Bryan Marchment, a feared enforcer who played almost 1,000 NHL games over the course of 17 seasons and the father of Florida Panthers’ forward Mason, has died.
Marchment was 53.
Marchment was an amateur scout with the San Jose Sharks — a team he played the bulk of his NHL career with — and was in Montreal preparing for the upcoming NHL Draft when he passed away.
A cause of death was not immediately known.
”It is heartbreaking,” Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito said from his team headquarters in Montreal.
“Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to Mason and his family … it is horrible and I just cannot express our prayers and thoughts enough. It certainly puts this game into perspective. I met Bryan a couple of times, did not really know him, but the (hockey) world here is shocked. So many at the GM meetings had such nice things to say about Bryan.”
Mason Marchment has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Panthers after being acquired in a trade with Toronto in 2020.
He had a breakout season with Florida this year, scoring 18 goals with 47 points in 54 games.
A pending free agent, the Panthers are working with Mason on a new contract although he could sign with another team as early as next week.
In March, Mason Marchment visited San Jose as a player for the first time when the Panthers took on the Sharks.
In speaking with Florida Hockey Now, Bryan Marchment talked about his son’s development and the long road it took for him to make it to the NHL.
Mason Marchment was not drafted after starting to play hockey much later than his contemporaries.
But he worked hard at the game — and it paid off.
“He has, by far, come a lot farther of a way than I thought he was going to,’’ Bryan Marchment said.
“I’m very proud of him.’’
NHL Insider Kevin Weekes was first to report Marchment’s death.
“Bryan’s lifelong love of hockey was unparalleled,’’ the San Jose Sharks said in a statement. “He was amongst the most dedicated, physical and fiercest players ever to play the game.’’
Mike Grier, the new GM of the Sharks, was a teammate of Bryan with the Edmonton Oilers and spoke to the media in Montreal on Wednesday.
“Anyone who knew Bryan, you know the type of man he was, just an honest, down-to-earth loving person who just cared about everyone,’’ Grier said according to San Jose Hockey Now.
“He had time for everyone in the building. He was great to me my first few years in Edmonton, treated me with respect right away, made me feel at home. …
“It’s a very difficult day for our staff. When you’re scouting, you spend a lot of time together on the road and in meetings. It’s a very emotional day, very hard on the group. Gave them some time to re-group and have some time to themselves in the process and grieve and we’ll get back to it tomorrow.
“I know Mush, that’s what he would say. He would want us to get back to work and do our best and have the best draft possible.”
Aside from Mason, Marchment is survived by his wife Kim and daughter Logan.