Brad Marchand has a history of turning snubs into motivation.
He should get quite a boost from this one.
Despite being Boston’s best player this season, a top-10 scorer in the NHL, and a nightly fire-starter for the red-hot Bruins, Marchand was not named an All-Star when the teams were announced on Thursday night.
Patrice Bergeron, instead, will represent the Bruins. It is his third All-Star Game selection (2015, 2016).
The 36-year-old captain is having another excellent campaign, producing 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) through 32 games, while playing his usual Selke-caliber defense and winning the majority of his faceoffs (64.3 percent, No. 1 in the NHL and on track for a career best).
But he is not having a season like Marchand.
Marchand, with eight goals and four assists in his last four games entering Thursday, is arguably the hottest player in the league. His 19-20–39 line in 28 games ranks ninth in the league.
The NHL’s hockey operations department, headed by Colin Campbell and Kris King, chooses the All-Star rosters. It’s possible they viewed Marchand’s recent three-game suspension, for slew-footing Vancouver’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson, as a detriment to his candidacy.
There is apparently no write-in option for Marchand (or David Pastrnak, for that matter). Fans can submit their picks for last selection on each of the four teams at NHL.com/LastMenIn. The NHL’s website only allows a vote for Charlie McAvoy.