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Boston Bruins

How many licks will it take to the get to the center of how the NHL feels about Brad Marchand licking opponents?

Less than a day after an Elliotte Friedman report said that the NHL called the Bruins to tell Marchand to stop licking opponents (and with ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski backing up Friedman’s claims with a report of his own), Marchand’s personal campaign to dismiss such stories began on Twitter and continued into Friday morning.

“No one said anything to me,” Marchand, who rifled off tweets disputing this story, wrote in a Friday morning text message exchange with NBCSportsBoston.com. “If they are worried about that the league has much bigger issues. If they call, it’s a perfect example of the Toronto media controlling the league.”

Marchand now has backing from the league itself in his quest for the truth to come out, too.

“No, we did not contact the Bruins or Brad Marchand regarding this incident,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Kevin Allen of USA TODAY Sports on Friday. “It’s just not true.”

And thus, at least for the time being, concludes the strangest saga of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.