The NHL’s lack of supplemental discipline against Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway for his hit from behind on Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand once again showed that no matter how elite a player the 33-year-old Bruins star has become, Marchand is likely never going to get the respect most NHL superstars do. The league, the Department of Player safety, referees, plenty of NHL media and basically any NHL fan that doesn’t cheer for the Boston Bruins, will never let Marchand forget the player he once was and accept who he is now.
Just over a week ago, the NHL All-Star selection committee did not put Brad Marchand on the Atlantic Division team. Despite the fact that Marchand was at the time ninth in the NHl in points, led his team in goals, assists, points, powerplay points, shorthanded goals and points, once again Marchand just couldn’t seem to shed the “Rat” label even he admits he onced deserved but has proven time and time again that he should be free of.
On Friday though, two prominent NHL media insiders, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek gave Marchand the respect he’s earned with Friedman admitting what too many of his colleagues just can’t seem to acknowledge: Brad Marchand should be a legit, no-brainer, Hart Trophy candidate.
“It’s the mid-point of the season and you start putting down your list and Brad Marchand was absolutely on my on my Hart Trophy list, and it’s a long list right now,” Friedman told Marek on the Jeff Marek Show Friday. “It’s a. …we’ve talked about right now how we kind of know the eight teams are going to make the Eastern Conference playoffs and now it’s just about jockeying for position. This will affect Boston’s jockeying. He’s a huge loss for them and he’s a great player.”
As pointed out above, Friedman agreed, too many can’t let the licking and plays like Hathaway’s Thursday, that Brad Marchand became notorious for, go. With his three-game suspension this past November for slew-footing Vancouver defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Marchand has now been suspended seven times in his NHL career, which started in 2009. He’s missed a total of 22 games due to punishments from Player Safety, latest suspension included, and has forfeited $971,397.61 in salary.
“I think people just forget because of everything else, the guy’s just an incredible player,” Friedman said.
“I just think that’s been so well established over the last few years don’t you think,” Marek replied.
But Friedman didn’t back off that stance.
“I just think people forget it and that’s not the first thing they think about with him but really is an incredible player,” he said.
With Brad Marchand now out indefinitely thanks to an upper-body injury from the Hathaway hit, it could be worth looking into betting on various NHL fixtures such as Marchand for the Hart Trophy and the Boston Bruins playoff chances. You could get some great value because if the Bruins do slide in the standings without Brad Marchand in the lineup, that will only prove the case even more that he is his team’s most valuable player.