National Hockey League to Marchand: Stop Licking Opponents

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Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins is escorted to the penalty box during the second phase of this match against the Tampa Bay Lightning, at Boston, May 2, 2018. The League put the player on notice that his actions last night are unacceptable and similar behavior in the future will be dealt with by way of supplemental discipline.

"We had the lead, it was a very blatant grab on Chucky's shoulder and turned into a goal", said Bruins left wing Brad Marchand.

"All I will say is there may be completely no place in our sport for that", Lightning coach Jon Cooper mentioned. I don't understand it... it's just... how would you feel if I walked over to you right now and gave you one big lick, right from the chin all the way up?

"I'll be the first one to tell you that we've accomplished nothing", Cooper told reporters. "There's just no place in the game for that".

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After the game, Marchand said Callahan punched him in the face four times.

"He only kept becoming close", Marchand explained.

Nothing in the NHL rulebook actually prohibits licking an opponent, but the league said it will tell the Bruins that Marchand needs to stop.

Marchand's antics had been the speak of rinks on Saturday. Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl said it was impossible to avoid hearing about Marchand licking Callahan because it was all over social media. How is licking a player any different than spitting in their face?

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Some Winnipeg players watched the game while in Nashville and had a variety of reactions.

Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry said he'd likely opt for a punch, while Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said he found the move amusing, albeit only from a distance.

"It's a play I've never seen happen before in hockey", Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said.

"It would kind of be amusing, but in the moment it probably wouldn't be very amusing", defenseman P.K. Subban. "So I don't know if he has a thing for me or what".

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That Marchand has a taste for instigation is no secret, and he was famously labelled a "Little Ball of Hate" by none other than former U.S. President Barack Obama, when the then-Stanley Cup champion Bruins visited the White House in 2012. "It's extremely disrespectful", Lowry said. "I'm playing in a chain and that there may possibly be a dis-like among men, but there is a specific lineup that must not be crossed and that's one of them".

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