Prior to the start of the National Hockey League’s All-Star weekend, I had this idea of the post I wanted to write for yesterday’s post. But that all changed when Brad Marchand was suspended five games and still allowed to attend the All-Star game. So why was Marchand allowed to attend? If his actions during the Boston Bruins game against the New Jersey Devils when Marchand essentially gave Marcus Johansson a concussion were serious enough to warrant a five game suspension how he was still allowed to attend the game.
In my opinion, it sends a pretty dangerous message to players that the Department of Player Safety will suspended you to keep it’s image of protecting players but then will allow you to partake in the All-Star game because you were voted in.
Now I understand that while Marchand in a repeat offender (having been suspended six times for a total of 19 games, been fined three times totaling $878,500) his offenses are rarely the same. But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Marchand has previous offenses so therefore should not be able to partake in fun events like the All-Star Game where the NHL goes out of it’s way to have all these events for players and the possibility of winning money. Thankfully the Atlantic team did not win the final so Marchand didn’t walk away with any money.
So really want kind of message is the NHL sending by allowing him to play? In this day and age of the game where players are getting concussions almost left and right and the NFL settled a billion dollar lawsuit over player protection against concussion, you would like that the NHL would take these matters very seriously. But instead they decide to take an almost noncommittal approach where they will throw the book at Marchand but still reward him.
In my eyes this negates everything the NHL Department of Player Safety is trying to do and tells the players that they can pretty much do whatever they want and still reap the benefits that come with being an NHL All-Star.