Marchment dies at 53, played 17 seasons with nine NHL teams

Bryan Marchment, who played 17 NHL seasons with nine teams, died Wednesday. He was 53.

Known as a physical, hard-nosed defenseman, Marchment had 182 points (40 goals, 142 assists) and 2,307 penalty minutes in 926 NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of San Jose Sharks scout and former NHL player Bryan Marchment,” the NHL said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family, the Sharks organization and Bryan’s many friends, former teammates and fans.”

Marchment retired in 2006 and joined the Sharks front office in August 2007, working with the scouting and player development departments.

His son, Mason Marchment, is a forward with the Florida Panthers.

“It’s a very difficult day for our staff,” said Mike Grier, who was named Sharks general manager Tuesday. “Those guys, you scout, you spend a lot of time together on the road and in meetings, so it was very emotional day, very hard on the group.

“It’s a sad day for me personally, very sad day for our organization, our players, our staff. Anyone who knew Bryan knew what type of man he was. He was just an honest, down to earth, loving person who just cared about everyone. He had time for everyone in the building, anyone he came across, he had time.

“He was great to me my first few years in Edmonton, treated me with respect right away and made me feel at home and if I ever needed anything whether it was a dinner, a home-cooked dinner, instead of eating out every day, he and (wife) Kim would have me over. It’s a very difficult day.”

Video: Grier shares words on late Marchment

Marchment played six seasons with San Jose after being acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on March 24, 1998. In 2001-02, he had NHL career highs with 20 assists and 22 points. The previous season, he scored an NHL career-high seven goals, three of them game-winners.

“Bryan’s lifelong love of hockey was unparalleled, and he was amongst the most dedicated, physical and fiercest players to ever play the game,” the Sharks tweeted. “He spent more than 20 seasons with the Sharks organization — 334 games as a player and 15 as a member of the Sharks scouting department.

“Most importantly, Bryan was a loving son, husband and father. Our deepest condolences go our to his parents, his wife Kim and son Mason and daughter Logan.”

Selected by the Jets with the No. 16 pick in the 1987 NHL Draft, he played 37 games with Winnipeg before being traded to Chicago on July 22, 1991. A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Marchment played 75 games for his hometown Maple Leafs in 2003-04 before finishing his career as a member of the Flames in 2005-06.

Marchment had seven points (four goals, three assists) in 83 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including 16 games for the 1991-92 Blackhawks, who were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

“Utter shock and obviously thinking about (his son) Mason and his family,” Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes said. “It’s terrible news. We just sat there for the first half hour trying to digest it.

Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said, “It’s shocking and devastating news. He was a very young man and obviously you’re thinking of his family and friends right now but I literally just heard about it … it’s beyond shocking.”

Tom Fitzgerald, who played with Marchment in Toronto during the 2003-04 season and is now GM of the New Jersey Devils, said, “Brian was a really good friend and a great teammate of mine. It’s just devastating, as we all know.” staff writers William Douglas and Mike G. Morreale contributed to this report