Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman and Hockey Hall of Famer Kenny Reardon has passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86.
Reardon played seven seasons with the Canadiens between 1940 and 1950, scoring 122 points in 341 games.
He played his first two seasons with Montreal before enlisting with the Canadian Army in 1942 for the Second World War. He returned to Canada in 1945 and rejoined the Canadiens.
Playing with greats like Maurice Richard, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Emile Bouchard, Reardon helped the Canadiens win two Stanley Cups. He was also selected to the NHL’s First All-Star Team twice and the Second All-Star Team three times in his career.
From Scott Cruickshank at the Calgary Herald,
“I still feel that I can play in the NHL, that I can help a team,” says Gauthier, a six-foot-three, 224-pounder. “This is not the end. I’ll be back. I just want to play in the NHL. It’s tough to be told that you’re an NHL defenceman, but you can’t play in the NHL.” Out of training camp, the Philadelphia Flyers, flush with high-priced personnel (including his Drummondville junior teammate Daniel Briere), needed cap relief. So they shoved Gauthier and his salary—$2.1 million US—across the parking lot, to the Spectrum, headquarters of the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Which marooned Gauthier in the minors for the first time in a decade.
more… *a detailed look at Denis Gauthier’s ‘greatest hits’
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.
from Ross McKeon at Yahoo Sports,
“This season is going to get played out,” said Campbell, who appeared in his 400th game Friday. “It’s nothing against nobody; I just need to be in the best frame of mind to play my best hockey, and by leaving that on the back burner is the best for me.
“It bothered me a lot in Buffalo – it just got to me so much that it affected my play,” he added. “There’s too much at stake, too much on the line, and it’s not fair to me or the guys in the locker room probably. I haven’t heard anything anyway.”
He hasn’t heard anything from the Sharks, but in this case actions speak louder than words. San Jose has had success keeping talent from wandering off.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau thinks Christopher Higgins suffers from an identity crisis.
“Chris has to understand what kind of player he is,” Carbonneau said after the Canadiens practised yesterday at the Bell Centre. “He’s an up-and-down skater who has to go straight to the net. We want him to be the player we drafted. He has 21 goals and, if you look at them, 15 or 16 of them were scored from five feet away from the net.”
Higgins, who is his worst critic, has struggled at times this season and Carbonneau feels it’s because the left-winger is trying to do too much.
from the Toronto Sun,
Asked to describe the effect of his injury, just when his team was getting back into the playoff hunt, Sundin candidly replied: “Devastating.”
Does that sound like a guy on the verge of returning to the lineup? Not really. In fact, don’t be surprised if the parties involved are cautious and hold him out until at least Tuesday when the Leafs visit the New York Islanders in Uniondale.
With so much still up in the air, this much is certain: Coach Paul Maurice said the decision to play will be up to Sundin, and Sundin alone.
“Mats knows what is best for Mats,” Maurice said. “If there are still questions, sitting out one game is preferable to this thing turning into a three or four (game absence.).”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
His favourite website is hockeyfights.com. The site lists all the fights over an NHL year, describes them, and lets fans vote on who won or lost.
“We all look at it, even if guys say they don’t,” said Laperriere, who’s had 15 fights this year.
“I’m 34, that’s pretty good. More than I expected.”
He played Thursday with a sore finger on his left hand, so he wasn’t in a mood to drop the mitts, but he’s willing, if he’s able.
“Hockeyfights is a great study. There’s no better tool than that. You know if a guy throws right or left. You better know that before you get a shiner.”
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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