This may come as a huge shock to many of you but, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is kind of a polarizing figure.
Ask any member of the Bruins fan base and they will praise Marchand like he was the second coming of Jesus Christ himself, and for good reason no less. The pesky little agitator has been a staple of the Bruins franchise for many years now and his value to the team has grown exponentially in his years in the National Hockey League. Marchand has always been able to get under the skin of his opposition but in the later half of his career his skills as a point producing forward have truly taken a leap forward and made him arguably the team's most valuable player on many occasions.
The other side of that coin however is how just about every other fan in the National Hockey League feels about Brad Marchand. That same ability to get under the skin of his opponents that is so loved by the Bruins fan base makes him the target of vitriol from every other fan base in the National Hockey League. Combine that with the fact that Marchand has clearly crossed the line at times with his antics and you have a recipe for what is inarguably one of the most hated men in the league. But you might be asking, just how hated is he really?
Well on Saturday night, ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, NHL super fan and former superstar of the National Basketball Association Charles Barkley let it be known that even he is quite familiar with the antics of Marchand. Barkley pulled no punches when sharing his feelings regarding the Bruins pest and it was clear that if he were playing in the NHL he would have a few words for Mr. Marchand.
"That little Marchand dude.... man he makes me want to punch him in the face sometimes." said Barkley on the NHL broadcast on Saturday night.
That is very much a sentiment I have heard before when it comes to Brad Marchand and no doubt it is one that we will hear again in the future if Marchand continues to do his job right. That being said, there are no doubt many hockey fans who find themselves relating to Barkley.