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MacArthur Suspended

NEW YORK (OCTOBER 1, 2011) – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason and two regular-season games, without pay, for an illegal hit to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader during a preseason game on September 30, National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announced today.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, MacArthur will forfeit $35,135.14. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at the end of the third period and no penalty was assessed on the play.

MacArthur will miss a preseason game tonight vs. Detroit and regular season games Oct. 6 vs. Montreal and Oct. 8 vs. Ottawa. He is eligible to return Oct. 15 vs. Calgary.

A full explanation of Shanahan’s decision, complete with video, will be available on NHL.com later today.

Watch the hit if you missed it last night.

added 12:29am 10/2/11, Shanahan video added below…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: clarke+macarthur

Comments

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Be looking forward to the video on this one, because that seems like way too much for a guy that pulled up and just grazed the other guy. I know if, like, Andrew Ladd had put the same exact ‘hit’ on Craig Adams, I would neither expect, nor want, Ladd to be suspended.

If anyone deserved a suspension (or, more likely, fined), it was Abdelkaider. Faking as if somebody was clobbered, when he wasn’t,  to try and draw a major is going to become a big problem very, very quickly. That needed to be nipped in the bud the first time someone tried it.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 04:17 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Although I believe it could have been worse if MacArthur had not pulled up at the last possible second, the decision to go for the hit instead of the puck was the wrong choice and resulted in a genuine (tho’ not the most severe) hit to the head. Just because MacArtur was lucky enough that it didn’t result in a more severe injury, does not mean it should go unpunished with the new rule as it stands… I’m okay with this suspension. I would have been happy had the roles been reversed.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 10/01/11 at 05:16 PM ET

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MacArthur wasn’t ‘lucky’ there was no injury.

There was no injury because MacArthur saw the guy he had been battling with on the shift was in a bad spot and chose not to injure him. Shouldn’t that count for, like, a lot?

Particularly, since in every one of these videos, Shanahan’s been pointing out that it’s a player’s responsibility to be aware of whether or not his opponent is in a dangerous position and to ‘minimize the contact,’ both of which MacArthur did?

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 05:30 PM ET

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Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 02:17 PM ET

He hit Abdelkader’s head when he didn’t have to make ANY contact AT ALL.

THIS is reckless targeting.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 03:30 PM ET

Interesting that he chose not to injure Abdelkader yet he still chose to hit Abdelkader in the head.

What a wonderful humanitarian Macarthur was, just hitting Abdelkader in the head when he could have hit Abdelkader in the head.

Kind of amazing that morons still don’t get that he league is trying to eliminate hits to the head, not just flying elbows to the head from off the top turnbuckle.

Posted by Garth on 10/01/11 at 05:54 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 03:30 PM ET

Frankly, I don’t see how much different this hit is when compared to the Smith-Smith hit except Abdelkader wasn’t carrying the puck nor was he hurt. That said, Abby better knock this diving shit off fast.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/01/11 at 06:01 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Steviestevie - are you, like, sure? Like, it seems pretty, like, similaaar?, to the hit that Smith put on Smith, just without the, you know, loss of consciousness and stuff. If he chose not to injure him, why didn’t he also choose not to disregard the puck and go for a borderline hit?

Posted by PDXWing on 10/01/11 at 06:01 PM ET

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Shanahan is going to need a vacation soon.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 10/01/11 at 07:02 PM ET

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There’s nothing dangerous or reckless going on with the amount of force we’re talking about. Wingers get hit harder by their counterparts on faceoffs, let alone all the crosschecks to the back of the helmet a netfront presence receives. Nobody in those situations has the puck, either.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/01/11 at 04:01 PM ET

I don’t know that I would have suspended Smith (thought it was a dumb defensive play that went horribly wrong) but the key in Shanahan’s explanation for why he was: ‘it is the player’s responsibility to recognize his opponent is in a vulnerable position and attempt to minimize contact.’

That’s Shanahan’s thinking, not mine. MacArthur did that, verbatim. Smith didn’t (though, again, I don’t know that I would have suspended Smith).

If the player seeing his hit is about to put a player in a bad way is going to get suspended whether he drills him or pulls up and brushes him, well, what the Hell’s the incentive not to just take him out? 4 total games vs 6 total games isn’t enough of a difference for the next MacArthur to decide he may as well just end the guy’s season, since he’s going to be sitting no matter what.


Posted by PDXWing from Alexandria, VA on 10/01/11 at 04:01 PM ET

UMAD?

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 07:07 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 03:30 PM ET

The point is Abdelkader didn’t even have the puck, so any hit to the head in this case is a reckless targeting of the head.  And while Abdelkader did draw attention to the hit, it wasn’t a dive and he wasn’t trying to draw a major.  He just threw his arms out like ‘wtf was that?’  He didn’t snap his head back or clutch his face, he got right up.  To try to draw a major he would have stayed down as if hurt.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 10/01/11 at 08:15 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If anyone deserved a suspension (or, more likely, fined), it was Abdelkaider.

You threw away any credibilty you had with that one statement.

MacArthur chose to hit a player in the head (although “softly”). Abbi engaged in amateur theatrics. Gosh, which of those is the worse offence?

You say some smart things on a fairly regular basis, doublesteve. But that line of yours above? That wasn’t one of them.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/01/11 at 08:23 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If anyone deserved a suspension (or, more likely, fined), it was Abdelkaider. Faking as if somebody was clobbered, when he wasn’t,  to try and draw a major is going to become a big problem very, very quickly. That needed to be nipped in the bud the first time someone tried it.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 02:17 PM ET

Wrong. Wrong and a dangerous precedent.

If Abdelkader had dove, it should be a suspension.  What Abdelkdader did was embellish (the distinction being that Abdelkader made what was already a penalty look worse).

To punish only Abdelkader is to let a guy get away with a head shot that he did not need to make.

I would have been ok with a fine for Abdelkader as well, but not instead.  That would be a ridiculous action for the league to take.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/01/11 at 08:32 PM ET

clownfat's avatar

“MacArthur chose to hit a player in the head (although “softly”). Abbi engaged in amateur theatrics. Gosh, which of those is the worse offence?”

While you probably aren’t being serious that is actually a very good question. What Shanahan appears to be doing is trying to remove ALL hits to the head regardless of if they were intentional. I hope he calms down a little bit or I think the diving is going to get WAY worse. Either that or he is going to need to make some examples of divers too. Suspending for a dive? That will be pretty interesting.

Posted by clownfat on 10/01/11 at 08:54 PM ET

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If Abdelkader had dove, it should be a suspension.  What Abdelkdader did was embellish (the distinction being that Abdelkader made what was already a penalty look worse).

You can call it want you want, what Abdelkaider did is what Avery did here. He got interfered with by glancing contact on what ended up being a pretty harmless play and threw himself to the ice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B53W-7tk4Uw

If glancing picks are going to be majors or suspensions, players need to face a serious penalty for trying to fake the ref into thinking they’re worse than they are or it will happen -all the time.

Thinking about this, Max Talbot did the same exact thing after a similar hit by either Ohlund or Malone in last year’s playoffs; glancing head contact away from the puck, down like he had been killed, got up no worse for wear and went back into the play when the ref didn’t bite.

I’d really hate for games or entire series to be decided by guys like Abdelkaider, Avery or Talbot faking death to try and get a 5 minute PP.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 09:17 PM ET

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You say some smart things on a fairly regular basis, doublesteve. But that line of yours above? That wasn’t one of them.

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 10/01/11 at 06:23 PM ET

Do I think diving is worse than headshots. Absolutely not. by no means (I have a problem with the MacArthur suspension, specifically, mostly because he did what Shanahan said he’s supposed to do once he finds himself in this situation in those videos).

Do I think some type of harsh example needs to be made quickly before we have fake dead guys all over the ice because a 5 minute major is much more valuable to a lot of players and coaches than integrity? Absolutely. Whether it’s a suspension a fine, an auto game misconduct (actually, this might be best) whatever, the issue is going to need to be addressed quickly before it gets way out of hand, which it will, quicker than anyone thinks.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 09:24 PM ET

YYZerman's avatar

While you probably aren’t being serious that is actually a very good question. What Shanahan appears to be doing is trying to remove ALL hits to the head regardless of if they were intentional. I hope he calms down a little bit or I think the diving is going to get WAY worse. Either that or he is going to need to make some examples of divers too. Suspending for a dive? That will be pretty interesting.

Being a fan and also still playing the game, I hate players that dive to no end but it happens even in beer leagues. But I don’t care how much someone “pulls back” or “lightens up” there is no excuse for hitting someone in the head on purpose. Its one thing if its an accident but I think we all know in this situation he was meaning to do some sort of harm at the very least.

Diving is a whole separate thing and as far back as I can remember the NHL has never really tried to crack down on it or if they did (stupid list they sent out to all the teams) they never followed through. So I don’t think its going to go away. It was much better when players could police themselves.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 10/01/11 at 09:44 PM ET

YYZerman's avatar

(I have a problem with the MacArthur suspension, specifically, mostly because he did what Shanahan said he’s supposed to do once he finds himself in this situation in those videos).

Posted by steviesteve on 10/01/11 at 07:24 PM ET

I’m pretty sure what Shanahan wants a player to do, is not try and elbow a player who is nowhere near the puck no matter how much he “holds up”.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 10/01/11 at 09:48 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t know why everyone’s whining.  I’m a WIngs fan and I think it’s fair.  After Brendan Smith’s suspension I said I felt it was fair and consistent with the message the league is going for, and this is still consistent.

The damning thing for MacArthur is the Abdelkader did not have the puck, and in fact the puck wasn’t near him even, and had gone past a few seconds earlier. It could have been MUCH worse for Abdelkader, but just because it didn’t end so badly doesn’t mean you let MacArthur skate free.

Get this through your heads people:  A hit in the head is a hit in the head, and the league will NOT accept this PCC:  Post Crosby Concussion.  They’ve seen the future with Crosby out, and they didn’t like it one bit.

I personally am liking the consistency here.  At a certain point here it’s getting to be clear and Shanny shouldn’t have to explain every single one:  If you hit a guy in the head (and it doesn’t matter with what) without the guy doing something to drive his own head into you… you’re going to get punished.  Simple as that.

I won’t speak to whether or not MacArthur “let up” because it’s irrelevant…. he still hit Abdelkader in the head, and did so with the puck not there.  At that point, there simply is no defense.

Posted by Primis on 10/01/11 at 10:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s funny that we’re talking about players “faking dead” on the ice when it’s clear that’s not what Abdelkader did.  Watch the video again, he gets straight back up and starts skating.

Let’s not get caught up in calling this more than it is.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/01/11 at 10:53 PM ET

Avatar

I have a problem with the MacArthur suspension, specifically, mostly because he did what Shanahan said he’s supposed to do once he finds himself in this situation in those videos

He didn’t “find himself” in any situation.  He put himself and Abdelkader into a situation and he followed through on a bad hit.

If glancing picks are going to be majors or suspensions

Glancing picks are not majors or suspensions, hits to the motherf*cking head are majors and suspensions.

Is that really so difficult to get?

an auto game misconduct (actually, this might be best)

Yeah, that’s a terrific idea.  If you get hit in the head and you’re not out cold on the ice, but you fall a little faster than you might normally, you should get kicked out of the game.

Thank you for turning down the NHL’s offer to be in charge of punishment.

Posted by Garth on 10/01/11 at 11:17 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Glancing picks are not majors or suspensions, hits to the motherf*cking head are majors and suspensions.

Is that really so difficult to get?

Posted by Garth on 10/01/11 at 09:17 PM ET


It apparently really is.  For both players and some fans.  This isn’t going away soon either, we’re going to be arguing this all season long because players and fans alike are going to expect the NHL to slack off on it like they often do.

Posted by Primis on 10/02/11 at 01:19 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...the league will NOT accept this PCC:  Post Crosby Concussion.  They’ve seen the future with Crosby out, and they didn’t like it one bit.

That’s actually a pretty good point. I hadn’t viewed these hits, and the resulting suspensions, from that perspective before. But I have a feeling that Shanny’s “mandate” from Lil’ Gary may very well be influenced by the League’s fear about what happened to Crosby.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/02/11 at 01:29 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Shanahan video added.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/02/11 at 02:31 AM ET

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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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