Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, angered over what he called a “propaganda campaign’’ waged by the Vancouver organization in an attempt to portray Brad Marchand as a “dirty player,” defended his feisty forward in the aftermath of inflammatory comments made Sunday by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.
Marchand was scheduled for a hearing today with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to talk about his clip of Sami Salo in Saturday’s loss to the Canucks.
When Vigneault was asked about a post-game remark Bruins coach Claude Julien made, saying the hit Marchand made on Salo that resulted in a five-minute major, was merely an act of self-preservation on Marchand’s part, the Canucks coach lashed out at his Boston counterpart.
“That’s stupid. That’s a stupid comment,” Vigneault said, adding that Marchand “plays to hurt players.”
Julien said Vigneault was being hypocritical in his criticism.
“Sometimes you got to look in your backyard,’’ Julien said. “We all know he’s got the same type of players on his team. They’ve all done the same thing. You just have to look at [Alexandre] Burrows putting his blade in [Shawn] Thornton’s throat.
“It’s hypocritical and we’re stupid and we’re idiots and they’re the smartest team in the league. I guess we need to listen to all the gab they have to say.’’
Chiarelli, however, wasn’t going to stand idly by without firing back at the Canucks for going after Marchand.
“He’s no dirtier than maybe two or three of their players,’’ Chiarelli said after today’s practice at TD Garden. “After a game like [Saturday’s], you see all the high-handed propaganda, you feel the need to respond. Whether it’s from GMs, coaches or players, I don’t like to hear that kind of stuff.
“Certainly, there’s a lobbying element to it and I feel the league does a real good job in these hearings and I don’t think, it’s necessary to have that out there. It’s about protecting yourself. This is what this is all about.
“We generally try to take the high road when it comes to this stuff, but when it comes at us like that, we have to respond.”
Chiarelli said no matter the outcome of today’s hearing, he did not expect Marchand -- or the rest of the team, for that matter -- to alter his style of play.
“Look, we’re a physical team, and we’re going to be under the microscope for being that,’’ Chiarelli said. “Our players are generally clean. Every team has players that do dirty things -- or illegal things. It just happens. That’s why penalties are in place and that’s why supplemental discipline is in place.
“He was protecting himself and we’re going to tell our players to protect themselves.’’
Chiarelli said the Bruins were prepared to deal with any punishment Marchand receives from the league.
“But the lobbying, I call it ‘propaganda’ that came out [Sunday] in advance of the hearing, I think it’s distasteful,’’ Chiarelli said. “And I’m friends with Mike [Gillis, Canucks GM] and I’m friends with Alain, but I don’t like the way that it’s come out and I have to respond.’’
Chiarelli took Vigneault to task for his not-so-veiled threat on Marchand, saying, “That’s a inappropriate comment. That’s a real inappropriate comment. It’s an unprofessional comment.
“There’s a carryover effect from the playoffs; it’s a big game, it’s a hyped up game and there’s probably a lot of pent up emotion that was behind that comment. Having said all that, they shouldn’t say stuff like that.’’