The NHL upheld the six game suspension of Brad Marchand today after an appeal for attacking Tristan Jarry in a game back on February 8th.
Bettman heard Marchand’s appeal on Wednesday, calling Marchand “forthright and sincere in expressing remorse for his conduct, which he did not attempt to defend and which he acknowledged was ‘stupid,’” adding that the sole reason for the appeal was the length of the suspension.
In the appeal, the NHLPA referred to similar previous infractions that did not receive the same length of penalty, including Milan Lucic’s two-game suspension in 2019 for punching Kole Sherwood and Radko Gudas’s two-game suspension for high sticking Nikita Kucherov in 2019, among others.
However, Bettman cited that each case must be decided on the “basis of its own particular facts and circumstances” under the CBA, and determined that:
• Marchand’s conduct was intentional and involved excessive and unnecessary use of force.
• Marchand’s conduct featured not one, but two violations of NHL playing rules
• Beyond being a repeat offender, Marchand has been suspended eight times and fined four. The NHL department of player safety also suspended him three games just 21 games ago for slew-footing.
“Mr. Marchand’s behavior and lack of judgment in respect of these incidents did not meet acceptable NHL standards. He created a distraction which reflected poorly on himself, on his team and on the League as a whole, and as such, I find he also deserves the penalty he received. Having said that, I encourage Mr. Marchand to reflect on this experience and to use it positively in furtherance of his efforts to refine and improve his on-ice image and game for everyone’s benefit,” Bettman concluded in his ruling, which can be read in its entirety here.
Marchand spoke publicly of the incident nearly 48 hours after receiving the initial suspension, recognizing that he should not have committed the act, but questioning the length of his penalty.
“Of course it was stupid,” Marchand said. “I’m not denying that. I absolutely should not have done it. But suspension-worthy? I don’t think so.
#NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upholds #NHLBruins Brad Marchand’s six game suspension. His full opinion is available.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 18, 2022
Essentially boils down to 2 games for the punch, 2 games for the high-stick to Jarry’s face and 2 additional games for Marchand’s previous similar conduct. pic.twitter.com/VeWM29Ngxt
Marchand set what sent him off on his emotional outburst was Jarry robbing him and chirping, “how about that fucking save?”
According to Brad Marchand, this chirp from Tristan Jarry is what set him off... pic.twitter.com/RHlxe45jVb— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) February 19, 2022
To Marchand’s credit, he did state Jarry said “nothing really out of line or derogatory in any kind of way,” and didn’t try to inflate or fabricate any bad behavior from the goalie to set him off. His main argument seemed to rooted in whataboutism for why he (a player suspended more than anyone else) should be punished based on his history. It fell on deaf ears for Bettman and the NHL and Marchand will have to sit for two more games and forfeit all the salary for the six game suspension.
And, the record should state, Jarry did make a hell of a save on Marchand on the door-step.
Brad Marchand failed to get any money back or back from suspension any earlier, but his NHL testimony made Jarry look pretty cool.