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Department of Player Safety again fails to protect players as they let Brad Marchand off the hook

Brad Marchand deliberately took a cheap shot by tripping Anton Stralman behind the play, and will go completely unpunished.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As if a fine wasn’t enough to stop his dirty behavior, Brad Marchand again went out of his way to trip an unsuspecting player well away from the play. With Anton Stralman at neutral ice near the Lightning’s blue line and the play deep inside of the Boston Bruins defensive zone, Marchand swerved around to kick Stralman’s feet from behind and take him down.

[UPDATE:] The previously embedded tweet with the video was deleted. I have replaced it with a YouTube video of the play above. I apologize for using a NESN feed video. Their commentators are some of the worst homers in the league, but it was all that was available.

Elliotte Friedman this morning tweeted that there will be no hearing at all for this dirty play.

The thought that Brad Marchand was simply “going towards the puck” is an asinine excuse. The puck was well within the Boston Bruins zone. He was at least 75 feet away from the puck. You can even see in the video that within two strides of taking out Stralman, he stops skating obviously not going for the puck at all.

This isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about the Department of Player “Safety.” They continue to prove that they are not at all interested in protecting players. It’s been barely a week since Marchand was fined a measly $10,000 for the SAME EXACT PLAY when he took out Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings.

This also isn’t the first time he’s run into trouble for dirty play in his career. In fact, he has been suspended three times for other low, dirty plays. He was suspended three games for clipping the Ottawa Senators’ Mark Borowiecki. He was also suspended two games for slew footing Derrick Brassard of the New York Rangers. And even before that, he was suspended five games for clipping Sami Salo while he was with the Vancouver Canucks.

Marchand has a repeated history of dirty play and should have been suspended at least five games. The biggest difference between the plays that led to his suspensions and the dirty plays on Stralman and Kronwall is that neither of those were hockey plays. They were well away from the puck, and intentional, predatory plays. In the other three examples, they were a part of actually playing hockey around the puck.

There should be an even stronger punishment for players that do such things away from the puck. There is so much more obvious intent to injure an opponent in those types of plays. It can’t be defended by the phrase, “Oh, he was just playing the puck and made a bad decision.” This was a deliberate, intentional, predatory slew foot by a dirty player.

The Department of Player Safety should have thrown the book at Marchand after his hit on Kronwall to send an example. Instead they gave him a $10,000 fine, and his teammate David Backes made jokes about it, saying with a laugh “He skated like he was $10,000 lighter.” Marchand and his teammates obviously did not take his punishment very seriously.

Now to have the exact same predatory play take place a week later, there is absolutely no excuse for not punishing him. It was a dirty play. It was a dangerous play. And it’s obvious that he will not learn his lesson with these little slaps on the wrist. This isn’t the first time this year that the Department of Player Safety has failed to discharge their duties to the players of the NHL. I doubt it will be the last time, as I continue to have zero confidence in their ability to perform their jobs to even a satisfactory level.