This season, Brendan Shanahan and the NHL have been handing out suspensions at a more frequent and severe rate than we've seen in the past. The larger suspensions of the season have been to repeat offenders; players who've been suspended in the past.
In Brad Marchand's case, the five games handed out was most likely due to the fact that he is already a repeat offender. If he gets suspended again, however, the punishment will be much, much more significant.
It's already well known that the NHL doesn't like repeat offenders, but they also don't like those who have a "signature dirty play." This was displayed earlier in the season when Patrick Kaleta was suspended four games for a headbutt on Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek. As you can see in the video, while he hadn't been previously suspended, similar incidents played a large role in the severity of the punishment.
Similarly, Brad Marchand is beginning to show a pattern. On Jun. 8th of last season's playoffs against Vancouver, Marchand had a very similar hit on Daniel Sedin. While his case for self-defense may have been a bit stronger, it still shows that he would rather make a dangerous play than absorb a hit.
If Marchand gets suspended again, it will be a much longer penalty due to the fact that he is now a repeat offender to a further extent.
In addition, Marchand's comments following the recent suspension (which can be found on fellow writer Tom Urtz Jr's article) display that he doesn't care about his reputation nor the impact of his decisions. His criticism of Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety shows that he has no remorse for his actions or the resulting concussion to Sami Salo, and that the five-game layoff has taught him nothing.
If a suspension is in Brad Marchand's future (and with two in his first season-and-a-half), it is quite likely the Department of Player Safety will not only consider the fact that he is a repeat offender, but his comments and actions following this suspension as well.
As a result, the discipline czar whether it be Brendan Shanahan or his predecessor, will come down hard. If any future suspension is for clipping, expect the consequence to be one of if not the longest suspensions of the season.
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