Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand hadn't had the chance to represent Canada in an international tournament since the start of his NHL career. Now he has the chance to do it twice in one year.
Fresh off playing for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia, Marchand was named Friday as one of the seven players to fill out the Team Canada roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
His accomplishments, including winning the 2011 Stanley Cup, and ability have sometimes been overshadowed by his reputation as an agitator. If that side of his game held him back from playng internationally in the past, he hopes he's changed some minds and he will try to continue to do so in the World Cup.
"I think being part of a team like this people may give a little bit more respect to that fact and maybe look more at the kind of player I am other than the stuff they've seen in the past, with the hits and being a pest and stuff like that," Marchand said Friday. "So maybe people realize I am an OK hockey player and I do play the game as well."
Marchand, who won gold at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, had four goals and three assists this month for Canada, which won World Championship gold by defeating Finland 2-0 in Moscow.
Marchand set NHL highs with 37 goals and 60 points this season. When the Bruins missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season, he was asked to go to the World Championship. He said he accepted the invitation without thinking about the implications for the World Cup team.
Once Marchand got to Russia, he realized he might be able to make an impression on the Canada brass.
"Ultimately, at the end of the day, I would've done anything to be on [the World Cup team], so if going to Russia and doing my best, whether I was going to make that team or not, I wanted that opportunity. So I'm definitely happy I went," Marchand said.
Video: BOS@NJD: Marchand finishes nifty move on the backhand
Marchand caught the eye of Canada earlier in his NHL career when he was invited to orientation camp in the summer of 2013 to be considered for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He wasn't selected.
Throughout Marchand's career, he's forged a reputation as a speedy two-way player and a winner; he was instrumental as a rookie during the Bruins' 2011 championship run.
"It's an incredible honor to play for Team Canada. It's something that I think we all take a lot of pride ... it's not something I take for granted," Marchand said. "So it was very special to go over to Russia and be a part of that team. And it's a dream come true to be a part of this World Cup team. The players who are on that list and the guys we're going to be playing against, it's an incredible feeling and I'm very happy to be a part of this team."