Would the Bruins accept the Stanley Cup if the NHL doesn’t return? What Brad Marchand had to say.

The 1918-19 NHL season is the only one to end without the crowning of a Stanley Cup champion.

Brad Marchand.
Brad Marchand. –The Associated Press

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman thinks the league will award the Stanley Cup this season, even as hockey is on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But if it doesn’t work out, Brad Marchand would feel a little uneasy about accepting the trophy for the league-leading Bruins, who had 100 points with 12 games to play in the regular season.

“Obviously you go through the playoffs to win the Cup, but we’ve earned the first place throughout the year,” Marchand said Thursday on a Zoom call with season ticket holders. “We’ve competed hard and we’ve shown that all year, that we’re a top team.

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“It would be hard to turn the trophy down in any situation. But at the same time, you want to earn it. I don’t know what I’d do in that situation. Maybe take a couple of drinks and then pass it back.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this week that sports could return amid the pandemic – without fans in attendance. Playing on in an empty arena would be different, Marchand noted, but he and his teammates would be willing to do anything to finish the rest of the season.

“It would be a much different feel,” he said Thursday. “But if that’s what it takes for us to get back on the ice and play, I mean, we just want to get on the ice and play.

“Hopefully, they can find a way to make that happen. If it’s without fans, it’s without fans. We just want a shot at the Cup.”

The 1918-19 NHL season is the only one to end without the crowning of a Stanley Cup champion. The championship series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans was called off on April 1, 1919, hours before Game 6 would have decided the winner, because five Canadiens players became sick with the Spanish Flu.


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