Anytime you speak with Brad Marchand about trash-talking around the NHL these days, it’s a lament that nobody talks out on the ice anymore.
Some of that is probably due to players wearing on-ice microphones more often these days for NHL or team productions, and some of it is because referees tend to shut down verbal warfare pretty quickly as well.
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Marchand continues to try his best to keep NHL trash-talking alive, however, and that’s reflected in his selection as the NHL’s top trash-talker in the annual poll released by the NHL Players Association.
Here's what No. 63 said in a Players Tribune article he wrote in 2018 that still stands as pretty relevant now when it comes to Marchand and his on-ice chirping:
I have done things that have stepped over that line, and I've paid the price for it. But you know what? There's a lot of people out there in the hockey world who love to say, 'Winning is everything. It's the only thing.' But do they really mean it? How far are they willing to go? Maybe it was my size, or just the way I was born, but I've always felt like you have to be willing to do anything -- literally anything -- in order to win. Even if that means being hated. Even if it means carrying around some baggage. If I played the game any other way, you absolutely would not know my name. You wouldn't care enough to hate me, because I wouldn't be in the NHL.
Oddly Marchand was also voted the NHL’s worst trash-talker as well, which is probably based on the nearly 600 NHL players that voted totally missing the point of the poll question.
Marchand finished with 25.87 percent of the vote while Drew Doughty (13.37 percent), Ryan Reaves (11.05 percent) and Patrick Maroon (3.78 percent) lagged behind him in the poll of all NHL players while Marchand, Doughty, PK Subban and Nick Cousins ranked as the worst trash-talkers.
Clearly, Marchand has so many NHL players rattled so much they don’t know whether he’s the best or the worst. So in acknowledgment of such an accomplishment, here are some of the greatest hit chirps from the Nose Face Killah:
- “I played against him in the 2013 [Stanley Cup] Final and he was talking a lot, says anything to get you off your game. [He] even told me my kids were ugly once upon a time. I know he’s lying because my daughters are beautiful, but it had me thinking for a while. I only had one kid at the time, I was like ‘does he know something I don’t?’ –NBC analyst and former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on his run-ins with Marchand.
- Perhaps the ultimate trash talk didn’t even involve any words as Marchand raised an imaginary Stanley Cup and kissed it as he skated in front of the Vancouver Canucks bench in a 2013 game just a couple of years after the Bruins had beaten those same Canucks in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final.
- There was the time Marchand offered to send a postgame stick over to regular target Leo Komarov after a Bruins/Maple Leafs game, like a superstar would do for a wide-eyed, nervous rookie player.
- Who could forget Marchand tricking Justin Williams into taking a penalty in one of their encounters and then mocking by making a “C” with his fingers in front of his jersey? It was a savage mockery of Williams’ composure and on-ice leadership and it led to Williams basically losing it for the entire conference final series between the Hurricanes and the Bruins. He threw in a “[expletive] captain” and gave him directions to the penalty box for good measure as Williams trudged off to serve his two-minute penalty.
- Brad Marchand and PK Subban dropped the gloves in the 2012-13 NHL regular season and had a pretty good rivalry going in Subban's days with the Montreal Canadiens. Here’s a snippet from back then: "Subban was asking me to fight. Three or four guys asked to fight him, and he's running scared. But he comes after the smallest guy on the team. It just shows you what kind of character they have there."
- There was last spring’s second-round playoff series when Marchand stomped on Cam Atkinson’s skate blade in an overtime face-off and then had what he thought was a reasonable explanation afterward while pinning it on Atkinson: "I think he was trying to dull my blade there...Send me to the room, get it sharpened. It's kind of rude of him to do that.”