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Bruins star Brad Marchand blasts league, union over NHL's Olympic withdrawal

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Few would’ve had "Brad Marchand, Labour Advocate" on their 2021 bingo card but the Boston Bruins star forward called out the NHL, its owners and the NHLPA for making players pay in escrow for taxi squads that have become commonplace during the rise of the Omicron variant.

Marchand took particular issue with the fact that the NHL and the player union can implement taxi squads in order to keep NHL games going, but would refuse to allow for a taxi squad during the Olympics so NHL players could participate.

Marchand took issue with the league and union implementing taxi squads to keep games going, but not allowing it for the Olympics so NHL players can participate in Beijing. (Getty)
Marchand took issue with the league and union implementing taxi squads to keep games going, but not allowing them for the Olympics so NHL players can participate in Beijing. (Getty)

Here is Marchand’s complaint in full:

“Please tell me that’s not bullshit. And for all of you who want to pipe back about forfeiting pay while being gone…yah not a problem. Let the players make their choice,” Marchand wrote.

It’s been a real point of contention among players — especially those who would’ve been certain locks to play in the Olympics, like Marchand.

Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid spoke candidly Sunday about how disappointed he was in the league’s decision to pull out of the Olympics, noting that it’s been far too long without a best-on-best competition and that an alternative like the World Cup of Hockey wouldn’t hold the same cache and prestige as the Olympics.

We’ll keep you posted if the NHL and NHLPA mount a response to Marchand, but the Bruins star made a number of smart points that should call to attention the power imbalance between the players and the owners, along with a player’s union that appears to be rarely working in its members’ interests.

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