Boston Bruins forward and pest, Brad Marchand, took to Twitter to share an opinion about the NHL’s recent decision to shutter its participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Marchand, in one big run-on sentence that featured a lot of ellipses, said it’s horse dung that the NHL and NHLPA can institute a taxi squad during the regular season to keep playing NHL games, but can’t roll with call-ups and reserves while star players go to the Olympics. Marchand even volunteered to forfeit pay while away from the team.
Marchand said via his Twitter account:
The @NHL and @nhlpa can change the rules of the CBA to add a taxi squad so that they don’t miss any games and don’t lose any money… which has already been agreed upon that the players will pay back in escrow until the owners are made whole from what they have lost during the pandemic, regardless how many games are missed… yet they can’t do a taxi squad during The Olympics so they can honor the agreement they made so the NHL players can go… please tell me that’s not bulls**t… and for all of you who want to pipe back about forfeiting pay while being gone… yah not a problem.. let the players make their choice
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) December 28, 2021
Marchand’s comment will play well with a slice of hockey fans who look at the issue surface deep, but in reality, features a lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking that is more complain-y than realistic. With over 130 players currently in COVID-19 protocol and a potential five-week quarantine awaiting NHL stars in China if they test positive, Marchand ignores the possible competitive disadvantage facing NHL teams if a worst-case scenario happens and if other NHL stars are willing to possibly forfeit millions personally under his plan.
NHL superstars being absent from games for weeks or months could hurt ticket sales (more than they already have been), TV ratings, and slow the league’s recovery during the pandemic, which would have financial implications for players.
Marchand, who is one of the biggest stars in the league, could also likely have a big role in NHLPA negotiations with the league if he so chooses, too. So if he didn’t like the fact that the NHLPA agreed to a line in the CBA where if the regular-season schedule was “materially disrupted” allowing the NHL to make this move, then he could have said something and worked to move players to his side when it mattered.
I think most fans want to see the best players in the world participate in the Olympics. All I’m saying is, instead of making unrealistic suggestions, maybe Brad should come up with something creative that could work instead of blow off steam on Twitter. There’s enough of that there already.
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