Brad Marchand calls out Artemi Panarin for “crying” as he whines about his own reputation
Brad Marchand was suspended three games by the NHL on Monday for slew footing Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Boston’s 3-2 win over the Canucks.
He addressed the media today about his suspension and the incident with Artemi Panarin.
“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.”
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Marchand complains about Panarin “crying”
Last Friday, the Rangers beat the Bruins 5-2. In the waning seconds, Marchand and Panarin had a heated exchange that led to a glove being thrown.
“It’s important to to let people know I didn’t start it,” Panarin explained per USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano. “I didn’t say good things about him, too, but I think when you touch country, it’s different. Probably all Russians would want to defend their country.”
Both players were both tossed from the game, and Panarin received a $5000 fine for throwing his glove at Marchand.
“No one should be allowed to say anything,” Marchand responded. “Because there’s a lot worse things said out there than that. If that’s what he’s crying about, then it is what is is.”
Panarin dealt with a political hit job last season
What Marchand is leaving out is the serious situation involving Panarin last season involving unfounded allegations by his former KHL coach that caused him seek a leave of absence. A political hit job that had him concerned for his family living in Russia.
This summer, former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton provided some insight into the situation.
“We gave the Breadman his space and time he needed to figure things out,” Gorton said on the Cam and Strick Podcast. “The biggest thing when those things are happening back home – he has family there. We don’t know what’s going on in the world. I’ve been to Russia but you don’t know how mad people get or what they will do so we just gave him his space to work through it.”
The Rangers played a big role in helping Panarin and his family out during that time.
“We have security staff and people in place that had a lot of connections just making calls and making sure everyone is fine,” Gorton revealed about the effort to make sure he felt comfortable that his family was fine. “It was about letting him get through it mentally as far as feeling confident that his family was going to be ok.”
Marchand bemoans his own reputation
When asked about his three game ban, Marchand brought up the fact the NHL took into account his prior history.
“That’s part of the conversation, it always will be, which I get,” he said. “I’m not oblivious to my past and I don’t deny that it’s there and say that I deserved everything that was there. But it will always, in these hearings, it will always be brought up.”
Marchand, who has 24 points in 18 games this season, sounded a little hypocritical in his comments.
“I was just personally hoping that it wouldn’t be because I’ve worked to get away from that and be a good player. I was hoping it wouldn’t be part of it and I’d be given the benefit of the doubt,” he concluded.
The NHL has always taken into account prior offenses when reviewing suspensions, so it’s odd that Marchand expected that they wouldn’t.