Imagine spending a lifetime working towards the height of your profession, only to be told that one of the biggest perks of the position is gone.

Now imagine being Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand right now – among the NHL leaders in goals (37) and points (79), the newly minted NHL first star of the week – and hearing league officials continue to publicly raise doubts about whether they’ll allow players to go to the Olympics next year in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

“For athletes to get themselves to that level where they can have the opportunity to play in the Olympics and then for someone to take that away from you, I don’t think that’s really fair,” Marchand said Monday before Boston played Toronto.

The 28-year-old got his first taste of best-on-best competition at the World Cup, where he wound up playing on Team Canada’s top line and scoring the tournament-winning goal.

He’ll be considered a virtual lock to make his Olympic debut in 2018 if a deal is reached to send NHL players to their sixth straight Games.

That’s a testament to how well Marchand is currently playing and the way he thrived on a line with Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron at the World Cup. Leafs coach Mike Babcock formed that trio and joked on Sunday that it was responsible for a season that has put Marchand in the Hart Trophy conversation.