Friday, September 28, 2007

The NHL Hands Down a Joke of a Decision

Steve Downie gets 20 games? Are you kidding me? I was thinking between 3 - 5. Sure the kid has a record in the OHL. But not in the NHL.

And sure he concussed Dean McAmmond; but who hasn't? The guy skates around staring at his feet half the game. This isn't the first time McAmmond has laid on the ice staring at the rafters.

The hit in question:

Seriously. Was it THAT late? Is it me or did he leave his feet a split second before wrecking Dean, who consequently was watching his pass?

Was this worth 20 games???!!! Not a chance.

Folks, I wrote it on the hfboards and I will write it here... I am glad I haven't purchased Center Ice just yet. I will be holding off to see if this is what the NHL has in store for us in 07-08.

What's hilarious about all of this is that while Uncle Gary was over in London promoting the NHL, he was asked a question about hits to the head. His answer:

Downie was given a match penalty, which means he was automatically suspended. He is going to have an in-person hearing with Colie Campbell later today or earlier today, depending on your time zone. But the fact of the matter is this is a case that may result in supplemental discipline. I don’t want to be more specific because we don’t prejudge these things, and Colie has to have a hearing.

But the one thing I want everyone to focus on in terms of the physical play in the game, this is a physical game and we’re not looking to take physicality out of the game. I believe from a statistical standpoint last year, 45,000 hits were recorded in our games. There were probably 10 hits to the head that we had to look at closely. There were less than a handful that we didn’t like and needed to be addressed, which was part of the effort this summer.

What we want to do is get rid of the less than handful of hits without getting rid of the other 45,000 hits because we’re not looking to change the nature of the game, we’re looking to protect heads, and that will be a priority for us during this season.
We can all speculate what the result of the supplemental hearing will be today, but you can weigh in as to whether or not you thought we were too heavy or too light or sent the message or didn’t send a message or disciplined appropriately or didn’t after Colie renders his determination.
Well thanks for letting us weigh in Uncle Gary. And thank you for admitting that of some 45,000 hits, only a handful were problematic.

So the question is, why the backlash over a handful of hits?

Does anyone really think that 20 game suspensions are going to stop players from hitting other players in the head?

And do any of you dopes in Ottawa ever stop to think for a second that hits to the head have anything to do with the fact that these guys play a game at breakneck speeds on a sheet of ice?

Poor Dean gets nailed twice (Pronger gets one game by the way - I won't even touch the hypocrisy of that one!) and Sens fans are outraged.

Oh how soon they forget that Chris Neil is a loose cannon. Can you say Chris Drury? How long before Neil lays out yet another dirty hit on a guy skating around with his head down?

So thanks Collie and Gary. Sens fans are happy. The rest of the NHL still thinks you're a joke.



1) We agree Downey deserved some time off, but 20 games was just a league response for PR
2) If Downey doesn't leave his feet he should have not even been penalized. Players should NEVER skate with their heads down!!

Shane Giroux said...

"So the question is, why the backlash over a handful of hits?"

Because that handful of hits is causing serious damage to players, that's why.

What Bettman said in London is spot on. Don't lose the physicality, but lose the headshots. Why wouldn't you want that to happen?

And I'm not a Bettman fan by any means, but I won't disagree with him just because it's Bettman.

Sig said...

Giroux... hmmm. Me thinks... ah nevermind.

NickyV said...

NHL better be consistent is all I have to say. 20 games is bull. Give him max 5. I don't care his record in juniors or whatever.

Have some integrity and consistency. If McCammond got up from the hit would it even be a suspension.