NEW YORK — Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has received a warning from the NHL about licking the faces of his opponents.
Colin Campbell, the league's executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, spoke with Marchand and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney on Saturday.
According to the NHL, Campbell put Marchand on notice that his actions are unacceptable and similar behaviour in the future will lead to supplemental discipline.
Marchand licked the face of Tampa Bay forward Ryan Callahan in the second period of Friday night's 4-3 overtime victory by the Lightning, prompting the warning from the NHL.
"I don't know what the difference is between that and spitting in someone's face," Callahan said.
In Game 1 of Boston's first-round series against the Maple Leafs, Marchand licked the neck of Toronto forward Leo Komarov.
"He keeps trying to get close to me. I don't know if he has a thing for me or what, but he's cute," said Komarov at the time.
Don Cherry weighed in on the lick Saturday night on his Coach's Corner segment that aired during the first intermission of the Winnipeg Jets game against Nashville.
Cherry tried to make light of the incident before turning serious.
"It was a kiss, it was a kiss, come on, it was just a little kiss. He's from Montreal, it's a french kiss," Cherry said. "No, kids, you never do this. I don't know why he's doing it."
"You know when you do stuff like that you embarrass the referees," Cherry added, suggesting that referees have not called penalties in Marchand's favour because of his actions. "You know what I think of Marchand, I think he's great ... he's gotta stop that nonsense."
Marchand is from Halifax. He played junior hockey in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads, Val-d'Or Foreurs and Moncton Wildcats.
The Canadian Press