Currently serving a 5-game suspension for low-bridging Sami Salo and generally considered one of the NHL's preeminent pests, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins has earned his share of nicknames. Among the printable ones: "The Rat."
This nickname, of course, has already been applied to another infamous hockey nuisance: Ken 'The Rat' Linseman, the former Boston Bruin who spent 14 years pissing off the rest of the National Hockey League — both in antics and offensive effectiveness.
This being an election year, it's a time for seeking endorsements. Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald sought that of Linseman, in validating Marchand's rat status.
The result? Meet the new "Rat," said the old "Rat."
"There have been so many times since my career ended where I've heard people being compared to me," he said yesterday.
"But he's probably the first one that plays closest to me that also has really good skills. I think he's a great player, and he'll be a great player for years. So as far as being compared to me, yeah, I'm quite proud and happy about that because I like him as a player."
But Linseman also had a warning for Marchand, who has clearly grabbed the attention of both on-ice officials and NHL disciplinarians:
"But as my career went on I used to get penalties — and Terry O'Reilly would attest to this — when I'd be nowhere near somebody getting hit or hurt on the ice, and I'd get a penalty," he said.
"There's a fine line there on how to approach it all, and sometimes you can't approach it because, really, you're out there playing instinctively. They're definitely trying to send him a message, with that length of suspension."
For the record, Linseman said he never loved the nickname "The Rat." Luckily, Marchand has an ample number of alternatives in case he tires of his rodent moniker — he's clearly taken to Nose Face Killah already.
Other popular content on the Y! network:
• Passan: One night of moves makes World Series faves out of Yankees
• Shutdown Corner: G-Men's offseason gambles are paying off
• All about the SEC: Billy Donovan cranks up the intensity at Florida
• Y! News: Consumer confidence rises, house prices fall