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Ricci, Thornton Pay Tribute at Marchment Memorial



Credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Bryan Marchment’s family and friends gathered to say goodbye to “Mush” recently in Oshawa.

Marchment, 53, died of natural causes on Jul. 6 in Montreal, a day before the NHL Draft at Bell Centre.

Since 2007-08, Marchment has been part of the San Jose Sharks organization as a developmental coach and a scout.

The rugged defenseman was a Winnipeg Jets’ first-round pick in 1987. One of the league’s most feared hitters, Marchment suited up for the Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Calgary Flames for 926 games over a 17-year career. “Mush” patrolled the San Jose Sharks’ blueline from 1998 to 2003. He retired after the 2005-06 campaign.

On yesterday’s episode of his 32 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman, who attended the memorial, painted a touching portrait: “I went to the memorial in Oshawa, at the home of the Generals.”

In juniors, Marchment actually played for the Belleville Bulls, so that’s a kind gesture for the Generals to open up Tribute Communities Centre for family and friends.

“Louie DeBrusk, I didn’t know he was going to be the MC of the event. Louie did an incredible job.”

DeBrusk and Marchment were teammates in Edmonton and Tampa Bay from 1994 to 1998.

“The speeches were really, really well-done. There were a lot of people there, you can tell, they were in absolute shock, but they spoke so well.

“Dion Phaneuf, I didn’t realize that Bryan Marchment and Dion Phaneuf were very tight. They became very close friends when they were together in Calgary. Phaneuf, it was very hard for him to talk. He’s a very stoic guy. But he got up there, he did it.”

Marchment and Phaneuf were teammates during Marchment’s last NHL season in 2005-06.

“Mike Ricci, he came up after a video. You could tell it was very hard for him to collect his thoughts.”

Ricci and Marchment played six seasons together with the San Jose Sharks from 1997 to 2003. They’ve also worked together in San Jose since 2008-09.

“Scott Thornton actually had his wife Joelle go up with him, to support him while he spoke.”

Thornton and Marchment played together for seven seasons in Belleville, Edmonton, and San Jose.

“All the speakers, and I’m sorry if I missed anyone off the top of my head, there were a lot of people there still in shock.

“The people I really wanted to single out, Bryan Marchment’s father sat there in a Sharks jersey with his wife. He got up to speak. He wasn’t supposed to, but he got up to say a few words toward the end.”

That hits hard, the image of John and Jo-Anne Marchment having to mourn for their son.

“Also, Bryan Marchment’s sisters. I believe they were the first two speakers to get up there. They were hilarious.

“I didn’t know Bryan Marchment that well. I just wanted to go out of respect. But from what I knew about Bryan Marchment, the way his sisters spoke, they sounded like Marchments.”

Thanks, Elliotte, for capturing the scene.

“It was really, really something. I know the Sharks organization’s been hurting. I know the Marchment family and the friends have been hurting.

“I just wanted to say the memorial, the people, there was a really nice turnout in support of them.”

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