Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand was suspended five games by the NHL on Monday for his hit on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.
Yesterday, Marchand argued that he made the hit in self-defense.
“In a game like last night when there’s a lot of emotions and guys are running around a bit, you’re definitely watching over your shoulder a little bit more and you want to try and protect yourself as much as you can,” Marchand said. “When you have a guy coming in on you, you have no idea what his intentions are and what the outcome’s going to be. You’re just trying to protect yourself in that situation.”
Update (7:23 p.m.) - Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued a statement on the league's suspension of Marchand:
"While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.
"While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.
"It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety. Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad."