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Punish Gillies & The Islanders

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

But the video of the Gillies hit, itself, was unremarkable. A cheap shot like that happens so often now, the audience is practicallly numbed by it, and why wouldn’t it be? The players don’t police themselves, there is no internal discipline for reckless behaviour, and the NHL doesn’t take the incidence of head injuries to its players seriously - even one to the best player in the world, who may or may not be back this season, or ever again be the player he was.

It’s what Button (on NHL Network) was saying that struck me. And though I’ve heard the idea mooted before, I don’t believe a former NHL director of player personnel (Dallas Stars) and GM (Calgary Flames) has ever mouthed such sentiments on a league-funded TV network.

What he said was: show some balls, NHL.

Don’t just punish the player, punish his coach and teammates by making them play with 17 skaters for the duration of the suspension. Punish the general manager by counting the suspended player’s salary against the cap. Make all the enablers of this epidemic of irresponsible behaviour pay a price for it, and you might be surprised how quickly the jackass quotient in the the NHL is eliminated.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: trevor+gillies

Comments

Hank1974's avatar

Those are fantastic ideas.
The problem is, if you force the team to pay for the suspender players salary, and the team to play with only 17 skaters, I guarantee you Colleen Campbell levies out even less suspensions.
I mean, his wheel of justice already has 95% of it’s surface marked with “No fine. No suspension. Here’s a free Subway Coupon”.
So imagine how little Colleen will discipline if there’s an actual real punishment to be had.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/03/11 at 02:14 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

Actually I thought a player’s salary still counts against the cap while suspended. I might be wrong though.

Posted by pensfan29 on 03/03/11 at 02:23 PM ET

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You make a good point Hank, but the answer is obvious - Campbell has to go!

The league circled the wagons and defended the guy after his emails leaked, and I agree that he was probably not implicitly telling refs to favor some guys and go after others.

On the other hand, I also think it’s either naive or stupid to believe that refs don’t figure out what Colie wants and decide that if they want playoff games and the extra income that comes with it, they will favor some guys and go after others because that’s what the boss clearly wants - whether he says it or not.

Having the on-ice officials call more 5-minute majors together with the game misconduct will be making teams play with 17 skaters.

Posted by duncfair on 03/03/11 at 02:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m almost positive the player salary does continue to count against the cap.

I don’t like the concept of forcing a team to play with 17 skaters to make up for a suspension.  If you do that, you’re not only punishing innocent teammates with a slightly higher risk of injuries, but you’re also preventing the team from calling up a player who could very well show that he’s more valuable to the team than the guy serving the suspension.

What would be best for the league is if the Islanders called a guy up in Gillies’ spot and he played so well that the Islanders wouldn’t want to put Gillies back into the lineup in his place.

Also, fine the hell out of the organization, GM, and coach.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/03/11 at 02:32 PM ET

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About the salary counting against the cap, Craig Button said last night on NHL Network that it doesn’t, and obviously should be the easiest to implement.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 02:41 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

duncfair, I couldn’t agree more. If the NHL had a disciplinary figure that actually had some teeth the players would care.
Wasn’t it last year where TSN spoke to a few players, through anonymity, that said they’re not scared about playing recklessly because the suspensions that are handed out are meaningless.
Heck, some of these guys would probably enjoy a 2 or 3 game holiday.

And to be honest, sitting a player like Gillies for 10 days helps the Islanders.
It’s hardly ever a star player pulling these kinds of shenanigans so removing the weak buffalo from the herd will only help their team.

It’ll never happen, but shortening the rosters to only 16 skaters would be a great start to removing players that have no talent and offer nothing but circus tricks to a game.
Gillies is an embarrassment to this league.
If the NHL wants to remain in the shadows and have the same reputation as roller-derby then fine. Continue on as you have.
But if they really want a big TV deal, and be mentioned in the same breath as the NFL, NBA and MLB, they need to get rid of losers like Gillies.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/03/11 at 02:43 PM ET

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How about the hit that started it all.  Last night Buttonhead said to watch the replay and see how Gillies hit was from behind.  Well, go ahead and watch the replay, Clutterbuck’s hit was from behind, Giliies was from the side.  Look at the replay and see for yourself.  The Islanders have lost more man games to injuries then any other team.  Bobby Nystrom was on last night and he felt that alot of teams were taking liberties with the Islnaders until the Penguin game.
Jack Hillen has had several concussions this year, no big deal.  Sydney Crosby has a concussion, big deal.  I understand why the league treats Crosby’s injury more seriously then Hillen’s, but that doesn’t make it right and if you’re an Islander fan you’re tired of the double standard!!!

The fact is, that Clutterbuck’s hit on the Islanders rookie was worse then Gillies.  Gillies just carries more baggage!!!  If Clutterbuck doesn’t hit from behind, Gillies would pull up on his hit.  When I was a kid, the one that started the trouble was always the one to blame. how things have changed!

Posted by RogerNYLA on 03/03/11 at 03:05 PM ET

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I wonder who pays for him to go to the in-person hearing? I would guess the NHLPA, because they’re there representing him, right?

That’s something that makes me angry, maybe more than those hits, as there will always be bad hits/poor decisions on the ice. I suppose they vigorously defend the perpetrator to lessen the overall games/salary lost between him and the victim.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 03:07 PM ET

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...the Islanders ...
Posted by RogerNYLA on 03/03/11 at 12:05 PM ET

You’re an idiot.

”...things…”
Posted by RogerNYLA on 03/03/11 at 12:05 PM ET

You’re an idiot.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 03:09 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

hahahaha This is the Twat Waffle who Blamed everything on Mario with the Isles/Pens game debacle, Now He has gotten religion hahahahahahaha

Posted by Evilpens on 03/03/11 at 03:11 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

How about the hit that started it all.  Last night Buttonhead said to watch the replay and see how Gillies hit was from behind.  Well, go ahead and watch the replay, Clutterbuck’s hit was from behind, Giliies was from the side.  Look at the replay and see for yourself.  The Islanders have lost more man games to injuries then any other team.  Bobby Nystrom was on last night and he felt that alot of teams were taking liberties with the Islnaders until the Penguin game.
Jack Hillen has had several concussions this year, no big deal.  Sydney Crosby has a concussion, big deal.  I understand why the league treats Crosby’s injury more seriously then Hillen’s, but that doesn’t make it right and if you’re an Islander fan you’re tired of the double standard!!!

The fact is, that Clutterbuck’s hit on the Islanders rookie was worse then Gillies.  Gillies just carries more baggage!!!  If Clutterbuck doesn’t hit from behind, Gillies would pull up on his hit.  When I was a kid, the one that started the trouble was always the one to blame. how things have changed!   OH Goody Rogee’s Back hahaha

Posted by Evilpens on 03/03/11 at 03:12 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

I actually cant believe the cap hit doesnt count. Thats *#$%@& incredible. That needs to be fixed asap.

Posted by pensfan29 on 03/03/11 at 03:20 PM ET

Nick's New York Rangers Wire Blog's avatar

These are some great ideas on enforcement, though teams would throw a fit. It’s clear Gillies plays with one purpose, take other people out. He targets players and looks for a cheap shot. The guy is not a good skater, his hands are not good, he’s a flat out goon who’s out to hurt people. The league needs to rectify these kind of actions and make a statement.

Posted by Nick's New York Rangers Wire Blog on 03/03/11 at 03:22 PM ET

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These are some great ideas on enforcement, though teams would throw a fit.”Posted by Nick’s New York Rangers Wire Blog on 03/03/11 at 12:22 PM ET

Bingo. So where does the problem start?

Hopefully the generation who are in minor hockey right now start to bring tangible change to the game in the next decade or two.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 03:34 PM ET

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“So where does the problem start?”

I suppose I meant to include solution in there.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 03:38 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

RogerNYLA makes a point though when he says that Clutterbuck should be disciplined as well.
His hit was just as dirty and dangerous as many others we’ve seen this year.

Two thoughts on that;
1. Not surprised that Campbell will do nothing about that. And Clutters has a history of making these hits.
2. It just proves that no matter how many Gillies you send on the ice, players like Clutterbuck will continue to play dangerously. He knows he’s not expected to fight goons or even other middleweights. He’s a good enough player that he can contribute on a regular shift and draw many penalties with his pest-like play.

So once again, both thoughts lead to the underlying reason the NHL has so many issues and has never been more dangerous to play in - Colin Campbell.

If this jackass actually handed out worthy suspensions that got players scared, you wouldn’t see guys like Clutterbuck hitting guys from behind, and you wouldn’t need clowns like Gillies in the league because none of these dangerous plays would be happening.

When is the NHL going to learn this?
But it doesn’t help when renowned and respected sources such as TSN rally around Campbell as much as anyone else.
This guys is a complete joke and the biggest detriment to the league, and yet even respected journalists like Bob McKenzie have a hard time pointing it out because he’s had a beer or two with him.
Or perhaps it’s because his own son is playing pro hockey now and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his career. And judging by Campbell’s leaked emails, McKenzie’s right to keep his mouth shut. Colleen is definitely someone who would ruin a person’s career based on his own manic emotions.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/03/11 at 03:46 PM ET

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To be honest I doubt we’ll see Gillies with the Islanders next season. To be a good enforcer, you have to protect your teammates from harm. The best way to do that is to be a calming influence - which is why a lot of the better enforcers don’t actually fight that much. But pulling bush-league nonsense like Trevor Gillies only further riles up the other team, putting his guys at risk of violent retribution… at which point Mr. Gillies is sitting in the locker room, unable to defend his guys.

Besides, the Isles already have Zenon Konopka, a real enforcer (he’s fought guys in every game against Pittsburgh this season except That Game on February 5th), as well as a guy who can sort of play hockey.

Posted by fcjbencard on 03/03/11 at 03:56 PM ET

Puck's avatar

“even one to the best player in the world, who may or may not be back this season, or ever again be the player he was.”

Damn it! I didn’t hear that Pavel Datsyuk was out with a head injury?

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 03/03/11 at 04:04 PM ET

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His hit was just as dirty and dangerous as many others we’ve seen this year.”
Posted by Hank1974 on 03/03/11 at 12:46 PM ET

Yeah, he’s a guy like Cooke and Tootoo, those three especially, that you can always count on to finish their hits on every play, which is going catch players in vulnerable positions often, can easily be called dirty, and will hurt guys now and then. They play like wrecking balls.

All I know is that if I was playing and I knew those guys were suited up for the game, I’d do my damndest to be as aware of their positions on the ice as possible. Obviously you can’t avoid everything coming your way, but there seems to be a lot of NHL’ers that seem to want to trust in the ‘good nature’ of these players, rather than trust their own awareness.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 04:08 PM ET

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“Damn it! I didn’t hear that Pavel Datsyuk was out with a head injury?”
Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 03/03/11 at 01:04 PM ET

No, you didn’t.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/03/11 at 04:09 PM ET

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Damn it! I didn’t hear that Pavel Datsyuk was out with a head injury?

That’s not how you spell Nicklas Lidstrom, is it?

Posted by fcjbencard on 03/03/11 at 04:16 PM ET

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Hank1974 is right on point.

The NHL hates retaliation far more than instigation and until the NHL figures it out they’ll be bush league.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/03/11 at 04:23 PM ET

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Some of the same types of players as Gillies - Orr, Brashear,  Boogard all linked by one organization over the past four seasons. I think a lot of teams and player sneed to start looking in the mirror since we have a lot of glass houses.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/03/11 at 04:26 PM ET

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You want to end this crap fast?

You have a player who hits from behind a second time in a season in which they have been suspended for hitting from behind and you lose a 2nd round draft pick.

Bye bye Matt Cooke, bye bye Trevor Gillies - enjoy the KHL - if they’ll even take you there..

Posted by duncfair on 03/03/11 at 05:25 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

You want to end this crap fast?

You have a player who hits from behind a second time in a season in which they have been suspended for hitting from behind and you lose a 2nd round draft pick.

Bye bye Matt Cooke, bye bye Trevor Gillies - enjoy the KHL - if they’ll even take you there..

That would definitely send a strong message.
But then, I truly believe the NHL loves this stuff. They’ll probably jump for joy when someone breaks their neck (oh wait, that already happened - Steve Moore), or dies.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/03/11 at 05:30 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

When I was a kid, the one that started the trouble was always the one to blame. how things have changed!

Posted by RogerNYLA on 03/03/11 at 12:05 PM ET

Except if that person is an Islander.  Then it’s everyone else’s fault, right?

Because that’s what you just said.  “Clutterbuck’s hit was worse!  *snivel-snivel*  If that wouldn’t have happened, Gilles wouldn’t have hit him squarely in the head!  *cry-whine-snivel*”

The things you say are stupid.

Quit defending this piece of shit.  You should be severely ashamed that he puts on an Islanders sweater every morning.  I would be.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 03/03/11 at 06:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You want to end this crap fast?

You have a player who hits from behind a second time in a season in which they have been suspended for hitting from behind and you lose a 2nd round draft pick.

Bye bye Matt Cooke, bye bye Trevor Gillies - enjoy the KHL - if they’ll even take you there..

Posted by duncfair on 03/03/11 at 02:25 PM ET

I cannot stress enough how much I like this idea.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/03/11 at 06:23 PM ET

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You should be severely ashamed that Cooke puts on a Penguins sweater every morning. I know I am

- brilliant observation

You have a player who hits from behind a second time in a season in which they have been suspended for hitting from behind and you lose a 2nd round draft pick.

- that would rid the league of Clutterbuck’s, as well as Gillies, Cooke, and Tootoo and therefore I fully endorse this idea.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/03/11 at 06:30 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/03/11 at 03:30 PM ET

1.  This has absolutely nothing to do with Matt Cooke, but…

2.  Since you want to compare Cooke to Gillies, lets just do that:  Cooke - 125 goals, 173 points in 10 seasons in the NHL.  He averages 2:54 of shorthanded TOI per game (174:58 total - both 3rd amongst Penguin forwards, 15th in the league) also, because he’s an extremely talented penalty killer.

Trevor Gillies?  1 goal, 1 assist.  He’s such a talented player that he’s 32 years old and has played in an astounding 48 NHL games.  Also, this season, his total TOI is 94:50 - or barely half of the time Cooke has spent on the ice shorthanded.

Conclusion?  Matt Cooke is a good hockey player despite his antics, Trevor Gillies not so much.

Sure, I’m definitely not proud of some of the things Matt Cooke has done in his time with the Penguins, but he’s a huge part of the best PK in the league and was a vital cog in the Penguins Stanley Cup win in ‘09.

Questionable hits?  Yes.  Dirty hits?  Yes.  But at the end of the day, Cooke brings WAY more to the table than Gillies does or could ever dream of doing.  And even though Cooke has done some pretty shitty things, I’ve never seen him punch a concussed player laying facedown on the ice, then taunt him mercilessly afterwards.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 03/04/11 at 12:59 AM ET

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By your logic then Gretzky should have been able to carry a gun on the ice and kill anyone on sight since he had the greatest numbers of all time. The point is that no player should have the right to cripple another and the double standard has to stop. I’m comparing dangerous hockey hits to dangerous hockey hits and skill has nothing to do with it. I’d be no happier being a quadraplegic when I see the guy that did it to me goes into the Hall of Fame than if he were done after one season in the league.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/04/11 at 12:12 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

By your logic then Gretzky should have been able to carry a gun on the ice and kill anyone on sight since he had the greatest numbers of all time. The point is that no player should have the right to cripple another and the double standard has to stop. I’m comparing dangerous hockey hits to dangerous hockey hits and skill has nothing to do with it. I’d be no happier being a quadraplegic when I see the guy that did it to me goes into the Hall of Fame than if he were done after one season in the league.

Excellent point.

It looks worse when a guy like Gillies does it because a player like him doesn’t belong in any professional sport.
But just because one guy is useless and the other has some hockey skills, doesn’t excuse trying to maim players on the ice.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/04/11 at 12:27 PM ET

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I think we have to remove the excuse that Gillies is a necessary evil, by taking out the trash that makes him relevant. Pronger getting half of what Simon gets for the same infraction tells the players in the league it is not what you do, but who you are and that leads to disrespect amongst the players.

When players know that the league values some of them less than others they start to believe that they need to be the ones doleing out the punishment because the league has abdicated their responsibility. The same can be said for the NHLPA that has taken a chickensh!t stance by protecting some players to the detriment of others.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/04/11 at 12:55 PM 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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