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Steve Ott Questions Suspension Length For Kaleta

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo Post,

Patrick Kaleta has appealed his 10-game suspension and the Sabres are waiting to hear when his appeal process will be heard. Tonight's game against Vancouver will already be his fourth one out of the lineup. Fellow Sabres agitator Steve Ott said the issue he's had with Brendan Shanahan's ruling is that Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson was not hurt on the play and went on to get 23 minutes of ice time in the Oct. 10 game against the Sabres.

"It's hard because there's no injury on the play," Ott told The News today after the Sabres' pregame skate. "I have a hard time with it for that simple fact. Is it suspendable? Absolutely, as in the guy could have really been hurt. But could have is not good enough for me.

"No one wants to see anybody injured by any means but that has to play in the equation if you're going to throw a book at somebody. He didn't even fall. Could it have been bad? Sure. For me, the injury has to play into the situation."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+ott

Comments

awould's avatar

The injury absolutely should not be a factor.

If the hit is illegal and is one that can easily cause a bad injury, it should be suspended just as much as if the injury happens or not. Whether the injury occurs is luck. It’s not like Ott knows just how hard to slam a guys head into the boards to avoid causing serious injury. What should be considered are the factors that relate to intent and how egregious it was….. was it a blindside hit, did the other player turn their back or duck their head at last second, was it premeditated, etc.

Of course a guy like Ott wants it to be a factor - it allows him to keep playing his game and gives him some odds in his favor because more often the player is not injured.

I like good clean hits as much as the next guy, but stuff like intentional elbows to the head, egregious head-shots, slew-foots and some of the more obvious/intentional boarding calls should result in long suspensions, regardless of injury.

Posted by awould on 10/17/13 at 01:22 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Wow, one scumbag defending another.  What a surprise.

Posted by Savage Henry on 10/17/13 at 01:23 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

The injury absolutely should not be a factor.

If the hit is illegal and is one that can easily cause a bad injury, it should be suspended just as much as if the injury happens or not. Whether the injury occurs is luck.

Exactly!! I’ve always hated this argument and that the NHL actually uses it at times.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 10/17/13 at 02:17 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Ott’s right everyone.
Just like in real life, you should only get punished if something really bad happened.
Shooting at someone should only be a misdemeanor. But if you killed him, well, THEN throw the book at him.

Posted by Hank1974 on 10/17/13 at 03:25 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Of course a guy like Ott wants it to be a factor - it allows him to keep playing his game and gives him some odds in his favor because more often the player is not injured.

I can’t help but wonder if you’ve watched Ott play?  He’s not one of the over-the-top predatory hitters you seem to think from the context.  He plays a gritty, grindy game but is far more of an agitator than he is a hitter.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s really annoying in a “is this necessary in this game?” kind’ve way but he’s not all flying elbows and hits to the head in the vein of a Matt Cooke (circa 2010), or a Rafi Torres.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/17/13 at 03:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

“Dirtbag Questions Suspension Length for Dirtbag Teammate”

There, fixed the headline for you.

Posted by Primis on 10/17/13 at 03:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I can’t help but wonder if you’ve watched Ott play?  He’s not one of the over-the-top predatory hitters you seem to think from the context.  He plays a gritty, grindy game but is far more of an agitator than he is a hitter.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s really annoying in a “is this necessary in this game?” kind’ve way but he’s not all flying elbows and hits to the head in the vein of a Matt Cooke (circa 2010), or a Rafi Torres.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/17/13 at 03:36 PM ET

“In the 2007–08 season, Ott was suspended by the NHL for three games for a hit to the head of Jordan Leopold of the Colorado Avalanche during a game on March 9, 2008.”

“Ott was suspended one game by the NHL on March 1, 2009 for an incident during a game on February 28, 2009 against the Anaheim Ducks, where he received a match penalty for eye gouging Travis Moen.”

So eye-gouging and a head-shot.  Sorry, your defense of him fall short there.  He’s not a huge a violator as them, but he is that kind of violator.  He’s probably about ahead-shot away from being in that same class though.

Posted by Primis on 10/17/13 at 04:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’d like to see the NHL’s response to this be

“If Kaleta had injured Johnson on the play, we were prepared to throw him out of the league entirely.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/13 at 04:26 PM ET

Avatar

Not much has been changing even with new enforcement and suspensions.  I think for things to truly change, they are going to have to really start throwing the book at these guys, especially the repeat offenders.  I’m also tired of the same old “...I didn’t mean it, I hope he’s not injured;  no one wants to see another guy hurt;” etc.  Bull.  You can’t tell me that the most skilled players in the world can’t lower their shoulder 6 inches when delivering a check.  In all these recent cases, these types of checks were easily avoidable by the checker.  I’m also tired of the ‘keep your head up’ excuse.  Everyone has to look down occasionally to pick up the puck.  Also, getting hit square in the numbers from behind means it won’t matter whether your head is up or not.  Check out the PBS special ‘League of Denial’ about the concussion problem in the NFL The NHL is in the same boat.

Posted by cantskate on 10/17/13 at 04:58 PM ET

Avatar

BREAKING: Steve Ott is an idiot.

Actually that’s not really breaking news, so nevermind.

The bottom line though, is that you can’t let a guy run around and kill someone just because his consistently dangerous “play” hasn’t killed anyone yet.  Playing in the NHL is a privilege, not a right, and it’s one that should be forfeited when it’s not respected and cherished.

Posted by RoneFace on 10/17/13 at 08:19 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

So eye-gouging and a head-shot.  Sorry, your defense of him fall short there.  He’s not a huge a violator as them, but he is that kind of violator.  He’s probably about ahead-shot away from being in that same class though.

You’re quoting wikipedia for your sources?  There is context to those suspensions that you’re clearly ignoring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bmAiuaRKow  <—This is the Ott/Moen clip.  I’m not saying he’s right to gouge his eye (which I can’t see, but whatever) but Moen, as like the fourth guy in, does jump a dude with a broken arm who he knows can’t fight back and start pummeling him over a few cross checks as a game ends (and, really, we’re talking about the Ducks.  A few crosschecks is pretty minor considering the opposition).  Note how many Stars come to Ott’s aid.  I don’t know that I blame Ott all that much.

The headshot is a headshot, sure.  But both Abdelkader and Brendan Smith have headshot suspensions and neither of them are that kind’ve player.  All I was saying is that Ott’s a different sort of player than the Kaleta/Cooke/Torres class of idiot.  He’s kinda despicable, but he’s not one of those “Is this the game where he ends someone’s career?” sorts.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/17/13 at 10:12 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

There is context to those suspensions that you’re clearly ignoring.

I should have said: “... that you’re missing by only using such a fickle source as that.”

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/17/13 at 10:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/17/13 at 10:13 PM ET

I agree Ott isn’t one of those guys. Makes no difference to my point though, which has almost nothing to do with Ott.

But as long as you bring it up, if the NHL took a truly hard line on dirty play, there are players whose careers would end and players whose minutes would shrink. Ott is a player whose minutes would shrink. His skill on the ice is not enough for him to stake out a secure place in the league without all the other stuff that gets him and his ilk suspended, and other players injured. Is Ott as likely to cause injury as Lapierre? No, he’s not. But he’s much more likely to cause injury than Daniel Sedin, or even Dan Cleary. So for Ott to defend dirty/dangerous play comes off as a bit self-serving. Like the guys who spend more time in the dressing room serving fighting majors than time on the ice chasing the puck down defending the need for fighting in the league.

Posted by awould on 10/18/13 at 06:18 PM ET

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