The story of how Todd Marchant
came up with the idea for his inspirational T-shirts that helped Anaheim during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season would have a true Hollywood quality if it was born out of an epiphany the Ducks' veteran forward had last April.
Too bad the story was born out of boredom instead.
Due to an abdominal injury, Marchant was put on injured reserve with just two days left in last year's regular season. With nothing to do outside of rehab, he decided it would be a good idea to make T-shirts for the boys, a small gesture to help him stay involved.
If he couldn't motivate them on the ice, well he would try to through fashion instead.
"I don't know where I came up with the idea to be honest, but words are always thrown around the dressing room and you say anything to get the guys going," Marchant said. "Teemu (Selanne) always says; 'We have to play with passion boys,' so I got a black T-shirt and with white lettering put on a big, bold word, 'PASSION.'
"Everybody wore them around the room when they were getting ready for a game or working out. When we won the first round, they came to me and said; 'Are we going to get another T-shirt?' I had never thought about it, but I said; 'I guess so.' "
By the time the Stanley Cup Final rolled around, the Ducks were wearing shirts that read, "Destiny is Heart, Sacrifice and Passion." After raising the Cup, many of the Ducks suggested the words Marchant chose for his T-shirts helped motivate them to persevere through the playoff grind, and now they're even inscribed inside the Ducks' Stanley Cup championship rings.
While Marchant said "Destiny is Heart, Sacrifice and Passion" defined the Ducks' identity last season, he's too modest to say the words epitomize him as well.
At least now he doesn't have to. His nomination for this season's Bill Masterton
Memorial Trophy says enough.
"(The Professional Hockey Writers' Association) have recognized that fact in nominating me for this award," Marchant said. "It would be a tremendous honor to win, but just being nominated is an honor in itself. With so many things going on in Southern California, it's nice to get any press, but it's even more special to get the positive from this as well."
Marchant has embraced each community he's played in -- New York, Edmonton, Columbus and now Anaheim -- and tried to not only be one of the League's most versatile forwards on the ice, but one of the most philanthropic players off of it.
He takes great pride in lending his hand or his name to many organizations, especially Ducks Care, which is the organization's charitable arm.
Marchant and his wife, Caroline, were honorary co-chairs for last season's seventh annual Dux in Tux charitable dinner, an event where the players act as waiters and all money raised goes to Ducks Care.
Marchant is also active in going to hospitals and schools to visit with children. And Caroline recently helped arrange a charitable fashion show luncheon that he said raised $125,000 for Ducks Care.
"When I was in Edmonton getting involved with charities was a big part of our lives, so it seems like any team I play for we take on that same mentality of doing as much as we can," Marchant said. "It's not just that I'm a hockey player. If lending your name, or going to a dinner can help raise some money or help make a child's life a little bit easier, than we're all for it. That's the way I was brought up and that's the way I try to bring up my children."
To Marchant's surprise, even designing his own inspirational T-shirts turned into a philanthropic effort.
"After the playoffs were over a lot of fans were asking; 'Where can we get our hands on some of these T-shirts?' " Marchant said. "I talked to the Ducks and we made a bunch of them and sold them in the team store. I know we raised a lot of money for Ducks Care by selling them."
Marchant's versatility on the ice has allowed him to stay in the NHL. He has been the ultimate role player for the Ducks this season, a feat that hasn't gone unnoticed.
"Some players grasp it more easily than others," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle
told The Los Angeles Times
. "I think it's an understanding with Todd Marchant
that he was brought in here specifically because we felt he could be a versatile player. And he's proven that out for us."
Carlyle has used Marchant on all four forward lines and at all three forward positions this season. He's also one of the Ducks' key penalty killers. Marchant jokes the only positions he hasn't played are goalie and defense, "but you never know, it may come.
"That's the teammate that I want to be remembered for," Marchant said, "the guy that worked hard every night and did whatever he needed to do to help the team win."
Last year, that meant designing T-shirts, too.
Contact Dan Rosen at email@example.com