Flashing the Leather is a brand new weekly column apart of the The Whit’s sports section combining both hockey and baseball news all in one convent place.
In the Penalty Box
As of Wednesday, Feb. 9, Brad Marchand, left wing for the Boston Bruins, has received his eighth career suspension. Marchand, often known by NHL fans as “The Rat,” now leads the NHL in career suspensions in his thirteenth season of play.
This is a big hit for Boston, who are in the middle of the Atlantic division and are fighting to stay on the cusp of the playoff bubble.
The suspension is due to roughing and high sticking against the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie, Tristan Jarry. This was after Jarry had made a nice save with his glove, flashing the leather. Marchand punched the goaltender after the two had exchanged words and numerous teammates flooded the ice to protect their players.
Marchand is an offensive leader for Boston, but is also a threat to opposing teams. He currently has the second-most goals for the Bruins with 21, lleads the team with 28 assists and 49 points. “The Rat” has 67 total penalty minutes, which is the eighth most in the league. The left winger has 869 penalty minutes in 843 career games.
Marchand’s six-game suspension is the longest he has ever had to sit out due to his antics during play. He won’t be back until Thursday, Feb. 24, when the Bruins will travel to Climate Pledge Arena, the home of the brand-new Seattle Krakens.
This is also Marchand’s second suspension of the season, the first came after he slew footed Oliver Ekman-Larsson from the Vancouver Canucks, kicking Ekman-Larsson’s feet out from under him.
“Players who repeatedly violate league policy rules will be severely punished for each new violation,” The NHL Player Saftey Team said in a video. ”Marchand has been suspended seven times, and fined five times previously.”
Marchand is a big loss for Boston fans, and the Bruins are hoping he can come back and help them with some much-needed wins at the end of February.
The Eleven Denied from Heaven
For those who don’t know, to be eligible for the MLB National Hall of Fame, a player must be five years removed from a playing career that spanned a minimum of ten years. Each player that passes these qualifications is then allowed to be on the ballot for a maximum of ten years if they receive five percent of the 400 total votes each year. The only way to reset ballot eligibility is to play at least one more year in the MLB after their ten-year tenure.
Although 13 new players were added to this year’s vote, only three were given the chance to stick around for next year. Besides David Ortiz, aka “Big Papi,” getting inducted, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins received 34.3% and 9.4% of the vote respectively. Every other new player was taken off the 2023 ballot.
For the first time in seven years, nobody received the 75% vote needed to be inducted in 2021. Last year may have been the last chance for multiple athletes to get the iconic phone call letting them know that they had made it. Even Tim Hudson couldn’t last two years on the voting ballot. His votes dropped from 5.2% to 3%, which is only 12 votes for this year.
Hudson, Joe Nathan, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Papelbon, Prince Fielder, A.J. Pierzynski, Carl Crawford and Jake Peavy have now become “the eleven denied from heaven.”
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