Brad Marchand is trying to change his reputation around the NHL.
The Boston Bruins winger, who has scored 37 or more goals in each of the previous two seasons, said Monday he’s been working to change his playing style, which served to help him first enter the league in 2009.
“I’ve tried for a while now to try and get away from that role and I just can’t seem to escape it,” Marchand told NBC Boston on the eve of serving the final game of his five-game suspension for elbowing New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson in the head. “I think obviously you look back on the last few years, I’ve turned into a decent player and it’s tough to be branded with that name consistently.
“Honestly, it’s from my own doing but it’s tough to escape it a bit. Devil’s advocate there, it’s what I had to do to get in the league. So, I’ll never say that I wouldn’t go back and play the same way again coming into the league and it’s what I had to do to earn a job.”
The 29-year-old has been suspended six times in his career and surrendered more than $870,000 in salary for on-ice offences since 2011. Johansson was concussed on the elbow delivered by Marchand and hasn’t played since.
The Bruins forward has 21 goals and 50 points in 38 games this season while picking up 37 minutes in penalties. The Bruins are 3-1 in their four games without Marchand since his most recent suspension.
Marchand is eligible to return on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers.