Still a prick after all these years: the Brad Marchand story

“What’d the little prick do this time?”

It’s the question one must ask whenever one is reminded of some allegedly selfless act or another performed by the Pride and Joy of Hammonds Plains.


Viewers who tuned in just in time to hear Ron MacLean prattling on about Brad Marchand’s committed work with Maritime NHLers for Kids the other night could only hope the Slew-footing Savant didn’t just kill someone on the ice.


Nevermind that for every anecdote about his commitment to charity, there is another anecdote that questions said commitment. Last summer, for example, I’m advised of the time he kept a bunch of young fans waiting when he showed up two hours late without explanation to an Maritime NHLers for Kids meet-and-greet in Digby.


Whenever we hear “Marshy” invited a little crippled girl into the Bruins dressing room that one time, we hope the Lieutenant of Low-Bridging didn’t himself just commit an unsuspecting someone to a lifetime in a wheelchair.


Luckily, this time — after Boston beat Columbus to advance to the third round of the playoffs — the Sportsnet crew wasn’t discussing the left-winger’s on-ice antics, but his off-ice antics. To wit, his stand-offish behaviour with the media in a post-game scrum, for reasons that are still unknown. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll find it easily enough on YouTube. During the painful locker-room session, he used 19 words to answer 39 questions, all with the same stupid, self-satisfied smirk on his face.


A small sample:


“What’s the best way to describe (inaudible)?”


“Great.”


“Would you care to elaborate?”


“Nope.”


“What was the difference, being down 2-1 in the last series, and winning the last three?”


“We won.”


He did the same thing in a pre-game interview with Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas, which caused some to speculate if Kyle had done something to offend the 30-year-old. Others pointed out that the constant inanity of the typical “How do you feel?” sports reporter queries would wear on the patience of the best of us. Which it would, of course.


As Stu Cowan points out in the Montreal Gazette, the guy has every right to answer questions in any way he chooses.


"But you have to wonder what he’s trying to prove,” he says.


“Marchand is a great hockey player — when he’s not being a cheap-shot artist. But when Marchand hangs up his skates after his career, I think many fans will remember him more for being a jerk than a great player.


“Maybe he wants it that way.”


Or maybe it’s just in his nature and he can’t help himself, and every spear/face-lick/drunken pee in a corner is a cry for help.


It was a year ago when Marshy told media — subsequent to his taste-testing a few opponents — that it was time for a bit of soul-searching.


“I’ve got some character things and things that I’ve done that clearly need some fixing,” he said.


Clearly, still a work in progress.


andrew@frankmagazine.ca

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