Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: suspensions
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran cover the Lightning’s recent preseason road trip, roster moves made thereafter, NHL discipline issues (including the recent Nick Boynton/Blair Jones incident), predictions for how Tampa Bay’s final roster may end up, fantasy hockey strategy and Jon (of course) continues his New York Jets elation, much to the dismay of Mike and fellow contributor, Tampa Bay Lightning.com’s Mark Pukalo.
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The Chicago Blackhawks are awaiting word from the NHL on whether rookie forward Kris Versteeg will be suspended for one game and head coach Joel Quenneville fined $10,000 for Versteeg being assessed an instigator penalty in the final seconds of last night’s 7-1 win over Phoenix.
NHL rules call for an automatic one-game suspension for the player and a $10,000 fine to his coach for any player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game, but the league reviews each one case-by-case and, in some instances, rescinds the suspension and fine.
Update 3:52pm ET: From TSN, Versteeg suspended one game and Quenneville fined $10,000.
Here’s the video clip, via HockeyFights.com:
After the meeting, [Brett] Hull spoke to the media outside the building before leaving and said that he expected a decision by later today or Friday. Avery departed after Hull and did not speak to reporters as he was escorted to a waiting car.
If a decision comes down today from the NHL, we’ll be sure to update this post.
update 6:18pm, The NHL will release their decision Friday morning regarding Avery.
Sources tell TSN New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Pock was given a five-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Ottawa Senators’ winger Ryan Shannon last night.
Pock received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for the incident.
After the game, Senators’ head coach Craig Hartsburg made his case for a suspension, using Jarkko Ruutu’s current situation as an example.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
This is NHL playoff justice. Anything short of an ax-murder is likely to be ignored. But don’t blame the current dispenser of justice, Colin Campbell. It has always been this way.
There has been the occasional exception. When Gary Bettman was in the first few months of his regime, he didn’t understand hockey tradition very well (insert your own cheap shot here) and seeing Dale Hunter deliver a cross-check to Pierre Turgeon after a goal, decided that Hunter had earned himself a 21-game suspension.
But since then, the NHL has followed a firm policy. First of all, suspensions, when they occur, are much shorter than they would be for a similar incident in the regular season. Secondly, every effort is made to keep the stars in the game.
At one time, the league used to defer playoff suspensions. One of the more notorious examples was the vicious slash that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall delivered to Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
One of the basic principles of the North American court system is that an open court is a just court. A closed court, by extension, is a court in which the seeds of doubt about whether justice is served are always present. It is why many of the NHL’s [disciplinary] decisions are regularly (and quietly) questioned by team officials and ridiculed by the media.
Why not make the process like a regular court?
Surely there is room in the NHL’s process for a stronger voice from the victim of these acts? And most important, why not establish a process by which the media can cover these events as they would any court proceeding. Whether it’s in person or via conference call or another manner, the give and take between the accused, the victim and the league should be open and accessible to ensure that justice is done.
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.
Simon will be eligible to return to the Islanders’ line-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning next Thursday. He has been serving a 30-game suspension for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu.
“What I love most is playing hockey and when it gets taken away I realize how much I love it. Ted has always been a great help and a great supporter. My teammates were amazing. The whole organization kept checking in on me and seeing how I was doing and what I was up to. I really appreciated that,” Simon said after practice.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
And so, the prodigal will return, starting with Thursday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tocchet, like Gretzky, is an NHL lifer, which suggests that his two years away from the game must have been difficult for him.
“It killed him,” agreed Gretzky. “You go through various stages — being disappointed, being embarrassed. But for him, now, his mom and dad are older people and they’ve been through a lot. It was tough on everybody — for him and his family, but you know what? He’s come through it. He’s grateful to the league for giving him a second chance. He’s grateful for how the league handled the investigation. There’s no animosity. He’s just looking to move forward.”
From the CP:
Oshawa Generals defenceman James DeLory has been suspended eight games for his spear on Sarnia Sting star Steven Stamkos. He’s among seven players and coaches who will miss a total of 23 games for an ugly Ontario Hockey League brawl that followed Oshawa’s 4-3 win last Sunday.
DeLory, 19, touched off the brawl by spearing Stamkos, the 17-year-old forward projected to be the first pick in this summer’s NHL draft.
Here’s the brawl that started it all:
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Sources tell TSN that the New York Islanders and veteran forward Chris Simon have agreed that time away from the team is needed to come to terms with his recent on-ice behavior and potentially, his playing future.
Islanders owner Charles Wang met Simon earlier today to discuss the direction best suited to provide Simon with the support he deserves.
Simon has been granted time away from the team to seek counselling, or any other method to help restore his career.
Updated 3:48pm ET: Confirmation from the Islanders:
Charles Wang: “The actions of Chris Simon on Saturday do not reflect what the New York Islanders stand for. They were reckless, potentially dangerous and against our team concept of grit, character and heart.
“We know Chris as a respected teammate and as a gracious man away from the playing surface and believe strongly that he has earned our continued support. The Islanders are going to provide some time for Chris away from the team and give him the counseling he needs and the compassion he deserves.”
Still awaiting suspension news from the league.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Scott Walker was handed a one-game suspension by the National Hockey League for his actions in Wednesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
What comes as a shock to long-time observers, however, is that now the NHL Players’ Association wants to get involved, and not necessarily to fight off the suspensions that were handed down by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, as well as the perceived threat of additional suspensions that were hinted at by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly.
Paul Kelly, who barely has found a chair that fits him as the NHLPA’s new executive director said recently that he’s “concerned” about the number of suspensions the Flyers have been given since the start of the season and that not only should the league take a tougher stance, but that his organization should “have a voice in the process.”
Given that he’s not dead, it would be wrong to say that former NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow is spinning in his grave over that one, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Kelly’s statement made his head turn. Criticism of Goodenow within and outside the PA often centered on how he handled on-ice or player-on-player violence. The perception (Goodenow argued it was unfair) was that the PA was quick to come to the defense of any perpetrator, but did next to nothing to protect the health, safety and long-term welfare of the player who was unduly or unfairly assaulted.
Nashville forward Scott Nichol has been suspended for five games for cross-checking Montreal’s Patrice Brisebois in the head in the Predators’ win over the Canadiens on Saturday night.
‘‘The crosscheck by Mr. Nichol to the head area of his opponent was reckless and dangerous,’’ said Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. ‘‘Although no serious injury resulted,the action is unacceptable.’‘
From Ed Moran at the Philadelphia News,
The Flyers have been put on notice by the NHL.
After Riley Cote was handed a three-game suspension for a head shot to Dallas forward Mat Niskanen in Saturday’s game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren that the league would be watching the Flyers closely.
“I talked to [Bettman] today. He thinks, like I do, that these are different coincidences, different situations, that have to be viewed differently, but the question was raised about ramifications if it happens again,” Holmgren told the Daily News. “So obviously we’re under watch.”
via the Tennessean,
Predators center Scott Nichol is scheduled to talk with NHL officials here this afternoon and could face a suspension for the double-minor, high-sticking penalty he picked up in Montreal on Saturday.
Nichol was given the four-minute penalty late in the second period of the Predators’ 5-4 shootout victory, after officials whistled him for what appeared to be a crosscheck to the chin of Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois.
via the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski was suspended for one game by the NHL for his hit on Marian Gaborik of the Minnesota Wild during their game Wednesday night.
The suspension was announced Thursday afternoon, and Jovanovski, who has two goals and 13 assists, will sit out tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphai News,
But when it isn’t even December and you have had four players suspended for on-ice stuff and the rest of the league combined has had only two, you know what people will think. When you lead the league in penalty minutes and majors, you know what people will think. When you are the Flyers, and even if you are so far removed from the old days that some current players are young enough to be the grandsons of some of the original Broad Street Bullies, well, you know.
You know what people will think - and the Flyers had better get used to it.
from the Calgary Sun,
Godard was assessed his third instigator penalty Saturday night in Colorado against the Avalanche, but the two-game suspension that’s to come with that infraction was rescinded by the league yesterday—and he was able to play in the team’s 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
“I really thought they would have, so I was happy they did,” Godard said. “I’m not gonna say anything about the refs. I think they did a pretty good job that night. That’s a call in the rule book, so they’ve got to make the call. They reviewed the tape, and there was obviously some other circumstances going on.”
In our “Friday Faceoff,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: The Vancouver Canucks’ Mattias Ohlund slashed Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild, and Koivu suffered a cracked bone in his left leg. For his actions, Ohlund received a four-game suspension. Was the suspension enough?
Damien: So, back to suspension. Here are my two ideas. First, no suspension should ever be less than 10 games. If somebody’s been a bad boy, that’s the only way you’re really going to get his attention and spread the gospel of deterrence. Second, coaches serve half the suspension time or maybe sit out the same number of games.
from the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks may start a three-game road trip in Edmonton tonight, but the focus is already on what’s shaping up as a grudge match Wednesday in Minnesota.
That would be the second half of a home-and-home series with the Wild, whom the Canucks drubbed 6-2 Friday at GM Place in a game that got very ugly. After a variety of elbows and chops, Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund two-handed Wild centre Mikko Koivu on the ankle, cracking a bone and earning himself a four-game suspension.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
If Mattias Ohlund is suspended, it would happen before tomorrow because Vancouver has a game.
It’ll be an interesting decision. After seeing the replay again more closely well after game, one wonders if league disciplinarian Colin Campbell will take into account Ohlund was reacting to Koivu’s attempted elbow.
I would think he would want to suspend him to perhaps keep Wednesdays rematch more civil and to also keep Ohlund safe.
Also, ill tell you what, after looking at Marian Gaborik’s elbow on Ryan Kesler again, he’s lucky he didn’t get a major. It was a leap at Kesler’s head.
*More on this situation written by myself earlier today.
*Additional info on possible suspension time for Ohlund on Jason Botchford’s blog at The Province
The National Hockey League announced today disciplinary action resulting from NHL game #251 between the Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks, November 12.
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Nick Boynton has been suspended automatically for one game, while head coach Wayne Gretzky has been fined $10,000. Boynton was assessed an instigator penalty at 15:50 of the third period.
from Bud Barth of the Worcester-Telegram & Gazette,
The Philly hierarchy obviously is condoning, if not encouraging, this caveman mentality that goes far beyond the NHL toughness standard and enters the barbaric sphere of intent to injure — and injure badly.
Downie’s incident could have been excused as an isolated case. After Boulerice’s hit, it smacked of team policy. Now, with Jones’ infraction being perhaps the ugliest of all, how can you not consider conspiracy?
[Updated 4:50pm ET: Jones & Holmgren’s reaction to suspension is below]
From the NHL,
TORONTO (October 29, 2007)—Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of being assessed a game misconduct during NHL game #146 against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 27, the National Hockey League announced today.
“While it is my determination that Jones did not intend to injure his opponent, he did deliver a hard check to a player who was in a vulnerable position,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “There have been suggestions by some that this hit was comparable to incidents earlier this season where players received significant game suspensions for blows to the head. These comparisons and suggestions are wrong,” Campbell added.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
If the NHL responds as if this were just another hockey hit and penalizes Jones lightly or lets him off altogether, all the league’s statements that it is serious about eliminating dangerous play would be rendered moot.
For all the praise being heaped on Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and coach John Stevens for turning around a Philadelphia franchise that finished dead last in 2006-07, these incidents suggest this franchise has no real control over its players.
What else are we to conclude from the fact that three players scouted and signed by the Flyers have engaged in behavior that could have ended players’ careers?
*Also in the Philadelphia Inquirer today, Joe Logan asks “Are the Bullies Back?”
Update 3:03pm ET: CBC’s Jeff Marek says Bergeron “a victim of coaching tactics.”
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
There are those who are waiting for the NHL to throw the book at Philadelphia’s Randy Jones for his hit on Boston’s Patrice Bergeron.
There are those who are talking about what sanctions the league should impose on the Flyer organization, in the wake of illegal hits by Steve Downie, Jesse Boulerice and now Jones.
And there are those who are likely to be disappointed.
The NHL has yet to rule on Jones, and won’t do or say anything publicly Sunday, but if the reaction around the league from other GMs, coaches and players is any indication, Jones is not likely to be on the receiving end of a monster suspension, if he’s suspended at all.
From Scott Morrison at CBC,
Rick Tocchet could have his status with the NHL determined by the end of this week.
According to sources, the long-awaited Cleary Report, an internal investigation into Tocchet’s involvement in a gambling ring, is expected to be delivered to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this week. Once Bettman digests the report, authored by lawyer Robert Cleary, he will conduct a meeting with Tocchet and determine whether he will be allowed to return as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes any time soon.
A KK reader dropped this in our email box tonight. Mike expressed concern that maybe suspensions aren’t being taken as seriously as we’d all hope:
The league’s disciplinarian should probably be aware that not only is Steve Downie flouting the suspension handed down to him, but he’s also setting up goals…
Here’s the screenshot from the Yahoo! boxscore earlier tonight:
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
Players around the league have roundly applauded hefty suspensions to Philadelphia Flyers forwards Steve Downie and Jesse Boulerice this season. The message is clear: hits to the head will no longer be tolerated.
“That kind of stuff is crazy,” said veteran winger Mark Recchi. “That’s stuff that doesn’t belong in the game. We’re a sport that allows fighting and you can vent your frustration by a fight if you want, but it’s a clean, hard game and that stuff doesn’t belong.
“I think (NHL disciplinarian) Colin Campbell has done the right thing.”
read on for the reaction from other NHL players…
note 1:22pm, I missed my morning coffee earlier today and forgot to note this was from a tele-conference Campbell did yesterday.
Q. So often in these things we hear about repeat offender things, that each suspension thereafter is harsher. Now we’ve had two against a team in a short period of time. Is there any provision where teams can now be held responsible for their players’ actions as well?
COLIN CAMPBELL: There’s nothing formal that holds a team responsible. I guess if you really look at the issues they have to deal with, their roster situation, they have to deal with paying the player and with other aspects that come with losing two players that they’re paying. But there’s nothing formal that punishes the team for the number of players who are suspended.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...There are, however, signs, that the NHL is trying to change that mindset, one suspension at a time — the Boulerice suspension ties with Chris Simon for the longest in history, relating to an on-ice incident.
But the league could fast-track the process by extending the discipline to the respective teams as well. Fines to the club, suspensions for the coach - those sorts of penalties might encourage teams to think twice about employing players who haven’t yet figured out that the culture of head-hunting is going the way of the dodo.
The simplest solution might even be the least complicated — simply prevent a team from replacing a suspended player in the line-up.
more and other NHL bits too in Eric’s weekly NHL roundup…
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the NHL on Friday for cross-checking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face, the second Flyer in three weeks to receive a ban of at least 20 games.
From the AP via MSNBC,
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice said he expects to be suspended for cross-checking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face late in an 8-2 rout on Wednesday night.
The hit occurred with 5:41 left and the Flyers leading 7-2. After some pushing and shoving back and forth, Boulerice caught an unsuspecting Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, leaving the Canucks forward lying motionless on the ice. He eventually got up and skated to the bench on his own.
Boulerice’s coach agreed that a suspension is probably forthcoming.
*Video footage is here
AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced Tuesday that Steve Downie has been ruled ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007-08 season.
“The American Hockey League has established a strict disciplinary standard over the last several seasons relative to deliberate hits to the head,” said Andrews in a statement. “We strongly support the National Hockey League’s recent directives on these dangerous hits, and we want to send a clear message that actions such as Mr. Downie’s are unacceptable in our game.”
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell is expected to be reinstated today, ending his indefinite suspension after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program last month.
Bell will now begin serving the additional 15 game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League and won’t make his Maple Leafs debut until November 6th in Ottawa.
Colin Campbell was involved with a tele-conference call today discussing the Downie suspension.
Q. Can you characterize what Steve Downie did to Dean McAmmond? What you saw?
COLIN CAMPBELL: Characterize? We had requested this be put on the agenda for the board of governors. As a result, the general managers looked at a number of hits. We had 52 hits from last season that were not suspendable hits, but hits where shoulders were delivered to the head.
And from that meeting on, the general managers in June, it was in Ottawa in the finals, the Competition Committee met and reviewed the same hit.
We convened a group of coaches in late July, early August as well as having talked about the draft to a number of coaches, assistant coaches as well. We had six coaches that were brought in here and we discussed what we had found.
At the end of the day, there were a number of criteria that the groups didn’t like, and any of those criteria could get you suspended. At the same time, we wanted to keep hitting in the game of hockey. And legal shoulder checks to the head would be allowed if they were delivered in a legal fashion.
The National Hockey League has handed down its verdict on the Flyers’ Steve Downie. Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice-president and director of hockey operations has suspended Downie a 20-game.
Downie was punished for his vicious hit on Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond in Thursday’s exhibition game.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
As long as there are large, angry and well-paid men flying around at crushing speeds, there will be stupid acts, scary collisions and scrambled cerebellum. You could throw a lifetime ban at Downie and someone, soon, would be there to wear the villain’s mask. Marty McSorley begat Donald Brashear. Donald Brashear begat Chris Simon. Curly begat Moe.
And at that point, there will be another body lying motionless on the ice, Cuckoo over Cocoa Puffs, and the rafters will ring once again with the experts’ call to arms.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Moreover, as long as such hits stay in the game, there will be inevitable retaliation and brawls that followed, and you’ll have more of the bizarre scenes like Tuesday when a group of Ottawa players inadvertently trampled the unconscious McAmmond in their rush to exact some form of frontier justice.
The NHL could have taken a hard line on such hits in the summer months, but chose not to. The players’ union sure didn’t demand it, and too many hockey people decreed that the risk of taking body contact out of the game by outlawing hits to the head area was too significant.
Instead, the league has asked its officials to more carefully assess each incident with an emphasis on several key areas:
from 640am in Toronto,
The NHL has suspended Flyers rookie Steve Downie following a vicious hit on Senators forward Dean McAmmond last night.
Downie was handed a match penalty for attempt to injure. He is now indefinitely suspended by the NHL, pending a review of the hit by the league. Downie was the victim of a clean hit from Christoph Schubert before he immediately got up and sought revenge on McAmmond in the Flyers zone.
See the hit in this post...
added 6:54am, from the Ottawa Sun,
“There’s no place in the game for that stuff,” a seething McGrattan said after the game. “That was a dirty hit and he’s a dirty player. He’s known for that and he’ll get what’s coming to him next time we play him, for sure.
“You don’t want to see stuff like that. We’re not out there to kill each other. At this level, he’ll get what’s coming to him.”
Update September 27, 7:40pm ET:
Just a note that Downie contacted McAmmond to offer an apology. From The Star,
A phone call of apology from Steve Downie has earned the Philadelphia Flyers prospect some understanding from Dean McAmmond but not from the rest of the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond left the pre-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers on a stretcher in the second period after a vicious hit to the head by Flyers forward Steve Downie.
McAmmond had just passed the puck and was skating behind the Flyers net when Downie leveled him with a shoulder to the head. Downie, who was hit into the boards earlier in the shift by Christoph Schubert was given a match penalty - which means he is suspended indefinitely pending a review.
McAmmond has been diagnosed with a concussion, but he is moving his extremities and has been sent to a hospital for further examination.
Update 12:35am ET:
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Dirty. Cheap. Needless. Despicable. Those words don’t just describe Tuesday night’s hit on Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond. They describe the man who delivered it – Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Update 1:08am ET:
Thanks to a reader in the comments of this post, here is the video of the hit on McAmmond:
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The Ottawa Senators have quietly expressed some interest in Curtis Joseph as a backup goaltender should they be able to find a home for Martin Gerber and his $3.7-million US contract.
• Word around is that the new tough NHL was ready to give Mark Bell a 30-game suspension had he not shown such remorse and personal growth to the league. Doubt Ferguson, who said he did his due diligence on Bell, was aware of that when he tied up $2 million in summer cap money trading for him.
• A waste of money: Whichever NHL team ends up signing Peter Forsberg. He has little left to offer.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mark Bell received a 15 regular season game suspension from the NHL on Wednesday.
added 12:07pm, Statement from Gary Bettman,
“Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a corresponding responsibility for exemplary conduct off the ice as well as on it,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Mark Bell will serve jail time following the 2007-08 season after pleading to felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an alcohol-related automobile accident that caused an injury. He also left the scene of the accident. Such conduct is a violation of our covenant with our fans, and to the game, and is prejudicial to the welfare of the League.
“However, over the past year, Mark has made extraordinary strides in his rehabilitation. This positive progress was a material factor in reducing what could have been a lengthier suspension,” Commissioner Bettman added. “The NHL supports Mark’s commitment to learning from his past mistakes and his efforts to move his life forward in a positive direction.”