Bryan Marchment, father of Florida Panthers’ Mason, has died at the age of 53

Bryan Marchment, a feared enforcer who played nearly 1,000 NHL games over 17 seasons, and the father of Florida Panthers forward Mason, have died.

March was 53.

Marchment was an amateur scout for the San Jose Sharks — a team he played for most of his NHL career — and was in Montreal preparing for the upcoming NHL draft when he died.

A cause of death was initially unknown.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito said of his team headquarters in Montreal.

“Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to Mason and his family… it’s awful and I just can’t express our prayers and thoughts enough. It definitely puts this game into perspective. I met Bryan a couple of times, didn’t really know him, but the (hockey) world here is in shock. So many at the GM meetings had such nice things to say about Bryan.”

Mason Marchment has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Panthers after being acquired in a 2020 deal with Toronto.

He had a breakout season with Florida that year, scoring 18 goals with 47 points in 54 games.

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As a pending free agent, the Panthers are working on a new contract with Mason, though he could sign with another team as early as next week.

In March, Mason Marchment visited San Jose for the first time as a player when the Panthers faced the Sharks.

Speaking to Florida Hockey Now, Bryan Marchment spoke about his son’s development and the long road it took him to make it to the NHL.

Mason Marchment was not drafted, having started playing hockey much later than his contemporaries.

But he worked hard on the game – and it paid off.

“He’s come a lot farther than I thought he would, by far,” said Bryan Marchment.

“I am very proud of him.”

NHL insider Kevin Weekes was the first to report Marchment’s death.

“Bryan’s lifelong love of hockey was unparalleled,” the San Jose Sharks said in a statement. “He was one of the most dedicated, physical and fierce players to ever play this game.”

Mike Grier, the Sharks’ new GM, was a teammate of Bryan’s with the Edmonton Oilers and spoke to the media in Montreal on Wednesday.

“Anyone who knew Bryan knows what kind of man he was, just an honest, down to earth, loving person who just cared about everyone,” Grier said, according to San Jose Hockey Now.

“He had time for everyone in the building. He was great to me during my early years in Edmonton, immediately treated me with respect and made me feel at home. …

“It is a very difficult day for our employees. When scouting, you spend a lot of time together on the road and in meetings. It’s a very emotional day, very tough for the group. I’ve given them some time to regroup and have some time to themselves and grieve, and we’ll come back to that tomorrow.

“I know Mush, he would say so. He would want us to get back to work and do our best and have the best draft possible.”

Aside from Mason, Marchment is survived by his wife Kim and daughter Logan.