Brad Marchand: Bruins Foward Suspended 5 Games for Dirty Hit on Sami Salo

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on December 28, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Bruins defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended for five games because of his dirty hit on Vancouver Canucks forward Sami Salo in Saturday's game between the two teams in Boston.

This kind of hit (see video below) has no place in the game of hockey, and it's good to see league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan come down on these hits. Salo reportedly suffered a concussion as a result of the play.

Shanahan mentions in his explanation of the suspension (see video below) that Marchand violated Rule 44, which involves clipping.

The Bruins play the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, and although Marchand is an important part of the team, head coach Claude Julien has several players who can replace the young winger on the second line, which includes Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.

Winger Benoit Pouliot and Rich Peverley are two players capable of replacing Marchand on the second line.

The Bruins released a statement regarding Marchand's suspension on Monday.

"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."

Here is Shanahan's video explaining the decision to suspend Marchand five games.