Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Evening Line

This is only a partial statement from player agent Allan Walsh regarding his client, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, being suspended for two games…

What message is Brendan Shanahan sending with this unwarranted suspension? All perennial Lady Byng candidates should now be on notice that when an opponent high sticks himself in the mouth, he can expect a minimum suspension of 2 regular season NHL games. This result is a shameful farce for the League.

It gets better, read the rest at Russo’s Rants.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, pierre-marc+bouchard

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

Walsh is a Douchebag ! Hockeys version Of Drew Rosenhaus

Posted by Evilpens on 10/09/11 at 10:36 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

For the first time, Shanny…I think you’re wrong.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/09/11 at 11:14 PM ET

Avatar

...but tell us what you REALLY think, Allan!

I can’t say that I disagree with him.

Posted by godblender on 10/09/11 at 11:15 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Totally agree with those who think this is BS.  Shanny is getting out of control. 

Not only should you not be punishing the result, but rather the action; this was properly punished in the game.  Not everything deserves a suspension!! It already cost the team 4 minutes of PK time. 

Walsh is right.  Come on Shanny, calm down.  I know you love it, but you shouldn’t be in the spotlight in this position and it appears that you are using your position to keep said spotlight. 

Having power doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 10/10/11 at 12:01 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t believe 4 minutes of PK time is enough to adequately get across the message that intentionally and recklessly swinging your stick at another guy’s face is not acceptable.

Four minutes is what you deserve when it’s a true accident.  There was definite malice in what Mr. Walsh’s client did.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/10/11 at 12:54 AM ET

Avatar

I’m with JJ on this one. You have to be in control of your stick and I’m glad Shannahan is using stiff penalties to re-educate players.

Posted by Iggy_Rules on 10/10/11 at 01:22 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

recklessly swinging your stick at another guy’s face is not acceptable.

I’d agree with you if that’s what happened.  However, it isn’t.  He slashed at the other guys hand.  The other guy lifted PMB’s stick which then hit his face. 

So thus, the logical argument you would be making is that you suspend anyone who attempts to slash another one’s hand, an act that happens 20 times a game, because the act itself is a dangerous one which extenuating circumstances could occur causing it to hit the opposing players face.  I don’t think you can realistically make that argument.

You can only punish the intent, not the injury, especially when there are intervening acts involved.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 10/10/11 at 02:07 AM ET

Avatar

In the Shanny video, PMB claims that he intended to slash Calverts hands but Calvert lifted PMB’s stick into Calverts face.  The video backs this up.  Shanny says despite this, the player is responsible for his stick.  This is patently ridiculous.

I’m all for taking a hard line on hits to the head but this is clearly not a hit to the head.  It was an accident and Calvert was clearly the aggressor in this confrontation.

Posted by Jerry on 10/10/11 at 02:53 AM ET

Avatar

I don’t care for Walsh, but he’s dead on here.

If life-altering incidents are going to happen in hockey, they’re going to be from a board, a headshot or one of those stupid icing races. It makes sense to take these types of incidents and substantially increase the penalties associated with those things in the hopes that behavior will be modified.

Extending this to unintended high sticks just seems like the worst type of mission creep to me.

How many guys have had their careers ended by concussions caused by boards, elbows or headshots? A lot.

How many guys sustained a life-altering injuries caused by illegal high sticks? The only one that comes to mind is Eric Weinrich, who went color blind or something in one of his eyes, but he played for about 5 years after that and it might have been from a puck, not a stick (there was nothing illegal about the incident that blinded Berard). There might have also been a minor leaguer named Smythe who lost an eye to a reckless stick back when I was, like 6 years old, so I can’t recall the details.

That’s 2 maybes in about 20 years compared to the avalanche of guys told to hang em up by neurologists after catching one-too-many elbows or boards.

I also don’t know what Bouchard’s supposed to do, here. Calvert started the stickwork by giving Bouchard a nutshot, then knocked Bouchard’s stick into his own mouth when he tried to whack him again for no reason.

Like Walsh said; what’s the lesson to be learned here? That you should let some guy whack you on a faceoff for fear that he might knock your stick into his mouth when you slash him back? The whole thing smells like placation to a pissed off GM (Howson).

Posted by steviesteve on 10/10/11 at 03:54 AM ET

Avatar

Totally agree with those who think this is BS.  Shanny is getting out of control.

Not only should you not be punishing the result, but rather the action; this was properly punished in the game.  Not everything deserves a suspension!! It already cost the team 4 minutes of PK time.

Walsh is right.  Come on Shanny, calm down.  I know you love it, but you shouldn’t be in the spotlight in this position and it appears that you are using your position to keep said spotlight.

Having power doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from The University of Oxford on 10/09/11 at 10:01 PM ET

Your argument is basically whining.  Its obvious, I would hope, that you are a Wild fan.

Because, after all the yapping from Walsh, and after watching Shanny’s video, there can be NO other interpretation other than the one the VP of Player Safety gave you.

The whining of Walsh is pathetic? He his sticked himself?  Are you kidding me? Even if it rode up on his stick, PM Bouchard swung his stick in the direction of the guy at at least an upper chest and/or neck area.

Walsh is pathetic, and any fan of the game not blinded by bias can only see that for what it is. A guy swinging his stick. Where it hit, or how it got there ( up the other guys stick) is irrelevant.

HE SWUNG HIS STICK!!  Not a slash to the hip, or the knee, or the ankle. He had his stick raised, and swung it with both hands at the guy.

So Chris, sorry, but even with that Uni education you are cultivating, you sound stupid on this one.

Shanahan is right. Again.

Leave this kind of thing to the experts like him.  That was an easy one. The only reason he did not get more is he is a first time offender.

Lastly, the comments on the Russo rants are also pathetic. The top one, they say he only git a major for going after Burrows, so that is OK.  I guess that is expected of Wild fans, who for some reason think that the Canucks are a huge rival ( when the fans and the team could really give an eff about them, and for years it has been like that!)...and have an incredible bias in that regard.

So, really Chris, stop. Now. You are embarrassing yourself. This

So thus, the logical argument you would be making is that you suspend anyone who attempts to slash another one’s hand, an act that happens 20 times a game, because the act itself is a dangerous one which extenuating circumstances could occur causing it to hit the opposing players face.  I don’t think you can realistically make that argument.

You can only punish the intent, not the injury, especially when there are intervening acts involved.

is some nice verbal gymnastics, but you totally miss the point. He did not slash down at his hands. He swung his stick up high, straight across, and hit someone in the FACE!  Its like saying, “well officer, I only intended to shoot at his feet, but the gun had such a kick that I shot him in the leg” I did not mean to is not a defense.

Don’t swing your stick like that up high…

Keep going Shanny, don’t listen to these guys that just do not get it.

Posted by vancitydan on 10/10/11 at 06:10 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Keep going Shanny, don’t listen to these guys that just do not get it.

Posted by vancitydan on 10/10/11 at 04:10 AM ET

*laugh*  You’re hilarious.  NoHS is a RED WINGS blog.  No Wild fan there.

So what does Calvert get for engaging Bouchard with his stick high in the first place?  I guess I’m all for Bouchard getting 2 games, so long as Calvert gets 2 as well for putting his stick up where it shouldn’t have been.

I’m with the “Shanny got it wrong” crowd though.  Calvert came at him, stick up.  Bouchard put his stick up in defense, and yes, Calvert then got hit with his own stick like a moron.

I’ll say it again like i did in the other thread:  if Bouchard has to be responsible for his stick that’s fine, but Calvert has to be responsible for his as well, and he certainly wasn’t.  And that’s by far the wrong message.

Posted by Primis on 10/10/11 at 09:08 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You can only punish the intent, not the injury,

The intent was to hit another guy with his stick. The concept that you can’t punish on the injury is absolutely untrue.  The American justice system doesn’t work that way and it’s been clear since the preseason that the NHL justice system doesn’t either.

People who are successful at murdering the people they’re trying to murder get sent to jail longer than those who have the same intent but fail to reach the same ends.

the act itself is a dangerous one which extenuating circumstances could occur causing it to hit the opposing players face.  I don’t think you can realistically make that argument.

I can’t, and I’m not trying to.  I’m making the argument that if you want to try to do this 20 times per game, realize that you’re running yourself into the risk each time that an extenuating circumstance is going to come up which is going to lead to you getting suspended for recklessly, dangerously and intentionally swinging your stick at another person.  It’s an act which I feel is not properly punished with a four-minute trip to the box.

Like Walsh said; what’s the lesson to be learned here?

Don’t swing your stick at people; especially not recklessly. Especially not anywhere near an area where the end-result could be you knocking out some of his teeth.

I’m in favor of teaching hockey players this lesson.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/10/11 at 10:10 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

vancitydan - hahaha. 

JJ - I didn’t mean to say you can’t punish injury, I’m meant that you shouldn’t.  That’s an entirely different argument altogether. 

Anyways, would you agree that the act being punished here is an attempted slash at the hands, as this is what was intended?  If so, suspending him would be a deterrent for that act, not for the chance end result which happened in this case.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 10/10/11 at 10:39 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m with JJ on this one… he swung his stick recklessly at head height. “Intentional” or not, that’s just really stupid, immature, and dangerous.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 10/10/11 at 11:01 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would say that the act being punished here is a high slash.  Like Shanahan, I believe Bouchard when he says he didn’t swing at the guy’s face, but also like Shanahan, I believe that Bouchard is ultimately responsible for what ended up happening to Calvert.

But I don’t feel we can adequately separate the argument about punishing injury because that’s a pivotal part of where I stand on this issue.

I think intent should have a whole lot more to do with supplemental discipline than injury, but that injury should play a part.  If we’re only going to punish intent, then there are a lot of players who deserve to be treated the exact same way Todd Bertuzzi is, since all he did was intend to hurt Steve Moore.

...and I’m sorry to simplify this to the Godwin’s Law of hockey goonery subject, but that’s what it comes down to. If the degree of intent to hurt is the only considered factor, then there have been a handful of hockey players who have intentionally committed acts which should have been punished in the same way.  After all, I don’t think we can say that Bertuzzi intended to break Steve Moore’s neck, just that he intended to injure his head. Milan Lucic threw a sucker punch at a guy being held by a linesman last year which intended to injure his opponent’s head; what’s the difference in the two acts when you simplify down to intent?

Of course, nobody has committed an act that is in the same degree of dangerous and tragic since that incident and I don’t believe anybody since has committed an act that deserved punishment the same way that act deserved (key word is “deserved” and not “received”). The difference is what happened, and that is a good difference to keep.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/10/11 at 11:10 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

I’m with JJ on this one… he swung his stick recklessly at head height. “Intentional” or not, that’s just really stupid, immature, and dangerous.

Nathan, we simple disagree with the fact that he swung his stick at head height.  When I watch it, I see him making contact around the glove area and moving up.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 10/10/11 at 11:30 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

JJ - I don’t think you are looking at intent at the same way I am.  The intent should be whether or not he intended to do the act he did.  For Bertuzzi, it was to punch Moore in the back of the head when he was skating away.  Not the intent to cause bodily harm, but that can be inferred from his act as that is the expected outcome resulting from Bert’s act.  That’s what should be punished (and what was). 

Essentially, he intentionally punched an unsuspecting player, from behind, with force sufficient to do serious bodily harm.  This is what is (or should be) punishable.  Whether Moore walked away unscathed or with a broken neck is irrelevant to Bertuzzi’s act. 

Here, the intent was to slash him in his gloves.  That is what should be punished.  Say, hypothetically, that the BJ player didn’t move and all PMB did was hit his gloves.  Should that act be suspended?  Because PMB’s act hasn’t changed, only the BJ player’s actions.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 10/10/11 at 11:48 AM ET

Alan's avatar

I agree with Shanahammer on this.

If you’re upset because your client got suspended for doing something stupid and nigh malicious, then perhaps you need to talk to your client and tell him to stop that nonsense.

Really, Mr. Walsh, it’s just that simple.

Now, hop off your soapbox, dry your tear-filled eyes, and move on.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 10/10/11 at 11:57 AM ET

DocF's avatar

Shanahan got this exactly right.  Regardless if Calvert’s stick lifted Bouchard’s stick into his face, Bouchard is repsonsible.  He started a slash in the area to above the player’s shoulders.  That, in and of itself, is reckless use of the stick and that was not permitted back before most of you were born. 

Bouchard was the recipient of a can opener move.  He was pissed.  He swung at Calvert.  He did not give a damn what he hit.  The referees were not in a position to see the whole sequence.  Proper penalities would have been two minutes to Calvert for interference (a can opener move is always good for two).  Five minutes and a game for the slash to the face for Bouchard plus two for retaliation.  The on ice officials blew this one big time.

Now I merely dislike the Minnisota team and loath the Bluejackets, so I feel I am biased the other way.

Sorry that there seem to be many who do not get it.  Let me repeat, the player must be responsible for his stick.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/10/11 at 12:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Essentially, he intentionally punched an unsuspecting player, from behind, with force sufficient to do serious bodily harm.  This is what is (or should be) punishable.  Whether Moore walked away unscathed or with a broken neck is irrelevant to Bertuzzi’s act.

The sufficiency of the force applied by Bertuzzi speaks more to the outcome than it does to the intent.

Here is the Lucic sucker-punch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlRTI0e9OBs

So the difference between Bertuzzi being the guy that many feel should not have been allowed to ever play another NHL game ever and Lucic here is essentially that Lucic’s victom was facing him.  Either way, both victims were defenseless and both acts involved force sufficient to do serious bodily harm.

Here, the intent was to slash him in his gloves.  That is what should be punished.  Say, hypothetically, that the BJ player didn’t move and all PMB did was hit his gloves.  Should that act be suspended?  Because PMB’s act hasn’t changed, only the BJ player’s actions.

If I’m forced to choose between the extremes of either only punishing on intent without considering outcome and only punishing on outcome without considering intent, then I would still suspend Bouchard for carrying out a play that runs the risk of smashing a guy’s face with your stick.  On this slippery slope, hockey truly becomes the no-hitting league which moderates and meatheads alike fear.

Because the alternative you leave me with by drawing the distinction so black-and-white is indeed more horrible.

If Bouchard is to be punished because he did something stupid and got unlucky enough to break a guy’s teeth, then so be it.  The other guy was punished just as badly by random chance when his teeth were broken.

Only by factoring in both intent and outcome can you come to the most-fair decision.  The deterrence factor here is that players should be more careful with how they swing their stick or get suspended AND that players should be more careful to not goad a guy into slashing you and they put your stick in such a position that his ramps up into your grill and breaks your teeth.  Both players learn a lesson.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/10/11 at 01:02 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

image

image

image