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The Malik Report

A statement which can be extrapolated to apply to almost anything NHL-related, octopi included

While weighing in on the fact that Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, his coach, Mike Babcock, the player whose hit injured Franzen in Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan and Doan’s coach, Dave Tippett offered four very disparate takes as to whether an incident which resulted in 23 stitches to close multiple wounds and a chipped tooth…

Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner may have stumbled upon the formula which the NHL applies to every controversial play, rule, referee’s decision, or, in the case of Red Wings fans, enlistment of the City of Detroit in squelching a 59-year-old octopus-throwing tradition:

Doan feels bad that Franzen was hurt on the play, but it wasn’t his fault.  Franzen believes that it was nothing short of premeditated thuggery.  Tippett is convinced that Franzen injured himself and Babcock has witnessed too many 5 on 3’s against his team, that he never wants a penalty called ever again.

Welcome to the crazy inconsistent world of NHL officiating.  Sometimes it’s a penalty, sometimes it’s not and sometimes we just don’t know!  So, we make it up as the game rolls along.

And guess what hockey fans?  It’s never going to change.

Even though, after the game, Franzen’s face resembled Frankenstein’s monster (please no more references to Franzen as Franzenstein (it’s Dr. Frankenstein, his creation did not have a name), he should have known that complaining about it is useless.

If you can count on the NHL for anything, it’s never taking accountability for it’s terrible officials.  They will defend their officiating crews to the ends of the earth.  The league must think that being blind to obvious incompetence protects their credibility. In reality, you can’t lose credibility if you didn’t have any to begin with.

Was Doan’s hit a penalty?  Yes and no, because that’s just the way it is in the NHL.

What he said. Except about everything that the NHL “gets wrong,” including the stuff that players and their own coaches can’t agree upon.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


calquake's avatar

And guess what hockey fans?  It’s never going to change.

The most important words ever said on a hockey blog.

Posted by calquake on 04/17/11 at 12:24 PM ET

Lucce's avatar

Mismanaged by the assdwarf. The comissioner owns the team, just like in Hoffas days. Hope the ass disappears wink

Posted by Lucce from Kingdom of Zweden on 04/17/11 at 12:38 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

And guess what hockey fans?  It’s never going to change.

And that’s the truth - at least as long as Gary.Ass is in charge.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/17/11 at 12:53 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I actually don’t see that Doan’s was necessarily a penalty although clearly he showed no respect for another player being in a dangerous position.

What is baffling and feeds or substantiates conspiracy theories is the later call of boarding on Helm vs Jovanovski, or whatever the call was.  Absolute joke of a call but consistent with the long run of 7/9 penalties against Detroit.  How about that phantom interference call following the face off?  No impediment to the PHX player at all, but by God the NHL-owned team was given more than their fair share of chances to get back into the game when on the verge of going home 0-2.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/17/11 at 12:55 PM ET


Wow. I hate the wings and even I think that should have been a penalty/ suspension.  Can’t believe Bobby Ryan got 2 games for nothing and Doan walks away free on this.  Campbell is a moron.

Posted by sean_o_sean on 04/17/11 at 01:23 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I didn’t think the Doan hit was a penalty.  Until Helm got called for boarding, and I noticed the rule for boarding is any violent hit into the boards.  Which, by that definition, Doan’s hit was a penalty, and since it resulted in serious injury, should have been 5 and a game.  However, even with that vague definition of boarding, Helm’s hit still wasn’t a penalty.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 04/17/11 at 01:55 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

HEY everyone VOTE for Red Wings Stevie Y

VOTE starting tomorrow (Monday April 18th) place you vote for Stevie Y’s Moment of “History will be relived” at  


VOTE ....... VOTE ........  VOTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 04/17/11 at 01:55 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

The comissioner owns the team, just like in Hoffas days. Hope the ass disappears

Hey, what’s that strange lump at center ice in the Devils’ new arena?


Nate may need help with his Shift key, but he’s got that right.  Remember, in the New NHL, intent of actions doesn’t matter, just the consequences.  Hit someone legally with no malicious intent?  If you knocked them out of the game, it’s a dirty hit.  Hit someone illegally with malicious intent?  If they come back to the game, it’s a clean hit.  If you deliver a cheapshot from behind?  End a career, and you’re an unredeemable monster.  If you deliver a cheapshot and the player’s back the next shift?  Eh, you’re still a good person, a family man who’s kind to animals and children.  Because you can always judge the cause by the effect.  Remember kids, nobody ever makes a mistake or has an agenda—least of all our esteemed and highly-respected NHL referees.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 04/17/11 at 03:04 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

The Doan hit didn’t look malicious to me. Players got to go to the boards and get their bodies sideways to their opponent coming from behind them trying to paste them into the boards. Mule turned into the hit and got spun, a freak accident.
What I didn’t care for seeing was Doan rub his glove into The Mule fresh stitches. Fans and the media have been saying for years how such a good guy Doan is but after seeing that, I lost all respect for him.
Can’t use your skate as a weapon trying to stab someone with it. Ryan is lucky all he got was 2 games. Remember Pronger doing the same to Kesler and Chris Simon years back? 
Penalty calls has been bad in all the series. League must of told their refs to try to increase scoring so those doing the bidding on the next TV contract will bid higher.
Heard Ted Turner may win the contract, lol TBS or TNT broadcasting NHL games. Games should in between episodes of saved by the bell, lol.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 04/17/11 at 03:38 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

it’s all horseshit and you and I both know it.  That’s why the redwings spend the season training to play against other teams AND the officials.. notice babs never sas whether it’s right or wrong, just that you need to tighten up, improvise, adapt, overcome… If you gotta play the Yotes AND the Refs.. then do it.. *#$%@&’em both.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/17/11 at 04:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Doan hit is representative of any hit where you will get different interpretations based upon the coaches’ agendas, the subjective opinions of the players involved and of course the fans who will never agree as to how exactly the same play unfolds because we’re fans and no amount of “conclusive” video evidence will cause us to change our opinions.

My point here wasn’t to debate the Doan hit—as Franzen is okay (relatively speaking) and and the NHL chose not to review the hit further, and Franzen and Doan insist that there’s no lingering resentment between them, it’s kind of done and over with in the players’ and coaches’ eyes.

I guess I wanted to use it to illustrate the concept that what both players/coaches deem to be a legal or illegal hit or a penalty and what we deem to be the same is never really and truly so in the NHL’s eyes, because the truth of the matter is that there is no “standard” and there never really will be, regardless of whether it involves questionable hits, equitably calling penalties based upon their merit instead of the score, time of the game, or what the referees are told to emphasize during a particular day, and that the league’s policies are forever changing without any admission of so much as “we got it wrong” or “we make mistakes, too.”

The NHL is always right and always fair and always pure and true and noble and blah blah blah insert more BS here. But it’s not when it comes to enforcing anything and/or admitting that there’s room for improvement, and that might be the only thing we can agree upon.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/17/11 at 04:35 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Whoever said anything about the Doan hit?

The only aspect of Doan hitting anyone that should enter into into a general discussion about the NHL’s standard of officiating is something along the lines of what may or may not come out of hs posterior when he’s doing what his coach wants and is ‘being a bull.’

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 04/17/11 at 05:00 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

this -

” ...
If you can count on the NHL for anything, it’s never taking accountability for it’s terrible officials.  They will defend their officiating crews to the ends of the earth.  The league must think that being blind to obvious incompetence protects their credibility. In reality, you can’t lose credibility if you didn’t have any to begin with.
... “


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/17/11 at 05:01 PM ET


I felt like there was uncalled Doan hit that should be looked at later in the game where he went after Holmstrom’s head, but never saw a replay to be sure.

The Franzen hit wasn’t exactly respectful, but it wasn’t illegal either.

Posted by Andrew on 04/17/11 at 05:43 PM ET


First things first.

League officials etc. insist they want to ‘protect the players as much as possible’. They have conjured up new penalties (that would have been laughed at 40 years ago) to do just that. How Shane Doan wasn’t given, at the very least, a 2 minute roughing penalty is beyond me.

Second, Helm’s hit on Jovo was the most legal, absolutely perfect check along the boards, a smaller player could ever execute on a 6’ 3” defenceman ... yet Helmer gets a penalty.

It has become clear to many that the league has over stepped its bounds and has created too many useless penalties for the refs to call and it is affecting the quality of the game.

First rule that MUST go is the “I intended to blow the whistle sooner therefore that goal doesn’t count” bull$hit.  File that under ‘human element’ of the game.
Play is live until the whistle goes ... period. If you’re slow on the draw, tough titties.

Second rule that MUST go is the 10 minute ‘instigator’ penalty.  Its like mom used to say ... “I don’t care WHO started it. You’re BOTH going to bed early and NO TV !”  Eliminating the instigator penalty will put control of the game back in the players hands where it belongs. Everyone knows, the less visible the referees are, the better the game is.  If this penalty was removed, Doan would never have hit Franzen the way he did because he knows he’d have half the Red Wing team jumping on him afterwards. A lot of the stickwork would disappear as well so we’d see a lot less hooking and tripping penalties as well.

Third ... what is this getting thrown out of the faceoff circle crap ??  And interference being called on a faceoff ??  The linesmen really need to feel THAT important ??  Just drop the f**king puck and get on with it.

4th ... the trapezoid area where goalies can’t play the puck MUST disappear.  If the goalie is that brave and skilled then let him wander into the corners and play the puck.  Just make sure he’s aware that he’s part of the play and subject to whatever body check an opposing player can inflict.

5th ... a goalie wanders out of the blue paint the he’s fair game.  All this goalie interference crap has to go away. Homer would have had 25+ goals this season if it weren’t for the fact he was called on this phantom interference horsecrap.

No question I’ve left a few out but this post is long enough as it is.

I can’t believe, in this day and age, that a commissioner of any sports league can get away with the dictatorship style Bettman gets away with.

A new ‘no octopus throwing’ rule instated DURING a game ?  With no general managers vote ??  I agree with Osgood when he said “let the fans have fun and let the tradition continue”. He’s also right when he said the league should worry more about ice quality than octopus tossing.

If the league is so worried about player health then get teams out of the warm climates where they skate on mush, not ice. Shorten the season so you don’t play when its 70 degrees outside even in the north. Pad the dashers, get rid of the ‘seamless’ glass ... etc.  Improve helmet padding and get rid of the plastic caps on elbow & shoulder pads to cut down on concussions.

21st century hockey blows chunks.  I’m a fan of the 70’s where you’d see a bench clearing brawl just about every Saturday night on HNIC.  If these new rules are in place so Bettman can spread the word of hockey to a larger audience and make more money for himself as commissioner, then I say fire the bastard and put Don Cherry in charge.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi on 04/17/11 at 06:51 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi on 04/17/11 at 05:51 PM ET

what HW said ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/17/11 at 06:59 PM ET


LMAO .. I got applause .. thanx stoney. :—)

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/17/11 at 09:32 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/17/11 at 08:32 PM ET

Thank you for your post.  Great stuff.

The NHL continues to try to help its favorite teams win today…

Toronto disallowed a goal the Rangers scored with time running out in the second period.  It was called a goal on the ice.  Slo mo showed the puck across the line and the green light on with 0.01 seconds left, but “after video review…”  Fortunately, the Rangers were able to win anyway.

Nucks vs. Hawks - Hawks have had 4 power plays in the first.  Nucks, none.  Fortunately, Hawks have only gotten one goal out of it.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/17/11 at 10:04 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

some interesting numbers…regular season PIM/game, playoff PIM/game so far, and the change…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/18/11 at 01:33 PM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

Great data there.  I had not thought to put it up side by side.

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 04/18/11 at 08:09 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.