Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
Pronger has been a regular participant in the workouts and morning skates to stay sharp until his suspension ends April 6 in the regular-season finale against Phoenix.
“Nobody’s perfect out there,” Pronger said Friday. “We all have to work on our weak points out there and make sure we continue to improve. I can use this time to make sure I’m staying as close to the top of my game as I can and also work on the things that are lacking.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to come back from this and be in better shape than I was when I left.”
from the LA Times,
If he were still in Vancouver or playing in another hockey-first market, Bertuzzi’s lack of output would be a major topic of discussion. Yet the offensive struggles barely register in Anaheim as he’s merely been one of many contributors of a veteran-laden team that’s on the verge of clinching a playoff spot for the third consecutive season.
After seven-plus polarizing seasons with the Canucks, Bertuzzi is glad to not be the center of attention.
“You’ve got a lot of real good guys in this room,” Bertuzzi said. “It makes coming down to the rink pretty enjoyable when you’ve got an atmosphere like that. A pretty easy team to fit into and find your niche.
“At this time of my career, it’s a perfect situation for me to be in. Right now, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
From Pierre LeBrun at CP,
Along with the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings, we argue the three Pacific Division contenders make up the best four teams in the NHL. And one will almost surely be out in the first round. Hence the urgency of the six total games involving the Sharks, Ducks and Stars.
“Those games against Dallas and San Jose are critical,” said Carlyle.
If you think you’ve seen this movie before, it’s because you have. The same three clubs also came down to the wire last season and finished three points apart, the Ducks winning the division with 110 points followed by San Jose (107) and Dallas (107).
Update 4:58pm ET: Link fixed, changed to the original CP report via Google. Sorry ‘bout the botched one earlier.
From Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star,
The National Hockey League says it has no concerns that team broadcasters might be hiding incriminating video evidence. But Mike Murphy, the league’s senior vice-president of hockey operations, says the NHL is looking at ways of ensuring such a thing doesn’t happen.
The issue of accountability was raised following a game in Anaheim last Wednesday that saw Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger stomp on Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler’s leg. The original game broadcasts from Vancouver and Anaheim, watched in the NHL’s Toronto war room, failed to produce proof of the attack.
But Vancouver broadcasters discovered video proof the next day on a tape machine in the production unit used by Anaheim television.
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
This June will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Detroit Red Wings winning their second straight Stanley Cup championship. During the ensuing decade, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots repeated as champions in their respective sports.
Detroit remains the last NHL team to do so.
The Devils came close in 2001, the closest of any team since those Red Wings, but like many former Cup winners, their reign at the top of the hockey world came crashing down in defeat. That’s exactly what the Anaheim Ducks now are hoping to avoid.
via the LA Times,
“I don’t think we’re happy about it,” (Scott) Niedermayer said of the suspension. “It’s not something you want to have happen for sure. But, again, Chris is a guy that plays an intense game. And we know that. I’m sure he’s said this before that he’s not going to change the way he plays.
“I personally think the incident was a lot different than a lot of incidents that happen. It was just a quick reaction that could be viewed in many, many ways.”
Said goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere: “You know Pronger is a competitor and sometimes he gets emotionally involved in the game. These things happen. That’s not to defend what he did. But we’ll have to accept the consequences and move forward.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Chris Simon and those close to him, including current and former teammates, are disgusted and outraged over Chris Pronger’s eight game exile that is dwarfed by the 30 games Simon was banished for following a similar stomping incident in December.
The NHL understands the outpouring of emotion and predicted as much, but will say while acts appear similar; the intent is what defines the difference.
It is over and done, time to move on in my opinion.
from Jamie Baker at Seagate Broadcaster Blog (before the suspension came down),
I haven’t seen the video of Chris Prongor who allegedly stomped on Ryan Kesler. I do know this however; Prongor is sending a message to everyone that he means business. I know fans love to hate him, but the reality is he tries to hurt players. Teams have a few options for this type of intimidating tactic. One, complain to the league and say Prongor does not inhibit sportsmanship. Two, go after Prongor. Three, go after someone else on the Ducks, say Getzlaf or Kunitz or Scott Niedermeyer.
The National Hockey League has handed Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger an eight-game suspension for stomping on Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in a game Wednesday night.
The team has nine games remaining in the regular season, starting Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. He is eligible to return for the team’s final game on Apr. 6 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Update 3:07pm ET: From the LA Times,
“I’d like to apologize to Ryan Kesler, the Vancouver Canucks, my teammates, and the National Hockey League for my actions last Wednesday night,” Pronger said in a statement. “While I did not intend to injure Ryan, I respect the league’s decision on this matter and look forward to returning to the ice and leading my teammates into the playoffs.”
Update 3:13pm ET: From the CP via Hockey.com,
“In attempting to free himself, Pronger carelessly and recklessly brought his foot down,” Campbell said in a statement.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Pronger is considered a repeat offender. He will forfeit US$609,756.08 in salary. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Note: video and previous commentary here.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Indeed, Campbell is the one who set the bar. If the league’s attorneys are doing their job, the suspension should be in the same ballpark as what Simon received for his last two incidents. If it falls significantly short, then, Simon’s agent, Larry Kelly, should file suit to reclaim the difference his client lost in salary compared to Pronger.
from Russo’s Rants,
...league disciplinarian Colin Campbell said, “While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon’s action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
“In addition, while the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case.”
Today we’ll find out how “repugnant and totally unacceptable” it is when Chris Pronger is the perpetrator. And by the way, Pronger has suspended seven times.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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