Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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…
Elbow to the chin…
from the National Post via Canada.com,
The morning after a postgame Ottawa dressing room that was rife with complaints about the dropping of the standard for hooking and holding in this series, Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, didn’t give an inch to the Senators’ complaints.
In fact, he filed them under G—for gamesmanship.
“I appreciate it, but I’m oblivious to it. That approach to influencing the game, it’s archaic,” the head ref said. “The coaches stand up for their team, and I stand up for my team. We don’t score goals or miss the net.”
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
They have no nickname — Ducks, surely, is bad enough — but Bruce Hood says he couldn’t stop thinking that, somehow, the Broad Street Bullies were back in the Stanley Cup final.
Not the Ottawa Senators versus the Anaheim Ducks, as advertised. But the 2007 Ottawa Senators up against the Philadelphia Flyers, circa mid-1970s.
Hood is not as lost in time as it might appear. Something happened to the “new NHL” on Monday during Anaheim’s 3-2 victory. It became the “old NHL.” Or the “new new NHL,” where obstruction appears to have been welcomed back.
from the Dallas Morning News,
Walkom is well-respected and well-liked by his colleagues, and he has indeed run a tight ship. He has consistently rewarded officials who call the most penalties, and he has supported them steadfastly when they’ve made tough calls near the end of games or in overtime. His decision to sit veteran Kerry Fraser for the playoffs this season sent a clear message.
The problem is that many of these referees have taken the message to mean that every call is a good call, and that’s just not true.
from the Toronto Sun,
Those officials who call the game strictly by the book are not neccessarily those picked for the most ultimate and lucrative assignment, the Stanley Cup final.
Of course, NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom is looking for the best interpreters of the league’s obstruction standards, but he also has chosen four referees and four linesmen he believes won’t get too hot under the helmet in the most critical games of the year.
Among the eight referees who will receive third round assignments are Don Koharski and Bill McCreary, both of whom have more than 20 years experience. McCreary has worked in every Stanley Cup final series since 1994, while Koharski has been a referee since 1977.
read on for the list…
from the NY Post,
Goals are regularly waved off for “incidental contact,” but not this one against an otherwise impenetrable Martin Brodeur. Mike Fisher’s passing run onto Brodeur’s stick yanked the Devils’ goalie off balance, allowing Tom Preissing’s routine shot to break up a scoreless duel in the third period.
“In my mind, it was interference [with] the goaltender,” Lou Lamoriello said. “I don’t think it matters if it was intentional or not.
“All I know is he was thrown off balance. We don’t make excuses, but unfortunately, there was contact there.”
The NHL series manager wasn’t unsympathetic to Brodeur’s claim.
“That’s exactly what it was, incidental contact,” manager Charlie Banfield told The Post. “Brodeur had one foot inside the blue.
“We’re not saying it’s a penalty. It’s incidental contact. It’s a hockey play.”
from the Welland Tribune,
Craig Spada is hanging up his Fox 40.
After serving as a referee in the National Hockey League for six years, the 35-year-old Fort Erie native has decided to call it a career.
Family and travel were the two reasons he decided to walk away. He missed the family and hated the travel.
“The first couple of years I enjoyed the travel, but having kids changed my thinking on it,” he said.
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