursday in Nashville against the Predators, and back in Boston Saturday against the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.