In a classic display of his notorious antics, Boston Bruins’ captain Brad Marchand gave Chicago Blackhawks’ rookie Connor Bedard a memorable welcome to the NHL on Wednesday night.
Known for his aggressive style of play and agitating tactics, Marchand wasted no time in giving the 18-year-old a taste of what it means to compete at the highest level of the sport.
During a line change, Marchand seized the opportunity to deliver a solid hook to the young rookie, a moment that immediately caught the attention of fans and commentators. However, rather than succumbing to the veteran’s tactics, Bedard appeared to embrace the situation, holding onto the hook as if toying with Marchand.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) October 12, 2023
Marchand’s antics are nothing new to the NHL. He has been named the league’s best and worst trash-talker by his peers for two consecutive seasons.
His unique approach to trash-talking includes licking opponents, a bizarre habit that began when he was caught licking multiple players, including then-Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan.
Marchand explained his thought process behind the Callahan incident, stating, “His visor was in my face, and I was like, ‘This will probably piss him off,’ so I tried to do it, tried to get him to hit me and draw a penalty and it kind of went the other way”.
Despite his controversial tactics, Marchand’s skills on the ice are undeniable. His ability to get under his opponents’ skin and disrupt their game is a testament to his strategic approach to the sport.
Marchand’s antics may not have gone as planned, but they certainly added an element of drama to the game. Instead of being rattled, Bedard seemed to rise to the challenge, scoring his first NHL goal and even drawing a penalty against Marchand.
FIRST NHL GOAL FOR CONNOR BEDARD 🚨🚨🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/dCWRHCZ7Jd
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) October 11, 2023
As the NHL season progresses, it will be interesting to see how Bedard’s career continues to evolve and whether he’ll maintain his poise in the face of veterans like Marchand.
Marchand’s welcome to Bedard into the NHL was in line with his reputation as an agitator. However, Bedard’s response, scoring a goal and drawing a penalty, suggests that he is more than ready to take on the challenges of the NHL.