Brad Marchand reacts to snub from All-Star Game with praise for teammate


By nearly any measure, Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand is one of the best players in the NHL.

The 33-year-old Marchand is tied for seventh in the NHL in scoring, having tallied 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points through 29 games. With the Bruins (21-11-2) still having games at hand with nearly every other contender in the league, Marchand is tied for fifth in the NHL -- with Alex Ovechkin -- at 1.41 points per game.

And yet Marchand was nowhere to be found when rosters were announced for the upcoming All-Star Game in Las Vegas -- nor is he even on the Last Man in Ballot.

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Marchand, who leads Boston in scoring in 2021-22 -- just as he's done in four of the last five seasons -- used his snub not as a chance for self-pity on Friday, but as a chance to praise a Bruins player who is headed for Vegas: Patrice Bergeron.

"It's a nice event to go to -- it depends on where it is, Vegas is obviously a good spot -- but Bergy has been our best player for 18 years now," said Marchand, who played in the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, respectively. "He's the best two-way player in the league. He's the backbone of our team. I'm not surprised at all that he's there. He deserves to be and he's earned that right, I'm very happy for him."

Marchand noted that with the way the current All-Star format is designed, with a set number of players per division, it leads to some other worthy players getting left out. He even mentioned former Bruins nemesis Nazem Kadri, now with the Colorado Avalanche, who is fourth in the NHL in scoring and leader in assists (13-35--48).

"That's how it goes when the league format is the way it is, there's guys that probably deserve to be there," Marchand said.

One of Marchand's other teammates, defenseman Charlie McAvoy, still has a chance to head to Vegas via the Last Man in Ballot as the Bruins' representative.

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