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NHL player safety makes official decision on Brad Marchand suspension


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Aaron Itovitch
May 3, 2024  (6:18 PM)
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Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand
Photo credit: X

The NHL's rule book stipulates that any player who makes a deliberate hit at a referee will be automatically suspended ten games. Brad Marchand did exactly that last night, when he shoved a referee in front of the Boston Bruins bench. His fate has now been confirmed.

Following a shift in the Boston Bruins' 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brad Marchand hit a referee. Rule 40.1 in the NHL rule book says exactly this:
40.1 Game Misconduct – Any player who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an official, physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall receive a game misconduct penalty.

40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III – Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.

Despite Marchand's actions being clearly in breach of this ruling, now that 5PM has come and gone, we now know that the Department of Player Safety has chosen not to rule a suspension.
It's officially after 5 pm and it's clear the NHL won't be issuing any supplemental discipline for his shove on the linesman. This is a clear violation of rule 40.1, but the league has decided to ignore it.

Brad Marchand got very lucky here, as he'll be able to suit up for the Boston Bruins in game seven against the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night.
Credit Blade of Steel:
NHL reaches decision on Brad Marchand's shoving a linesman
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NHL player safety makes official decision on Brad Marchand suspension

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