Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand is no stranger to big hits. Marchand offered his perspective on Hayden Hodgson’s hit on Mark Stone from Wednesday night.
“I wouldn’t be happy just because you don’t ever want to get hit like that, regardless of whether he’s an NHL player or not,” Marchand replied. “But at the same time, that’s how every guy had to play to get into the NHL. You’re out there to do a job, trying to make an impression and steal someone’s career. So, if you think you’re going to go out there and not get hit, it doesn’t matter who you are; you have to be ready to play every single night.” Marchand to Boston Hockey Now
Marchand spent a season and a half at the AHL level before being called up to the NHL. The 35-year-old captain sees the big picture and understands what it takes for players to get noticed. Marchand painted an ugly picture when he mentioned that AHL players are trying to steal someone’s career. It is the harsh reality all players go through trying to make it to the NHL.
“I understand that guys don’t like getting hit preseason because they’re worried about – a guy like him, he’s making a lot of money, he’s on a very long-term deal; he knows he’s going to be on the team, and he’s been a little bit injury-ridden so he wants to get into the season and do well and focus on that.” Marchand continued to say.
The preseason has different meanings to different players. The veterans are trying to get their feet back while working on their timing. Personal stats and the outcome of the game mean next to nothing. For rookies, or in this case, an AHL journeyman, the preseason means much more. Hodgson is 27 years old and has played in just seven NHL games since first appearing in the AHL six years ago. Time is running out for Hodgson to make an impression. Wednesday night, Hodgson made an impression.
Marchand was asked about Stone’s reaction to the hit.
“It depends on the situation if it was dirty or not; I thought that was a clean hit,” Marchand opined. “But again, I was that kid one time, and I was doing that same stuff in intra-squad games, so I don’t feel bad doing it to guys on opposing teams. So, that’s part of the gig. It has kind of left the game a little bit because they’re trying to get physicality out of hockey, but there’s still kids that are going to do it. So, if you get comfortable out there not getting hit, it’s going to happen at some point, but we’re in training camp, and like I said, to make a team out of camp, you need to steal someone’s job, which is ultimately someone’s career and you’re not going to let that happen easily so regardless of whether it’s intrasquad, or practice or during games, you’re going to get everybody’s best, and everyone’s highest compete. If you’re not, then those guys don’t deserve to be here.”
Marchand sees both sides of the coin. You never want to see your captain take a hit like that in a preseason game. It does not matter if it came from an AHL journeyman with seven games of NHL experience or the likes of Tom Wilson. Reading between the lines of Marchands’s comments, he’s lightly suggesting a veteran may not opt not to take that type of run at a captain in a preseason game.