The NHL did not tell Boston's Brad Marchand to stop licking his opponents — or whatever it was he did to the face of Toronto's Leo Komarov during Game 1 of the teams' first-round playoff series — according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
"No, we did not contact the Bruins or Brad Marchand regarding this incident," Daly told USA Today. "It's just not true."
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman had reported in an article Thursday: "After Game 1 of the Toronto/Boston series, the Bruins got a, 'We'd prefer if you could tell Brad Marchand to stop licking people' phone call from the NHL."
Marchand tweeted separately in response to two articles on the matter that the story was "false."
After Marchand's tweets denying the claim in Sportsnet, ESPN ran an article saying an NHL spokesperson had confirmed that the league told the player not to do what he did to Komarov in Game 1 anymore. The article said that Marchand received the league's message via Mick McGeough, the series' supervisor of officials.
Here's what Marchand did to Komarov.
"I thought he wanted to cuddle," Marchand said after the game. Earlier in the season, Marchand reportedly kissed Komarov on the cheek during a game.
Marchand had three goals and six assists to help Boston win the seven-game playoff series against Toronto. The Bruins begin the second round against Tampa Bay on Saturday.
2 p.m.: This article was updated with the NHL deputy commissioner saying the league did not contact Marchand or the Bruins about the incident involving Komarov.