BOSTON – Bruins ownership and upper management made it pretty clear on Wednesday morning that the bosses’ patience has run out with some of Brad Marchand’s antics after the licking incidents in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Marchand was never penalized or hit with supplemental discipline after opting to lick both Leo Komarov and Ryan Callahan, but the Bruins left winger was put on notice by the NHL in the second round of the playoffs that things wouldn’t be so consequence-free the next time.
BREAKING DOWN THE BRUINS
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Marchand made some heartfelt comments that he needs to “cut that [expletive] out” in his end-of-season chat with the media last week. On Wednesday, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and team president Cam Neely took it one step further in their end-of-the-season press conference. Jacobs said that Marchand has basically used up all of his wiggle room with the Bruins and that should be enough to get No. 63 on the straight-and-narrow with his behavior.
“I saw humor in it [at first], and then I thought it was, as it went along, it got pretty silly and not productive towards the team,” said Jacobs. “This is a player [in Marchand] that, I can only think of 30 other teams that would love to have him, so there’s a margin that you give him. But I think he used up that margin.”
Well, that’s a pretty definitive statement from the guy that signs the checks for the Black and Gold and probably speaks to a level of seriousness that the actions took on when they continued in the series Tampa Bay. Neely backed up his owner’s comments and also acknowledged that Marchand is one of the best players in the world who really doesn’t need to do that kind of stuff anymore.
“Brad should be contrite. He was spoken to." Neely said. "I don’t want to go into the details, but he understands how he put a negative focus on him, his family, the organization, his teammates, and the coaching staff. The thing that people don’t understand [is that] Brad is a really good guy. If you don’t know him, and you see this other stuff, then you really don’t think highly of him. He’s a tremendous hockey player. He’s got to the point now where his game on the ice, without the antics, should speak for itself.”
There’s no doubting that the NHL and Bruins organization have made their feelings known and Marchand himself has voiced his desire to change his game for the better. Now, it’s on all parties involved to make sure that happens while at the same time also allowing No. 63 the leeway to continue being an elite NHL left winger. It might not be easy and it will be a shame if it becomes a situation where Marchand’s fun personality is bottled up on the ice, so it remains a work in progress for the organization and player.