BOSTON -- Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he'll speak to Alain Vigneault at some point, regarding his latest comments, in which the Vancouver Canucks coach said that Brad Marchand "plays to hurt players" and that "someday, he's going to get it."
But on Monday at the TD Garden, Chiarelli defended his player in front of the media, calling Vigneault and Vancouver defensemen Keith Ballard's comments "distasteful" and inappropriate.
"I just feel the need to respond," said Chiarelli. "Whether it's from coaches, GMs, or players, I don't like to hear that kind of stuff. Certainly, I think there's a lobbying element to it. I feel the league does a real good job in these hearings. And I don't think it's necessary to have that out there.
"I like the league to take care of these things. I don't think you have to plead them out in public. But when they talk about our players, I feel the need to respond . . . We try to take the high road on responding to stuff, but when it comes at us like that, we have to respond. That's our position."
Marchand was hit with a game misconduct for "clipping" on Saturday after he took a defensive approach to being hit by Vancouver's Sami Salo, and ducked down at the last minute, sending Salo over the top of him.
Salo left the game with an upper-body injury.
Because of the hit, Marchand had a hearing with the league on Monday. But prior to the hearing, Chiarelli defended Marchand, and told the media that he doesn't want his pesky forward to change his game.
"It's about protecting yourself," said Chiarelli. "That's what this is all about.
"We're a physical team, and we're going to be under the microscope for being that. But our players are generally clean. Every team has players that do dirty things. A dirty thing isn't an illegal thing, it just happens. That's why penalties are in place. That's why supplemental discipline's in place.
"But Marchand was protecting himself, and we're going to tell our players to protect themselves."
Chiarelli pointed out that Keith Ballard is notorious for hip checks, and asked what the difference was between his signature hits and the one Marchand put on Salo on Saturday.
"With respect to some of the comments made from Ballard, regarding what's a hip check and what's clipping, and all that stuff, I mean, I think that's naive too," said Chairelli.
"What makes a difference if you have the puck or if you don't, on a hip check? What's the difference? To say that there's a distinction, there's not. It's like a reverse check. And Ballard, he's notorious for that stuff, with or without the puck."
Chiarelli said he didn't know what to expect from Monday's hearing, but he does know that there's no need for the other side calling out Marchand before that hearing.
"I look at the hit, I certainly don't think it was clipping," said Chiarelli. "He hit him in the rear, if you look at it closely. But if they think it is clipping and they hand something down, fine, we'll accept it. Again, I think they do a good job. There's a lot of discussion amongst their group when they hand out these things.
"But the lobbying, I call it propaganda that comes out yesterday, in advance of the hearing, I think it's distasteful."
The most distasteful comments he heard was from Vancouver's coach, about Marchand going to "get it."
"I think we've learned our lesson over time, that, that's a real inappropriate comment," said Chiarelli. "That's a real inappropriate comment. And it's an unprofessional comment.
"There's a carryover effect from the playoffs. It's a big game, it's a hyped-up game. There's a lot of probably pent-up emotion that was behind Vigneault's comment. Having said all that, they shouldn't say stuff like that."