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Lightning Round: Former Tampa Bay defenseman Bryan Marchment dies at age 53

The 17-year veteran was in Montreal preparing for the NHL Draft

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2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

For me, it always seemed Bryan Marchment was with the Tampa Bay Lightning a lot longer than he actually was. The veteran defender played 926 NHL games in his career, but only 22 of them came with the Lightning during his brief stay from December of 1997 to March of 1998. During that short time frame he put up 2 goals and 4 assists while racking up 43 penalty minutes. On Wednesday, his agent confirmed that the 53-year-old had passed away in Montreal where he was working for the San Jose Sharks as a scout.

While his tenure with the Lightning was short, he was involved in two franchise-altering deals. On December 30th, 1997, Marchment was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers, along with Jason Bonsignore and Steve Kelly, for Paul Comrie and the Lightning’s first ever first round pick, Roman Hamrlik. General Manager spun it as a move to rid Hamrlik, a player with all the skills, but a player that “didn’t come to play all the time”. In reality, Espo knew they couldn’t re-sign their young defensemen and ownership was in flux (this was around the time the Maloof Brothers were interested in buying the team and sticking their nose in team business).

Marchment came in with the reputation of a hard-hitting blueliner that would play a fan friendly (i,e. hard-hitting with a fight or three) style. He may have occasionally crossed the line, but his physical style was in vogue and often endorsed by his coaches. As he told the Tampa Tribune after the trade, “As far as I know that’s the way the coaching staff wanted me to play. I’m going to play that way until they bury me six feet under in the beer leagues.”

That style played well during his brief stay in Tampa and he endeared himself to some fans. It also intrigued the San Jose Sharks as they made a trade for him at the deadline in 1998. That deal involved the number one pick the Lightning used to draft Vincent Lecavalier (it was originally Florida’s). Marchment would spend parts of the next six seasons with the Sharks where he would post the best years of his career, including a 22-point, 174 PIM season in 2001-02.

Following his career, which ended in Calgary after the 2005-06 season, he worked for the Sharks as a part-time coach and NHL scout. He was able to see his son, Mason, rise from an undrafted AHL signee to an impact forward for the Florida Panthers. His niece, Kennedy Marchment, also plays professionally for the Connecticut Whale in the PHF. He is also survived by his wife, Kim, and daughter, Logan. No cause has been given for his death.

Safe home, Mr. Marchment.

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