Bruins dingus Brad Marchand was reportedly asked by the NHL to stop licking opposing players on April 26. The licking did not stop: Friday night, during his team’s eventual overtime loss to the Lightning, Marchand was spotted licking the face of Tampa winger Ryan Callahan. Hard as it may be to believe, a phone call from the league was not enough to convince Marchand that licking someone’s face falls outside of what is acceptable in athletic competition, and that he should knock it off.
Now, according to an ESPN report, the league is progressing to the next disciplinary step, which unfortunately will not include affixing a clothespin to Marchand’s tongue:
After his second incident of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL will issue a “cease and don’t lick” edict to Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN via email that the league will inform the Bruins that Marchand must stop licking the faces of his opponents. “Yes, we will be communicating with the Club. We don’t expect it to happen again,” he said.
I’m not sure why the NHL wouldn’t treat this as a game misconduct, as the rulebook permits for spitting, which is only different from licking via some very unimportant technicalities. Marchand’s excuse for the licking—that he thought an opponent “wanted to cuddle” and that the opponent is “cute”—suggests that the act is a deliberate deployment of sexuality as a means of unnerving opposing players. It’s wildly uncool, to say nothing of unhygienic as a mofo, and soft-ass league response notwithstanding, it is now time for Marchand to grow up and knock it off.