SUN Hockey Pool

Marchment a hit in Calgary

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:49 PM ET

If Bryan Marchment had his way last fall, he would have been in the visitors dressing room today.

The Calgary Flames defenceman waited until all hope of returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs -- the team he grew up cheering for -- faded before signing with former coach Darryl Sutter as a free agent in October.

The acquisition was made to bolster the dressing-room leadership and provide depth on the Flames blueline because of an injury to workhorse Robyn Regehr.

Turns out Marchment would take on a much bigger role than anyone anticipated.

Days after defenceman Steve Montador was traded to Florida last month, Roman Hamrlik suffered a sprained knee and Marchment found himself paired with rookie Dion Phaneuf. For the past three games, the veteran has played alongside AHL callup Richie Regehr because of an injury to Rhett Warrener. (Richie Regehr was returned to the AHL yesterday).

Marchment has proven his worth and provided some memorable hits at the Saddledome recently -- a questionable but cataclysmic check on Calgarian and Minnesota Wild forward Kyle Wanvig (for which he was given a minor penalty) and bone-rattlers on Edmonton's Jarret Stoll and Chicago's Radim Vrbata.

Robyn Regehr says Marchment's impact has been significant.

"I know initially when we got him, I heard a lot of people say 'What did we do that for?' There was a lot of doubt," said Regehr.

"I think that he's come in and been real solid for us out on the ice. Everyone knows that he doesn't shy away from any of the physical stuff at all and hits very hard. He's one of the best coming across the middle."

But there's more to Marchment's presence than big hits, says Regehr.

"What a lot of people don't see is what type of guy he is around the team off the ice and in the locker-room. He brings a lot of experience and a real good leadership kind of role in the dressing room as well," said Regehr, who compared Marchment to former Flame Dave Lowry.

When the season started and he found himself without a team, Marchment remained patient.

"You look around the league and there's a lot of injuries everywhere," said Marchment. "I had a long stretch there where I worked hard to stay in shape. Did some extra stuff out there with the assistant coaches and so on after and I think it benefitted me."


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