Hockey fans either love him or hate him, though it's likely that more hate him, but that doesn’t seem to affect Boston Bruin left winger Brad Marchand. The Little Ball of Hate, as President Obama called him, has been pestering opponents, fans and even his own teammates throughout his seven year NHL career that began in 2009. He has been called every name in the book and he seems to thrive off of it. Known for being dirty, a cheap-shot artist, a diver, a whiner, and an incredible sniper at the same time, “The Rat” keeps elevating his game to new heights while occasionally reaching new lows in dirtbaggery. One thing you can definitely not take away from him is that he was a key factor in Boston’s Stanley Cup run in 2011.
A quick Google search will bring up controversy after controversy involving the “Nose Face Killa.” Yeah, he has a lot of slightly offensive nicknames. Countless videos are available which show both his high and low lights. Make no mistake, the guy is extremely talente, but he’s the guy you hate unless he’s on your team. With that in mind, here are 15 things that fans would like to forget about Brad Marchand.
15 That He Won A Stanley Cup
Brad Marchand has won a Stanley Cup and, except for Bruins faithful, that sticks in the craw of a lot of fans. “The Rat” was instrumental in the 2011 Cup run with his eleven goals and eight assists including two goals in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. He scored five times against Vancouver in the seven game series, much to the chagrin of Canuck fans. He still remains public enemy number one in Vancouver and is relentlessly heckled whenever he visits Rogers Arena. Fans may try to forget about Marchand’s Stanley Cup victory, but he won’t. He got a jailhouse style “Stanley Cup Champions” tattoo that was originally misspelled.
14 He Used Daniel Sedin As A Speedbag
Which was more embarrassing? Daniel Sedin standing there simply absorbing repeated punches to the face or the fact that referee Kelly Sutherland just looked on and let it happen without calling a penalty? Admittedly, Marchand’s response was priceless when asked why he did it. “Because I felt like it.”
It was a short, frank, and hilarious answer. Of course, Vancouver fans were outraged at this display but it is unclear whether they were mad at Marchand for doing what he did or if they were mad at Daniel Sedin for being such a pushover.There is also the fact that other Canucks just stood and watched without defending their star.
13 His Cheap Shot on Sami Salo
Brad Marchand apologists might want to forget about his dirty and uncalled for low-bridge on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo. During a game between the Canuck and Bruins in 2012, Marchand lived up to his reputation as a dirty cheap-shot artist. As Salo and Marchand were about to have a mild collision along the boards, Marchand went low and took Salo out just above the knees. Salo went head-over-heels and wound up with a concussion. Marchand got a five minute major, was ejected from the game and would go on to get a 5 game suspension for the low-bridge hit.Marchand tried to defend his actions by saying that he was just trying to protect himself.
12 His Low-bridge on Matt Borowiecki
The “Nose Face Killa” certainly does not reserve his antics for exclusive use against the Vancouver Canucks. In December of 2015, Marchand went after Ottawa Senator Matt Borowiecki with a filthy low-bridge hit. The play sent Borowiecki tumbling head-over-heels and he was forced to leave the game. This had many fans, especially Sens fans, calling for the death penalty. Luckily, Borowiecki wasn’t seriously injured and was able to return. There was no penalty called on the play but that didn’t mean he got away with it. The league slapped a three game suspension on Marchand which caused him to sit out the Winter Classic. Of course, Marchand denies that the play was dirty and even denied that it was a hit at all.
11 Sabres Fans Want to Forget Marchand’s Penalty-shot Goal in Overtime
Leave it to “The Rat” to enter the history books on a controversial goal. Marchand is the first Bruin to ever score a goal on a penalty shot in overtime. This feat was accomplished in February 2016 against the Buffalo Sabres. The controversy came when Marchand was trying to get past Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. The two jostled before Marchand hacked the stick out of Ritsolainen’s hand. While the Sabres defender may have momentarily grabbed Marchand, Ritsolainen was called for hooking and Marchand was awarded a penalty shot. How does one get a hooking penalty when one doesn’t have a stick? Even Jack Edwards, the biggest homer announcer in the league, admitted it was a shaky call. It also didn't help that the Sabres had a clear penalty shot that wasn't called. To his credit, the penalty shot goal was a dandy.
10 He Fought Steven Stamkos
Up until March 22nd, 2015, Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos had one NHL fight to his credit. You really have to get under the Lightning captain’s skin to provoke him but that happens to be one of Brad Marchand’s talents. Marchand had been bumping and pestering Val Filppula when Stammer stepped in. The Lightning captain and the super-pest Marchand exchanged some pleasantries before Stamkos dropped his gloves and went after the Rat. Now, as could be expected, this wasn’t much of a tilt but Stamkos was able to quickly get the take-down much to the delight of the Tampa Bay faithful. It’s even uncertain if there were any punches thrown.
9 He Got Slapped Around by Matt Niskanen
It was refreshing to see Brad Marchand being forced to answer for one of his signature dirty plays. During a game against the rival Penguins, Marchand delivered a dirty slew-foot to Pens defenseman Matt Niskanen. Niskanen followed Marchand up the ice and the two had a conversation. Unlike many other occasions, there were no Bruins in the vicinity to protect Marchand and Niskanen took the opportunity to get some payback. Marchand clearly did not want to get involved in this altercation but had no choice as Niskanen dropped his gloves and grabbed Marchand. While Marchand got the first punch in, Niskanen proceeded to use Marchand as a punching bag. Needless to say, the Pittsburgh crowd was ecstatic. Marchand was also assessed an extra two minute tripping penalty on the play and was handed a $2,500 fine from the league for the slew-foot.
8 His Attempted Cheap Shot on Dale Weise
Sometimes there are certain things that happen to make a person believe in Karma. Such was the case in October 2015 in a match between the Boston Bruins and their long-time rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. With Boston trailing in the late stages of the 3rd period, Marchand attempted what appeared to be an unsuccessful hit from behind on Dale Weise. Weise must have smelled a rat and got his elbow up causing Marchand to absorb Weise’s wing with his head. Marchand immediately fell to the ice and stayed down as play continued. He eventually got up and was helped off the ice and into the dressing room. It was announced that he had suffered the second concussion of his career, which is unfortunate and we wouldn't wish upon anyone. There was no penalty on the play.
7 He's a Troll
Brad Marchand not only gets under the skin of his opponents, he sometimes can even get under the skin of his head coach. In the late stages of a game in which the Bruins were losing 6-2 in Vancouver, Marchand responded to the heckling crowd by pretending to kiss his Stanley Cup ring as he was heading to the penalty box. In case people forget, Marchand and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup at the Canucks expense. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with the crowd, but it also didn’t sit well with Bruins head coach Claude Julien. The head coach vowed to address Marchand’s actions. On another occasion, Marchand simulated swinging a golf club in front of the Toronto Maple Leaf’s bench. This also drew the ire of coach Julien who reportedly gave Marchand a stern lecture after the game.
6 His Singing
People like to try different things. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn’t. Take Brad Marchand’s singing for example. In an advertisement for the EA Sports NHL 15 video game, Marchand is on stage singing and doing a terrible fake job of playing the guitar. Granted, it’s all in good fun, but his singing really does remind most listeners of fingernails on a blackboard. There is no doubt that this guy is talented. He’s just not talented in the area of singing. It can only be hoped that after his playing days are finally over, Brad Marchand finds something besides singing to occupy his time with.
5 His Diving
While it’s true that Brad Marchand isn’t the only player in the NHL known for diving and embellishing, he is one of the premiere diving and embellishment talents in the league. There are ample examples of this all over the internet and it has been the topic of much discussion. Even some Bruins fans have spoken out in disgust with his embellishments. The truth is that diving embarrasses the NHL as a whole and the NHL is correct in focusing its attention on this subject. They have recently brought in a new system of fines that can even see a head coach be fined if a player is a repeat diver. Hopefully, it can help put a stop to this bush-league antic.
4 He Complain About Divers... Even Though He Dives
Just as in the area of diving, Brad Marchand is far from the NHL’s only hypocrite. It’s just that his hypocrisy seems a little nauseating and over –the-top at times. He has accused other players of diving and embellishment while at the same time Marchand himself was caught on tape explaining to a trainer that he stayed down on the ice after a hit in an attempt to draw a 5 minute penalty on an opposing player. Of course, a lot of his statements and perceived hypocrisy can be chalked up to “gamesmanship” but it seems that Marchand believes his own spin at times.
3 He Puts His Coach On The Spot... A Lot
Claude Julien deserves a bit of sympathy. It isn’t easy being a coach and it only gets tougher when he has to face the media and answer for one of his player’s questionable actions. Such has been the case with Claude Julien. He deserves kudos for standing by Brad Marchand for the most part. A good example of this followed his low-bridge hit on Sami Salo. Marchand claimed that he was just protecting himself. Claude Julien got in front of the cameras and told the world that he agreed that it was self-defense.
He insinuated that Sami Salo was running Marchand and that if more players protected themselves like good ol’ Brad did, guys would stop running other players. Incidentally, he said all of this with a straight face. Now, if the player in question was Dustin Brown, James Neal or any number of known ruffians, then this excuse would have some merit. But it was Sami Salo. The guy is as soft as a pillow and it was going to be a mild collision, far from running a player. Still, coach Julien sticks up for his players and he deserves Brad Marchand’s respect. If Claude Julien isn’t defending, he’s deflecting.
2 He Makes Way More Than Them
It’s hard to think that a lot of pro athletes make more in a season than a lot of people make in a lifetime. Brad Marchand is far from the highest paid player in the league but he still makes $4,5 million per year. It’s probably a good thing for him with all the league fines he’s had to pay. Have you seen his autograph? Can he even spell his name? It doesn’t matter. He earns a big paycheck and fans, as well as haters, need to live with it. The reality is that compared to other similarly paid players, he is a good deal. He scores goals, sets up plays and drives the other teams crazy. He will undoubtedly be in for a hefty raise when his current contract expires in 2017.
1 He Has A Heart
Even the harshest of critics should recognize that the “Little Ball of Hate” actually has a heart. Don’t be such a cynic and just think it’s just a tax write-off. Brad is involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he has his own “Brad’s Brigade” which benefits pediatric cancer patients and their families. He donates tickets to Bruins home games as well as giving his guest a slew of memorabilia and other nice gifts. He also takes the time to personally meet his guests, sign autographs and take pictures with them. So next time you see him slew-foot, low-bridge or spear another player in the nards, remember, he’s doing it for the kids.