April 28 (UPI) — The National Hockey League denies a report that it sent Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marhand a mandate to stop licking opposing players.
ESPN and Sportsnet reported Thursday that Marchad received a call from the NHL, telling him to stop the peculiar gesture. ESPN reported that series supervisor of officials Mick McGeough communicated the message.
Marchand, 29, has three goals and six assists this postseason for the Bruins. Earlier this season, he was seen kissing Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov on his cheek during a game.
Marchand got close to Komarov again in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs, when he appeared to lick his foe’s face.
But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Boston Globe and USA Today that the message for a licking ban never came from the league. Marchand also responded to a Tweet from the Globe on Friday — linking to an article about an anti-licking mandate — with the words: “this is false.”
“No, we did not contact the Bruins or Brad Marchand regarding this incident. It’s just not true,” Daly told the Globe and USA Today.
Marchand did not receive a penalty for his Game 1 lick on April 12 at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Boston beat Toronto 4-3 in the first round series.
The Bruins face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 2 p.m. Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.