Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
No one in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room will utter a disparaging word against Pronger. The man, on many nights, is a machine. He is averaging more than 30 minutes of ice time a game in these playoffs. He is second among NHL defensemen with 14 playoff points.
And yet for the second time in recent days, he has put his team in the unenviable position of having to play without him because he seems to have switched off that common-sense detector most humans rely on to prevent them from crossing “the line.”
On some level in that dressing room, players must be asking where Pronger’s selflessness is. Having been suspended once, Pronger surely had to know any other transgression was going to be viewed with disapproval by the league regardless whether it was as serious as the Holmstrom hit.
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
“We’ve been talking about this for a year,” said one GM. “I don’t think (Saturday) night will have a lot to do with the discussions. It will be discussed. We know the players want it discussed and it’s something we’ll have continue to work through.”
“We’re in a contact sport and people are going to get hurt,” said Ducks GM Brian Burke. “The notion we’re going to take away hitting in the game because a big guy is going to hit a little guy…we can’t take that out.”
read on... and I remember Chelios stating a few weeks ago the NHLPA will do something about head hits this summer…
Just a quick reminder, you have a chance to win an NHL Fathead… click for all the details.
Q. How much different does it make your decision or more difficult to suspend a key player in a Stanley Cup Final game even as opposed to the Pronger suspension last round?
COLIN CAMPBELL: Well, both rounds are difficult; you’re getting it close, but obviously the final round is a very difficult round to take any player out of, and there’s no prescribed or defined degree of change as far as the act to suspend players in the final round.
I suspended two players in the past. (Ville) Nieminen in the Calgary-Tampa Bay series for hitting (Vincent) Lecavalier and (Jiri) Fischer in the Detroit-Carolina series for a cross-check, each for one game.
It’s always difficult for everyone involved in hockey. We all know how precious it is to chase the Stanley Cup and to be at this point. And it’s a tough decision to make. We don’t take these things lightly at any time; we don’t take them lightly, but particularly now.
So it was hard. But on the other hand, a player did get knocked out. And that player may not be playing tomorrow night, too. We’re not sure.
“It was just a reaction play. I just stepped up to make a hit,” Pronger told reporters. “You’ve got to suffer the consequences of what came down. ... Hopefully, Dean’s OK. There’s no ill-will or malicious intent.”
While Ducks general manager Brian Burke said he would accept the Pronger suspension, he was livid over a Chris Neil hit to Ducks forward Andy McDonald. Burke said there should have been a second hearing on Sunday.
“We’re not a dirty team, we’re a physical team,” Burke said. “There’s a big difference.”
“We think it was totally unintentional. The league thought different,” Carlyle said. “Chris Pronger is a competitive player. Some people will say he’s using his size as an excuse.
“The fact of the matter is his elbows are higher than most people’s elbows. It’s not like he raised his elbow to deliver a blow to the head.”
added 3:35pm, Transcript of inteview with Pronger, Carlyle and Burke…
The NHL has come down on the Ducks’ Chris Pronger for the second time in the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The league has suspended Pronger for one game for a shot to the head Ottawa Senators’ Dean McAmmond during Game 3 on Saturday.
Pronger had a hearing with the NHL’s director of hockey operations Colin Campbell on Sunday.
“A variety of factors were considered in reaching this decision,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “Mr. Pronger used his forearm to deliver a forceful hit to the head of his opponent. Also, his actions caused injury to his opponent.”
added 2:58pm, The Ottawa Senators P.R. department put together some quotes from those involved on the Sens side…
from The Maven,
Best of all, instead of beefing as his counterpart, Bryan Murray, certainly would have, Carlyle refused to whine about the result or the zebras’ collective astigmatism….
Legal or not, the goal should not detract from the Senators comeback from the Land of Chokes.
They could have—should have—won Games One and Two but failed because of lethargy and lousy goaltending.
Ray Emery’s ineptitude could have killed them again in Game Three but…
Q. Any update on McAmmond? I know Fisher didn’t skate; it was a rest day?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I gave him the day to kind of get away from the skate. I made it somewhat optional to a number of the guys. McAmmond doesn’t look promising, but I have talked to him very, very briefly. We’ll just have to see how he recovers.
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I don’t know that. We’ll just have to wait and see until almost game time if there’s a chance at all.
An NHL fan asked me to print this email from him. Your comments are welcome.
I have been a fan of hockey for about 30 years, I have seen all the up and downs with hockey. But last night game was the worst I have ever seen. If the NHL wants to make sure there is no sweep than just tell the ducks not to show up for the games let them call it from the booths. This game is a game of hits and checks if Pronger is out for even one game I thing this whole series is fixed. I tape all games and look at them very closely I hope the NHL looks very hard before they due anything to Pronger, remember if you watch the whole game you will see how the other team was hitting too, they were also hitting high. I hope they let them play the game if the ducks should loose I would like to be fair.
This has been the worse game that I have ever seen and called by both officials.
Thanks for reading this,
Spector recaps the Satellite Hot Stove talk from last night on HNIC and touches on some other player movement talk.
I want to add this, don’t believe any of the made-up rumors of Hasek signing with any other team besides Detroit. He either plays with thw Wings or retires, end of story.
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