Sunday, February 13, 2011

NHL suspends three players, fines Islanders after brawl-filled game

Saturday night the NHL handed down its discipline for the various brawls and altercations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders Friday night that featured 346 penalty minutes including 21 misconducts, both game and 10-minute.

Three players have been suspended, Trevor Gilles and Matt Martin from New York and Eric Godard from Pittsburgh, and the Islanders have been fined $100,000 in what can only be viewed as the NHL making a statement about this level of in-game violence. (If somehow you managed to not see some of the highlights of this one, Greg Wyshynski and the folks over at Puck Daddy have a nice wrap up.)

From the NHL's news release:

New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies has been suspended for nine games for delivering a blow to the head and then administering several punches to the Penguins' Eric Tangradi, who was injured by Gillies' actions; Matt Martin has been suspended for four games as a result of delivering several punches from behind to an unsuspecting opponent (the Penguins' Max Talbot); and Penguins forward Eric Godard was suspended automatically for 10 games under Rule 70.11 for leaving the players' bench for the purpose of engaging in an altercation.
In addition to the suspensions, Gillies will lose $24,193.53 in salary; Martin will forfeit $41,585.36 (repeat offender); and Godard $40,322.25. The Islanders organization has also been fined $100,000...
"The actions by the Islanders' Gillies and Martin were deliberate attempts to injure by delivering blows to the head of players who were unsuspecting and unable to defend themselves," said Campbell. "The message should be clear to all players: targeting the head of an opponent by whatever means will be dealt with by suspension.
"With respect to the Godard suspension, there can be no circumstance that allows for a player to leave his bench for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate.
"The Islanders also must bear some responsibility for their failure to control their players," Campbell added.

Earlier this week, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens played a heated, fight-filled game with 182 penalty minutes and across the league, games where rivalries boil over are occurring with greater frequency. Granted while the Bruins 8-6 win over the Canadiens was also penalty-filled it didn't have the same tone as the Islanders' 9-3 win against the Penguins.

read entire story here

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ugly records in the NHL - Longest Suspensions!

30 Games

Chris Simon of the New York Islanders, for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh's Jarko Ruutu in December, 2007. It is the seventh suspension of Simon's NHL career.

  • The Rest Of The Season (minimum 25 games)
    Chris Simon of the New York Islanders, for a slash to the face of the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg in March, 2007. Simon misses 15 regular season games plus all of the Islanders' playoff games. The suspension carries over to 2007-08 if necessary to meet the 25-game minimum.

  • The Rest Of The Season (23 games)
    Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins, for knocking out Vancouver's Donald Brashear by swinging a stick at his head in March, 2000. McSorley misses 23 regular season games.

  • The Rest Of The Season (20 games)
    Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks, for serious injuries sustained by Colorado's Steve Moore when Bertuzzi jumped him from behind in March, 2004. Bertuzzi misses 13 regular season games, plus seven playoff games. His suspension is listed as indefinite, but the following season is cancelled due to a labor dispute and he is allowed to return when the NHL resumes in the fall of 2005.

  • 25 Games
    Jesse Boulerice of the Philadelphia Flyers, for a crosscheck to the face of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in October, 2007.

  • 23 Games
    Gordie Dwyer of the Tampa Bay Lightning, for abusing officials and leaving the penalty box to fight in a pre-season game against the Washington Capitals in September, 2000.

  • 21 games
    Dale Hunter of the Washington Capitals, for a hit on Pierre Turgeon of the New York Islanders while Turgeon celebrates a goal in the 1993 playoffs.

  • 20 games
    Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers, for deliberately targeting the head with a body check on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in September, 2007.

  • 20 games
    Tom Lysiak of the Chicago Blackhawks, for intentionally tripping a linesman in October, 1983.

  • 20 games
    Brad May of the Phoenix Coyotes, for a slash to the head of Columbus' Steve Heinze in November, 2000.

  • 16 games
    Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins, for hitting Toronto's Ace Bailey over the head with his stick in 1933.

  • 15 games (3 regular season, 12 playoff)
    Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens, for knocking down linesman Cliff Thompson during a scuffle with Boston's Hal Laycoe in March, 1955.

  • 15 games
    Wilf Paiement of the Colorado Rockies, for swinging his stick and hitting Detroit's Dennis Polonich in the face in October, 1978.

  • 15 games
    Dave Brown of the Philadelphia Flyers, for cross-checking Tomas Sandstrom of the New York Rangers across the face and breaking his jaw in November, 1987.

  • 15 games
    Tony Granato of the Los Angeles Kings, for slashing Pittsburgh's Neil Wilkinson in February, 1994.

  • 13 games
    Wayne Maki of the St. Louis Blues and Ted Green of the Boston Bruins, for swinging their sticks at each other in September, 1969.

  • 13 games
    Andre Roy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, for leaving the penalty box and physically abusing an official while trying to engage players in the New York Rangers' penalty box in April, 2002.

  • 12 games
    Brantt Myhres of the San Jose Sharks, for leaving the bench to attack Mattias Norstrom of the Los Angeles Kings in February, 1999.

  • 12 games
    Matt Johnson of the Los Angeles Kings, for deliberately injuring the New York Rangers' Jeff Beukeboom in November, 1998. Beukeboom suffered a concussion and never played again.

  • 12 games
    Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers, for attacking Montreal's Chris Chelios during a playoff game in May, 1989.

  • 12 games
    David Shaw of the New York Rangers, for high-sticking Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in October, 1988

  • 11 games
    Owen Nolan of the San Jose Sharks, for a hit to the head of the Dallas Stars' Grant Marshall in February, 2001.

  • 11 games (3 playoff, 8 regular season)
    Tie Domi of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for knocking out Scott Niedermayer with an elbow to the head during the 2001 playoffs. Domi was suspended for the balance of the playoffs and the first eight games of the following season.

  • 10 games
    Jimmy Mann of the Winnipeg Jets, for sucker-punching Pittsburgh's Paul Gardner in January, 1982.

  • 10 games
    Ruslan Salei of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, for hitting Dallas' Mike Modano from behind in October, 1999.

  • 10 games
    Scott Niedermayer of the New Jersey Devils, for hitting Florida's Peter Worrell in the head with his stick in March, 2000.

    Source: Canadian Press

  • Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Sid the kid- a baby, or Captain Canada?

    By Shannon Proudfoot, Postmedia News

    Sidney Crosby: Humble Canadian superstar who carries his team on his back through big games and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty in the corners, or prima donna who lived in Mario Lemieux's house just a little too long and whines to the refs about a paper cut?

    Pundits and fans have branded the Pittsburgh Penguins captain with both reputations over his six seasons in the National Hockey League, and a new study examines those different versions of Sid the Kid and how Canadians see their national identity reflected in him -and those Tim Hortons commercials.

    "He is celebrated as the saviour of hockey. There's a lot invested in him as the replacement to Wayne Gretzky and in terms of national identity. It's been a long time since we've had a true Canadian superstar hockey player that we can rest a lot of national hopes on," says Kristi Allain, a sociologist at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont.

    "The way he's presented in the media, in some ways, tells a story about what we think it means to be Canadian: hardworking, honest, softspoken, polite, tough when we need to be, fair."

    For this study, Allain combed through newspaper and online articles, Hockey Night in Canada and Coach's Corner broadcasts and online fan comments during the 2008-09 season, which culminated in Pittsburgh winning the Stanley Cup.

    The official version of Sidney Crosby is the best of Canadian identity on skates, she says, with No. 87 lauded as a hardworking, heartfilled role model who's attained near-superhero status since scoring the "Golden Goal" at the Vancouver Olympics a year ago.

    But at the same time, some fans and pundits have critiqued Crosby as "a whiny, emasculated character who is dependant on his paternalistic relationship with Mario Lemieux," Allain writes.

    Gretzky was the target of similar criticism during his career.

    Coach's Corner host Don Cherry scornfully dubbed Crosby "Golden Boy" when he first entered the league and criticized him for "yapping at the referees" and not knowing his place. (This is not the first academic paper to cite Cherry; others have examined francophones, immigrants and discrimination in hockey.) HBO's four-part series 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic aired earlier this year, offering unprecedented access to players and on-ice action, including a front-row seat for a shrieking, profanity-laced tirade Crosby let fly on a referee over a disputed play.

    "His role as the redeemer of professional hockey has not been without challenges," Allain notes mildly.

    sidney crosby gq

    But Tim Hortons and Crosby -who appears in the coffee chain's commercials and is spokesman for their Timbits minor hockey program -go together like a double-double and a cruller when it comes to Canadian identity, she found. The company's ads with the hockey star are packed with pine-trees-and-snow Canadiana, depicting a nation "full of unassuming heroes who are either oblivious or at least unchanged by their celebrity status," Allain writes.

    "If Canadians were looking for a pro athlete to be proud of and to be an ambassador for their game, Sidney is the perfect guy," says Garry Galley, a former NHL player and Hockey Night in Canada analyst.

    "His passion for the sport -which is a religion in Canada almost -is similar to what Wayne's was."

    read the entire story here

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Should players be punished for using the F-word towards officials?

    ARSENE WENGER says players should not be punished for f-word abuse of officials.

    LOUD AND PROUD ... Gunners boss Wenger
    LOUD AND PROUD ... Gunners boss Wenger

    The Arsenal manager yesterday launched his astonishing defence of skipper Cesc Fabregas after his tunnel blow-up on Tuesday.

    Fabregas had angrily accused Everton players of paying referee Lee Mason.

    Wenger said: "Take the 20 captains of the Premier League and then try to convince me that not one of them says something to a referee for the whole team.

    "You have people who say 'f*** off' to the referee in front of the camera and it doesn't shock anybody. It doesn't shock you.

    "You now have the example of Gary Neville who has retired - fantastic player, fantastic career. You think he has never talked in the tunnel?

    "You have to be normal and to have a little bit of tolerance as well with what is happening in the tunnel.

    "I would like the media to talk about what is really important in football. What is important to people is that the right decisions are made on the football pitch.

    "When I go on Sunday for a walk, I see football played in the park. If you record what is said there, you can make an article every day in every newspaper for everybody who is on the football pitch.

    "It's part of football as well to be a little bit free to talk. 'Come on, what the f*** have you done there, give me the ball?' It's part of football.

    "One of the problems of the modern game is that the media picks out one incident of the game but for me this incident is minor and then you have to speak about this for days and days, something which didn't influence the result of the game.

    "What influenced the result of the game was that the goal was offside."

    He added: "It doesn't affect Cesc. It is a minor incident. The only thing that affects Cesc is 'Can we win the next game?'

    "I'm always suprised that we do not pick up on people who run behind him and just kick him.

    "They get away with it and he is accused of something, which cannot be right if you love football.

    "He gets a rough ride in every single game."

    Wenger does not give a hoot about the storm over Fabregas's latest scrape.

    He said: "People are much more intelligent than you think.

    "They watch what happens on the football pitch. Do they like it? Yes or no I can accept that.

    "But you do not cheat people. Do you really think a guy in a village in India will not like Arsenal anymore because David Moyes said Cesc Fabregas is supposed to have said something to the referee?

    read the entire story