Haggerty: Marchand responds to homophobic tweet in great way

Haggerty: Marchand responds to homophobic tweet in great way

BOSTON – Underneath the agitating, mischief-loving hockey exterior of Brad Marchand lies the beating heart of a pretty good person.

The Bruins pest and top-line left winger showed that again over the past couple of days when he responded to an individual on Twitter who had harassed him with at least one homophobic tweet following Boston’s Thursday night win in Buffalo. Within minutes after the game Marchand had quoted the Twitter account's hateful and ignorant comments and responded with a message of his own:

Within hours, the offending @DJ_Redd_Baron Twitter account had been deleted and Marchand did his part to remove at least one hateful, anonymous account from a social media world rife with them. Marchand told reporters prior to Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win over the Sabres at TD Garden that he felt like it was time for him to take a stand after seeing too much of that vile, cowardly stuff online.

“I just feel that there are so many people on Twitter that are allowed to say and do whatever they want and we're in the spotlight. It's tough to respond because we get criticized way beyond what we probably should,” said Marchand. “I just figured most people, they can say whatever they want behind their keyboard. They never have to answer for it and they're not used to the backlash that comes with what they say, too.

“I think getting that out there, I knew everyone would  jump on it and kind of go after the guy so I didn't have to and it worked. The guy deleted his Twitter [account]. And look, most people can't take the criticism with what they say and they don't think about how it affects people. I thought that was a pretty bad comment and, nowadays, it's not right to go after people like that.”

Marchand said he also has friends in the LGBT community, so he’s undoubtedly seen up close how hurtful some of the insults and hateful innuendo can be to people when they become targeted.

“I have a few friends that are in same-sex relationships, so I don't stand for [those kind of comments] and didn't think it was right, so I thought I had to respond,” said Marchand.

Good for Marchand, who undoubtedly won some new fans after sounding off on his thoughts loud and clear in a tweet that’s gaining some positive notoriety for the star Bruins forward. 

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.


Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

File photo

Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while not really digging these forecasts of more snow.

*You know, if he weren’t making millions and millions of dollars I might actually feel bad for ol' Claude Julien up in Montreal busting out the “We’re not a very good team” soliloquy with the Habs. That team flat out stinks this season and these past few weeks it can’t be fun at all being the head coach of that dumpster fire.

*Darren Dreger says there is no rush for the Toronto Maple Leafs to bring back Auston Matthews before he’s ready to go, and that’s absolutely the case so close to the playoffs.

*Here are five Hart Trophy-caliber players that won’t get a sniff of the voting, but deserve some attention nonetheless. There are no Bruins players on the list if you’re wondering, but some pretty good ones in Johnny Gaudreau and Aleksander Barkov.

*The NHL general managers are weighing potential changes to the goalie-interference interpretation ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

*While it still looks a Swedish defenseman is going to be the No. 1 overall pick this June, there are some other players rocketing up the list.

*For something completely different: The definitive ranking of Girl Scout cookies from best-to-worst that we’ve all been waiting for.

*Song of the Week: Haven’t done one of these in a long, long time, but I like this Calvin Harris/Katy Perry/Pharrell Williams tune that I hadn’t heard until the past couple of days.