Bettman ain’t buying it, upholds Brad Marchand’s 6-game suspension

marchand suspension upheld
Nov 23, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) makes a save on a deflection by Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand keeps harping on the fact that he’s changed from his early days. That somehow, because he’s one of the NHL’s top scoring forwards, his infractions should be looked at differently.

Marchand was suspended for roughing and high-sticking Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry in the final minute of a game on Feb. 8. Not only did he punch Jarry in the head during a scrum in front of Pittsburgh’s net, while being restrained by an official, he shoved his stick into Jarry’s mask.

On Friday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t buying the excuses and upheld a six-game suspension after the NHL Players’ Association appealed the ban on Marchand’s behalf.

NHL upholds Marchand suspension

brad marchand suspension
Feb 8, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) is held back by linesman Andrew Smith (51) after he got a penalty for attempting to injure during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 33-year-old forward argued that his actions were “stupid” but not “suspension-worthy.” Bettman wrote in his complete ruling that he accepted Marchand’s explanation, and he did not believe Marchand had the intention of injuring Jarry, but the commissioner said Marchand had to be regarded as a repeat violator.

This was the eighth suspension of his career and the second this season; he received a three-game suspension in November for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

“When a player repeatedly commits multiple violations worthy of supplementary discipline within a relatively short period of time, the principle of progressive discipline clearly warrants an escalation in the quantum of discipline,” Bettman wrote. “That is particularly true where, as here, the Player is one whose career has been marked by repeated prior instances of supplementary discipline.”

Marchand still can elect to have his case heard by an independent arbitrator. He has already served four games of the suspension.

What did Jarry say to Marchand to set him off?

Marchand is one of the biggest trash-talkers in the game. Earlier this season, he got into it with New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin. As the two were chirping at the benches, Marchand said something that set Panarin off, leading to him throw a glove at the Bruins agitator.

“I said that no one in Russia likes him,” Marchand admitted. “So if that is now what is setting guys over the edge, then this is the softest league in the world.”

So, what exactly did Jarry say to upset thick-skinned Brad Marchand?

According to multiple reports, Marchand told the commissioner that Jarry said, “How about that f–king save?”

Well, that’s irony for you.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.