Bryan Marchment, a feared enforcer who played nearly 1,000 NHL games over the course of 17 seasons and the father of Florida Panthers forward Mason, has passed away.
Marchment was 53.
Marchment was an amateur scout with the San Jose Sharks – a team he played with for most of his NHL career – and was in Montreal preparing for the upcoming NHL Draft when he died.
A cause of death was not immediately known.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito, from his team headquarters in Montreal.
“Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to Mason and his family… it’s terrible and I cannot express our prayers and thoughts enough. It definitely puts this game in perspective. I’ve met Bryan a few times, didn’t 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 for the past three seasons after being acquired in a trade with Toronto in 2020.
He had a breakout season with Florida this year, scoring 18 goals on 47 points in 54 games.
The Panthers are awaiting a free agent and 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 for the first time as a player when the Panthers faced the Sharks.
Speaking to Florida Hockey Now, Bryan Marchment spoke about his son’s development and the long road it took him to reach the NHL.
Mason Marchment was not drafted after he started playing hockey much later than his contemporaries.
But he worked hard on the game – and it paid off.
“He’s come a long way by far than I thought he was going to,” said Bryan Marchment.
“I’m very proud of him.”
NHL Insider Kevin Weekes was the first to report Marchment’s death.
“Bryan’s lifelong love of hockey was unparalleled,” the San Jose Sharks said in a statement. “He was one of the most dedicated, physical and fiercest players to ever play the game.”
Mike Grier, the new GM of the Sharks, was a teammate of Bryan at the Edmonton Oilers and spoke to the media in Montreal on Wednesday.
“Anyone who knew Bryan, you know what kind 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 wonderful to me the first few years in Edmonton, immediately treated me with respect, made me feel at home. †
“It is 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 tough for the group. I’ve given them some time to regroup and have some time to themselves in the process and grieve and we’ll get back to it tomorrow.
“I know Mush, he’d say that. He would like us to go 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.