Fireside Chat

By now, what else can be said about the Toronto-Buffalo scrap from Sunday night starring old friend John Scott. I’m not going to turn this into an enforcer debate because I’d rather hear about your religious beliefs or thoughts on abortion.

Instead, the part that’s tickled me are people who try to compare the situation to what happened in the 60′s or 70′s. “For those people who are offended at this line brawl, what would you think about this fight from 1974??” they say.

I’m guessing those people would be equally offended but that’s just a hunch.

This may come as a shock to some, but times change. Humans evolve and so do sports rules. In the NFL, you used to be able to do anything short of castrating a guy to tackle him. But rules changed and players can’t get away with 90% of what they used to. Yet, you  will never hear anyone with a functioning brain clamor for the golden days of the NFL when there’s a controversial hit.

Everyone, except hockey people apparently, understand that change is inevitable. Rules change, times change and players change. The era of the Broad Street Bullies, line brawls, Mike Milbury climbing into the stands to fight fans and whatever else happened to inspire “Slap Shot”  was entertaining and fun but it also turned hockey more into a satire than sport. It’s time to let the past live in the past and accept that the sport has evolved.

The sooner that happens, the quicker we can all move on from all this.

Will that happen? Of course not.

–I tweeted it last week but understand that not everyone follows me there even though you’re the one missing out on obscure references and sweet music videos.

Anyways, here’s another friendly reminder: Adam Burish was one of the leading scorers for the Hawks in the 2007-2008 preseason. The 14 Blackhawk fans who were paying attention were losing their minds over this 7th round steal who was going to turn into the next 20 goal scorer. How’d that work out?

My point is, Brandon Bollig scoring in the pre-season is no way a harbinger of things to come. Now, he very well could set a career high in goals and points, but I anticipate that being an extreme long shot. Preseason hockey is similar to preseason basketball in its exercise of futility. Results are absolutely meaningless.

–I just realized that I’ve never really shared my thoughts on the Corey Crawford extension. Like the majority of you I’m sure, I’m not crazy about handing out long extensions to goalies especially ones that are in their upper 20′s, have spent more seasons in the minors than NHL and have marginally above average stats.

Buuuuut, Stan Bowman must have had a good reason for doing it. He’s hardly been one to dish out silly long-term contracts throughout his tenure. I wonder if his desire to lock up Crawford had anything to do with not wanting to go through another Niemi situation, i.e. rolling the dice on a guy in his contract year and then not being able to afford his new demands.

The one thing that Crawford has over someone like Marc Andre-Fleury, who I’ve seen him compared to, is that he has faced a ton of adversity throughout his career and come out alright. From thinking he was going to be the back-up with the Hawks in 2008-2009 only to see Cristobal Huet signed, losing his starting job in Rockford to Niemi and then watching the Hawks win the Cup, he had to have his doubts whether it was ever going to happen for him.

And there’s really no need to rehash the adversity he’s faced since donning the Indian head. The point is, he always finds a way to rebound. It might not be immediate but he’ll find a way to pick himself up.

There’s no doubt he’ll have to do it at least one more time during the tenure of his new deal.

  • Waylon

    “The era of the Broad Street Bullies, line brawls, Mike Milbury climbing
    into the stands to fight fans and whatever else happened to inspire
    “Slap Shot” was entertaining and fun but it also turned hockey more
    into a satire than sport.”

    Thank you for succinctly explaining the point I was attempting to make in the earlier thread on this subject – always great to read your stuff, here’s to many more in the future. Also hope you’re right on Crow’s extension – and yes, he has faced a lot of crap thrown his way in his career, the “weak glove side hand” nonsense in the SCF only being the latest example.

    • mightymikeD

      I second the learned Waylers on this.. and also agree on the Crawford situation.. I think Stan looked at what Crow and/or a decent FA Goalie would cost next summer and bit the bullet. Crow will be fine.

    • Joe Banks

      The NBC generated glove hand shit… fuck you EDZO for joining in. Prick.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Great post, Waylon. Upboat.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    [loudmouthedfriendlydrunkattheendofthebar]

    My personal opinion is that fighting has no place in hockey, or any other team sport. The lack of fighting is one of the things I enjoy about the amateur game. I fully realize that this personal opinion is totally irrelevant, as it’s clear that a vast majority of fans and players and coaches think the occasional fight is not only okay, but actually needed.

    But even those who see fighting as a crucial part of the game, those in St Louis or where ever that talk about how ‘real captains fight,’ and those who will, when their team is on the wrong end of the momentum, stand up and holler at the bench, ‘Hit someone. Send Punchy McMeatfist out there to fuck some shit up!” Where was I?

    Okay, fighting has a place in the NHL, I’ll concede that if proponents of fighting will concede that the ‘Staged Fight,’ when each team’s goon lines up across his opposite goon at the face off circle and the gloves hit the ice before the puck does…. and the type of ‘Everybody wants some (of the wrong kind of thin)’ like we saw in Buffalo, is just plain bad for the sport.

    You’ll have Leno actually mentioning hockey…. “I went to the Merriwether fight and a hockey game broke out… I wanna tell ya.”

    [//loudmouthedfriendlydrunkattheendofthebar]

    • mightymikeD

      UPBOAT MY FRENT

  • 07GreyDigger

    The NHL doesn’t want to get rid of fighting because it puts butts in the seats. Just like the shootout. Once the NHL realizes that educating their fans on the game (and using them to grow it through word of mouth) is just as important as the bottom line, nothing will change.

    • Paul the Fossil

      “it puts butts in the seats” — that’s been the conventional wisdom since forever but actually what is the current evidence for it?

      I notice for example that U.S. college hockey, which has never tolerated fighting, has been growing steadily for many years now. There are now more college hockey programs than ever before including more Division 1 ones, attendance has risen steadily for two decades now, a dozen colleges routinely now sell out arenas seating 6,000 to 12,000 people, the Frozen Four is now broadcast nationally in prime time, etc.

      Olympic hockey has never allowed fighting but the 2010 Games destroyed previous records for hockey TV ratings in North America.

      The NHL has far fewer fights now than it did 20 or 30 years ago and yet the league’s average attendance per game has risen three seasons in a row now and in 7 of the last 8 seasons. 16 NHL teams last season averaged at least 100% of seating capacity in ticket sales (the Hawks led at 110%).

      Seems actually like putting butts in seats does not require fighting.

      • Joe Banks

        Correct. If the NHL wants butts in the seats, increase Scoring. Maybe have the goalies wear tutus, or targets in the corners of the net for additional points.

        • Paul the Fossil

          The new printed issue of SI, with Kane on the cover, has a long story on this topic. It’s pretty interesting actually, quotes veteran NHL players and coaches as putting a lot of emphasis on modern video scouting and coaching for the reduced scoring. Also notes Crawford as one of the goalies potentially most effected by the new rule reducing the height of goalie leg pads.

          • lizmcneill

            Is it reduced by a % or height or what? Why Crow more than others?

          • Paul the Fossil

            The height limit is based on a certain number of inches above the knee, or something like that. It’s a relatively complex calculation. Crow apparently was one of the goalies wearing the tallest leg pads relative to his height so he’s losing several inches of pad to the new limit.

            The main direct impact is when a goalie goes down into the butterfly, do the tops of the leg pads come together to completely close the 5 hole. The new limit supposedly means that when a goalie butterflies and stretches out to fully cover the bottom of the net from post to post there will now be more 5 hole open to try to shoot through. (Though like everything with the NHL there are doubts about effectiveness of enforcement.)

            Also the league reduced the depth of the net by 4 inches to give skill players a bit more room to operate behind the net, and reduced the width of the cage which is expected to make both wraparounds and passes out front slightly easier.

          • Korab22
      • 07GreyDigger

        I meant more the NHL has to look at the NFL for how to appeal to people better. I feel like they hold on to fighting because its an aspect that none of the other major sports have. But that’s not why hockey is a great game. It’s faster and ultimately more entertaining (IMO) than the others. Also the games end in less time. All great points. But the NHL doesn’t know how to market themselves and I feel, clings to things that don’t matter anymore. That’s what I meant.

        • Paul the Fossil

          Definitely agree with that.

    • Bobby Otter

      I’m not aware of anyone who goes to hockey games, at least NHL games, because they want to see a fight. Most people must leave disappointed if that’s the case.

      • lizmcneill

        The minors are fight-ier, right? Or is that just the Hogs being crazy?

        I was at a game a while ago where I was sitting in front of a small girl (11 or 12 sort of age), who was explaining FOs, line changes etc to her even smaller companions. Bit of roughing occurs, “Oh, maybe they’re gonna fight.” Zebras blow whistles, scrum disperses. “No.” Mixed pride and disapproval: “$Departed_player woulda had THREE fights by now.”

        • steeg of their own

          Much fightier. And don’t even get started on the ECHL.

          • DesertHawk

            So Fighty in the ECHL… first team I ever saw became an ECHL team for a bit (not sure what league they’re in now). Ah… Boom Boom Bechard, memories.

      • 07GreyDigger

        The times I’ve been to games lately, I hear people complaining there aren’t fights. Most of these people are NHL noobs or people who go because they think they’re cool. Either way, those are the people the NHL needs to reach. Just like the NFL has reached those people.

  • neo1978

    Sam the point that everybody seems to be missing is this. Fighting in hockey is tolerated because of that whole “two consenting adults” thing. The problem with Scott was that he didn’t give Kessel a choice. Nobody using a stick like a lumberjack is in a voluntary situation. Scott should have offered, Kessel should have been allowed to say no and that would be the end of it.

    Yes, Kessel should be reprimanded for those second and third whacks. But Scott is being treated like he did nothing wrong. If you get 10 games for coming off the bench you should get 15 for premeditated “no choice” fighting. This is what makes hockey a joke and until it gets fixed, hockey is always going to be a niche sport.

    • Why

      I suppose Americans are going to have a different view on this but hockey is not a niche sport up here.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Remarks like ‘niche sport’ without the caveat ‘in America’ piss me off, too. But I don’t think Neo meant any disrespect to Canada.

        • Why

          Oh, I get that he doesn’t mean any disrespect but the differing importance seems to colour this debate. When people say that fighting needs to leave the game to make the sport popular, Canadian fans are used to the sport already being popular. And there’s some justified fear that trying to appeal to the American general public has the possibility of lowering the sports’ popularity. By adding a glowing puck, for instance.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Oh, Fox’s robots and glowing pucks made me hate life for a while, too. Americans hated that stuff as much as anyone else.

          • Why

            But the point is the same. Canadians get told that we need to change “A, B, and C” to make the American general public like the game more. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do get a little tired of liking the game less so the league can appeal to people that don’t like the game at all.

          • lizmcneill

            Isn’t Canadian youth hockey seeing parents pulling their boys out of it because of the violence?

          • Why

            I think that’s a bullshit narrative even if the Toronto Star disagrees. Here’s Bob Nicholson:

            “Enrolment hasn’t really gone down. It’s had its spikes,” he said. “We are concerned about demographics. There’s less kids in Canada, and when you look at the number of kids, there’s a lot more immigrants in this country. We now have to get in front of families and young boys and girls and show them all the great values that hockey has.”

            Add the fact that hockey’s expensive and I think you’ve got a better explanation.

            http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/jrhockey-buzzing-the-net/hockey-canada-aims-minor-hockey-more-accessible-184114559.html

          • 10thMountainFire

            I totally empathize with this point and I agree.

    • steeg of their own

      The line brawl happened after a TV timeout during which John Scott literally walked up to the Toronto bench and said words to the effect of, “I’m going to throw down with somebody on the next shift.” Not sure how much more of a warning you could give on that than to tell the bench outright. Hard to argue that it’s somehow Scott’s fault they threw Kessel out there after he warned them in plain speech. That’s not ‘no choice’, that’s Randy Carlyle being a moron.

      I’m not even a fan of fighting. I’m just saying that you’re more than a little off the mark about why people are debating about whether fighting is okay. The reasons most people think it’s wrong have very little or nothing to do with whether a player consents or not in the moment.

      • Why

        No one is going to care about legal history but people that don’t like fighting seem to never view consent as being the issue. No one cares about legal cases but if you have the time, take a look at this one from Canada:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Jobidon

      • DesertHawk

        Most of the people who are opposed to it, as far as I can tell, don’t give any cares to whether or not players consent, they think it’s barbaric and should be removed. Never mind that sports in their entirety are full of people doing things that damage their bodies for other people’s entertainment.

      • neo1978

        I’m not off the Mark, the people arguing about fighting are off the mark. If you are going to have fighting in Hockey then it is only possible if it is based on consent. And I don’t care if Scott told everybody and anybody that he was going to fight whoever lined up next to him. He can’t (and used to be not allowed) to do that. The whole Hockey “code” was based on consent. That’s where the code comes from. And that’s what has broken down.

        And Randy Carlyle wasn’t being a moron. He is supposed to have the ability to consent or not consent to what Scott wanted to do. And who he put out there told everybody what he wanted to do.

        Fighting in hockey is like any other form of “dance”. If you find a willing partner then you can “dance” all you want. If you don’t have a willing partner then its not “dance” it is assault.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          What if Scott said to the the Leaves bench “whoever you send out to line up against me is going to get his ass kicked”? Doesn’t that mean whoever lines up against him is consenting to the ass-kicking? Why not send out fodder instead of Kessel as is done in every other case? Doesn’t that mean Carlyle was manipulating ‘the code’ to gain an advantage in the situation (Sabs send out goon line, Leaves send out scoring line that can’t be fought because of goon code, thus creating an offensive imbalance favoring the Leaves)? Isn’t that a transgression of ‘the code’ as well? That’s the impression that this has left on me. Leaves dog-dared Sabers. The Sabers triple-dog-dared the Leaves. Leaves put tongue to pole and got stuck. Poor Flick. Two wrongs don’t make either wrong right. Leaves didn’t get what they deserved and I would love to see Fluffy catch Kessel and make him answer for the stickwork. Unfortunately, the likely outcome will be some nobody is gonna get Westgarthed for the honor of Kessel.

          • neo1978

            Uh, no, that isn’t consent. Decisions made under duress are non-consensual by definition.

            And its not done in every other case. It happens all the time. Home team gets last change. So when the visitors throw out their fourth line, the home team can do the same or they can send out an offensive line. That’s how Toews plays against fourth lines and Kane does too. It’s not against the code. And going back to playing hockey is how coaches traditionally stop escalation.

            And are you going to feel the same way when one of the Blues or any thug for that matter tells Kane that he is going to be in a fight and he isn’t going to get the chance to say no? And are you going to be upset with Kane when he uses a stick? And are you going to demand Kane be punished, too?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            If Scott comes over to the Hawk bench and says he’s going to pound whomever is lined against him and Q sends out Kaner, I’m putting that squarely on Q. Teams do not send out their best line all the time when they know a kerfuffle is about to break out. I’ll accept Liz’s line of thinking a little, but there’s still no reason to send out the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER on your squad.

          • neo1978

            Everything you said here is incorrect. There WAS just a fight. One team brought out their tough guys after it. The home team brought out their actual hockey players. According to everything that is holy and sacred in hockey, that ends the kerfuffle.

            You guys are arguing against “the code” and 30 years of hockey tradition. Fine, argue away but know that Scott was the one that blew past everything that is sacrosanct in hockey. And everyone it criticizing Kessel and his coach. That is just wrong. But hey fine, argue away.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Everything? 30 years? Scott tells the bench what’s going to happen. His coach puts his line out there. The other coach gets last choice and puts his chosen line out there but this is all on Scott. And what did Scott do to warrant the double slash and spearing? Why he grabbed Kessel really hard with a hand…didn’t even close his fist in the altercation. It looks to me like an over-reaction to a broken ‘code’ that actually wasn’t broken. Not interested in arguing your beliefs because that’s all you, but I just don’t recall seeing this rule that has always been upheld for the past 30 years (what happened before that?) that Scott somehow was the only one to ever break. The line of questioning put forth by many members of the media seems to suggest that Kessel’s actions weren’t as defensible as you seem to think, but, again, we’re arguing your beliefs. That they seem to be in the minority doesn’t make them wrong….or right.

          • lizmcneill

            Carlyle didn’t have anyone left on the bench who could fight Fluffy. His goon had already been sent off for the Tropp fight.

            It’s like Bollig has managed to fight and knock unconscious a skillsy prospect (think JMo), and has gotten a game misconduct. You’re Q. Everyone left on your bench is more valuable playing hockey than hospitalized by Scott. What line do you send out? Shaw’s? Hell no, you want to diffuse the situation. Replace Bollig with someone else and send Kruger? Maybe – Kruger/Fro/Smith are small non-fighters, but could been seen as “fodder”. So you send out the Wily Vets or DDN, because the idea of Scott fighting Kane or Hossa is ridiculous. But then Fluffy does the unexpected and drops the gloves on Kessel.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Well, there’s the instigator rule to govern what Scott did. What Kessel did was fuckin cheap. And he did it several times with intent to injure.

    • mazer_rackham

      Kessel moved first and reached up toward’s Scott’s face, Scott just escalated and dropped the gloves right away. Scott never skated around hunting for stars. He is a face-puncher but has a bit more class than that.

      • 10thMountainFire

        This.

  • Why

    Nice try at a writing trick, Fifth. You don’t want to talk about enforcers but hockey has evolved passed the need for them and the fights of the 60′s and 70′s made hockey more satire than sport.

    Fifth, I can tell you that you’re wrong on the NFL. Watch what happens when a weak roughing the passer call happens or when a “defenceless”” receiver is hit with a shoulder to the chest and see if everyone agrees that the new rules are awesome.

    And people compared the situation to the 60′s and 70′s, in large part because other people were talking about how these types of fights only happened in the recent history. If the attitude is now that people don’t care what happened in those years, they shouldn’t have been brought up to begin with.

    And Brandon Bollig will likely set a career high in goals and points because he would need one of either to do so.

    Agree entirely on Crawford though.

    • lizmcneill

      Even Bollig can get a lucky bounce every couple of years…this could be his year!

  • Joe DeTolve

    I think what offended me more was the same people that think John Scott has a place on an NHL bench and not in the Southern Pro League. CRUCIFIED Kessel for his stick swinging and how its against the culture of the game and all that bullshit…Seems a bit like a pot calling the kettle black…But then again those people breathe out of their mouth.

    • mightymikeD

      Right? “YA ITZ FINE TO PUNCH DA GUY WIDDA FISTS BUT NO TO HIT HIM WIDDA STIK”

      • 10thMountainFire

        I love you.

    • Why

      Look, hockey has a history of allowing fighting. But stick swinging is cowardly, especially when the guy is tied up with another person or the linesman.

      Maybe Kessel didn’t have any better option on the first slash but what Kessel did after is against the culture of the game in a way that dropping the mitts on someone simply isn’t.

      • mightymikeD

        and being 6′ Shitloads and picking on a non-fighter isn’t cowardly and/or bullshit? Fighting and Goons need to go bye-bye. And that “Culture” is like the culture one finds on mouldy cheese

        • 10thMountainFire

          I get your point. But from the video it did appear that initially Kessel was going to drop the gloves. Then he punked out, backed away, and started swinging.

          You know I want the goons out. I’m the President of the Fuck Brandon Bollig Fan Club. But I think in this instance it’s hard to argue that Kessel is the true fuckface.

          • mightymikeD

            naah. he’s a fuckface but is getting way too much.. (heh) “Stick” for this.. he had Murdersaurus bearing down on him for no reason, for chrissakes

          • 10thMountainFire

            Swinging the stick the second time, though? He was clearly out of the way and Scott had been besieged by several Leafs.

          • Why

            Don’t forget about the spear to the ribs.

          • mightymikeD

            scared and pissed. I’m all for cutting Kessel a TON of slack on this.

          • Why

            If Kessel really was scared after Scott was tangled up with another guy, that’s a sad statement about Kessel.

            Scott was pissed too. And I’m always going to say guys sticking up for their teammates (even wrongheadedly) deserve more respect than guys taking shots because of fear for themselves.

          • birdhead

            Nobody in this thread is defending the second slash, we all think it sucks and deserves a suspension which it got.

            Stick up for your teammates, but not for yourself! Get decimated by a big guy – that’s OK, so long as you aren’t a coward! Sublimate yourself in the TEAM! Team team team toaeirjhsfd;lkjhgjnv this is a dumb attitude violence is violence it doesn’t matter if you commit it with your stick or your hand. (I get that sticks can be more dangerous. That’s why we have stick penalties and suspensions. But he GOT a stick penalty and a suspension.) David Clarkson came off the bench to protect his teammate and now he’s out for 10 games. This is a sport. Act smart, not noble.

          • Why

            Disqus is tough to follow but read the comments. There are certainly examples of people saying that Kessel was “scared and pissed” after the first slash.

            And ten games for what Clarkson did is an asinine overreaction.

          • lizmcneill

            Isn’t that automatic for leaving the bench to fight? Ie not the Wheel of Justice.

          • Why

            It is automatic. That’s an insane minimum penalty for leaving the bench.

          • birdhead

            http://WWW.THATISTHEPOINTOFTHEAUTOMATICTENGAMESUSPENSION.COM

            THE REASON WHY IT IS AN AUTOMATIC TEN GAME SUSPENSION IS *********BECAUSE************* IT IS COMPLETELY OVER THE TOP. it is to make it CLEAR that leaving the bench to fight IS NOT CONDONED IN THE SPORT OF HOCKEY (and by extension that bench brawls are not condoned). it cannot be done by accident. it cannot be done as part of a hockey play. it does not function as some part of our precious code. It means that very few people now leave the bench and very few bench brawls now happen. It has been effective at its intended purpose which is why it’s a good penalty (unless you’re a fan of regular bench brawls, in which case: have you met the Rockford IceHogs?) and why it has to be enforced.

            there’s an argument, with which I frankly agree, that this indicates that the NHL would rather get bench brawls out of the game than headshots. If I was God-Queen of the Universe I’d include more automatic suspensions. The reason there aren’t that many is because you presumably don’t want to catch people who are being reckless rather than deliberate – but if you want to take the reckless play out of the game you punish it the same way you’d punish the deliberate play. (Like puck over the glass except I don’t think pucks over the glass are that big of a deal.)

          • 10thMountainFire

            You’re not God-Queen of the universe?

            Then I’ve been worshiping the wrong deity this entire time.

          • birdhead

            I wish :(

          • mad-hatter

            Well whoever is God-Queen of the universe, I didn’t vote for them.

          • Why

            Cool. My caps lock works too.

            I KNOW THAT MANDATORY MINIMUMS ARE DESIGNED TO DETER BEHAVIOUR. I DO NOT LIKE MANDATORY MINIMUMS AND WOULD PREFER IF PLAYERS BE SUSPENDED BASED ON WHAT THEY HAVE ACTUALLY DONE, NOT BASED ON SOME HEAD IN SAND, “WE DON’T ACTUALLY WANT TO COMPARE WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ICE” MENTALITY.

          • birdhead

            SPORTS IS NOT REAL LIFE NOBODY IS GOING TO PRISON FOR FIFTY YEARS THESE ARE NOT ACTUALLY CRIMES SPORTS-RELATED MANDATORY MINIMUMS ARE FINE.

            it just gets me when people say “but 10 games seems really unfair” like this is brand new information

          • Why

            I’m going to turn my caps lock off now. I hope that’s ok.

            It’s a mandatory minimum. That’s what the phrase means. And 10 games is too many. Those of us that already thought that now have an example of it being applied in a situation where it really seems obvious to many people that 10 games.

          • birdhead

            I didn’t say it wasn’t a mandatory minimum, I said that in the context of sports I don’t have a problem with mandatory minimums and I don’t care if 10 games seems unjust if it has the desired effect. I’d rather increase penalties on violent contact than decrease that penalty.

          • Why

            So you just brought up criminal charges out of thin air?

            And that’s where you further lose me. Skating onto the ice, in the context of a hockey game, and not hitting anyone is “violent conduct”?

          • birdhead

            I brought it up because I was uncomfortable with the connotations of the phrase “mandatory minimum” and wanted to point out that the context associated with those connotations does not exist in sports.

            And that’s where you further lose me. Skating onto the ice, in the context of a hockey game, and not hitting anyone is “violent conduct”?

            You misunderstand me. In order to address the seemingly disproportionate nature of the penalty on leaving the bench I would rather increase penalties on violent contact (hitting people, stick swinging, elbows, checks to the head) than decrease the leaving the bench penalty. However, in point of fact, David Clarkson did actually hit people.

          • Why

            That’s what mandatory minimums and zero tolerance policies do in all situations. You end up disproportionately punishing guys. Clarkson and Biznasty getting the same suspension is crazy to me, but that’s what happens when you have mandatory minimums.

            Here’s the video. Maybe I missed it. At what point does Clarkson hit someone?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxxpfIQ7n6s

            And just so I’m clear, is Clarkson’s suspension too long, too short or just right? I can’t tell after reading the last couple of comments.

          • birdhead

            Clarkson and Bissonette did exactly the same thing. Of course they should both get the same suspension. Clarkson doesn’t get off because he’s a bigger name.

            He comes off the bench and leaps into a pile of hitting, wrestling guys. OK, it’s a pile up, I can’t exactly see what happens: maybe he was just giving them all backrubs in a totally non-violent way that just happened to coincide with a line-brawl. He wasn’t leaving the bench to participate in an altercation at all!

          • Why

            Or maybe he was trying to pull guys off of guys. Say, oh don’t know, the raging 6′ 8″ man beast that was tied up with another guy on the ice. But we would have seen Clarkson start throwing haymakers had it actually happened. Your plan appears to be just to assume stuff happened, assume it’s violent and then talk about how violence has to be removed from the game but I’ve got to admit I’m a little confused here.

          • birdhead

            I’m not sure if you’re deliberately misreading me or what.

            In order to address the seemingly disproportionate nature of the penalty on leaving the bench I would rather increase penalties on violent contact (hitting people, stick swinging, elbows, checks to the head) than decrease the leaving the bench penalty.

            Let me break it down:
            - The penalty for leaving the bench during or to begin an altercation is 10 games, whether or not you participate in the altercation (although how often do people actually get penalised for just hopping on to the ice?)
            - The penalty for other violence varies
            - There is an apparent inconsistency between, for example, Kassian on Gagner which received 5 games for a dangerous, physically violent play, and Clarkson on dogpile which received 10 games.

            There are TWO ways to resolve that inconsistency. You would resolve it by reducing the leaving the bench penalty. I would resolve it by increasing the Kassian penalty and the penalty on other reckless headshots. I can say that without saying that leaving the bench is always violent.

            There’s also a third argument, that the leaving the bench penalty, even applied where there isn’t violence, acts to reduce violence i.e. bench-clearing brawls. You don’t get it for hopping on the ice; you get it for hopping on the ice *to fight*, and so that, although 10 games seems disproportionate, it actually isn’t.

          • Why

            Well, it’s not just the inconsistency that I’m talking about here but I’ll get to that. You told me that something was a fact. It clearly wasn’t. That’s why there’s a video up there. And I assumed “maybe he was just giving them all backrubs in a totally non-violent way that just happened to coincide with a line-brawl” was a sarcastic comment implying that Clarkson did participate in violent behaviour. That’s a fair assumption in my book.

            As for proportionality, suspensions get compared to other suspensions. Maybe, in your ideal world, Kassian gets 20 games for the stick swinging and Kessel gets 30 (I don’t know what your ideal number is, I’m just pulling these out of a hat). In my ideal world, neither of those incidents would be ten game suspensions. But we don’t live in my ideal world or yours. And in the real world, Clarkson got 10 regular season games, Kassian got three and Kessel got 0. That’s the definition of disproportionate.

          • lizmcneill

            Everyone knows the player discipline is for shit. XMF, birdhead, and I are saying “make it more consistent£. You’re saying “take it away and let the game descend into anarchy”
            In a game where players have a weapon in their hands (and knives on their feet, do you take away the penalties for kicking too?), are covered in Kevlar armor, and are far bigger and fitter than they were 30 or 40 years ago when there was more violence, that seems like the wrong direction to go.

          • Why

            Well, in this case, people are saying more than “make it more consistent.” Birdhead wants to suspend players for over 10 games for “violent conduct” (without every clearly defining what “violent conduct” is). She’s been clear that she wants more automatic suspensions where the Department of Player Safety has no discretion to reduce the suspension. She also seems to be implying that reckless play should be punished in the same manner as deliberate play.

            I’ve already mentioned that I’m ok with the Kassian suspension. It’s not me that wants to drastically change player discipline or “take away” player discipline. The people pushing for drastic changes are birdhead, and I’m assuming, yourself. I’m just the guy recognizing that hockey has involves some degree of anarchy and telling you that its’ preferable to what has been outlined as an alternative.

          • lizmcneill

            Aren’t you the one who doesn’t trust the DoPS, you should be all on for reducing their discretion. You really think anarchy is better than everyone knowing beforehand “do x nasty thing outside the play and it’s y games (or a range if you want to preserve some form of the Wheel of Justice) for a first offence”

            And it’s reasonable that “recklessly swinging your stick at someone’s upper body” carries the same or worse penalty than “deliberately slashing someone in the leg”. The worst that a slash with the stick under control is going to do is break an ankle. More than likely it just stings like a bitch and bruises. Whilst the high stick has a decent chance of striking the unprotected jaw or throat, or the head.

            And we’re talking about shit that’s *already* against the rules. You’re acting like we’re advocating no-check hockey in the NHL.

          • Why

            If my options are discretionary suspensions or overwrought, everybody gets more than ten for “violent” behaviour automatic suspensions, I’d rather have the discretionary suspensions.

            And yes, there’s a difference between the way the game is played now and the way the game that birdhead outlined would be. It’s the difference between fining people for speeding or automatically sending them to jail. Traffic’s going to slow down. If you enforce it as strictly as she appears to want it to, you are creating pretty close to a no-check version of hockey.

          • lizmcneill

            But most of what we’re discussing is outside the play anyway, apart from Kassian’s high-stick, ad is it really that hard to refrain from lifting your stick to shoulder height and swinging it with force as you come into the check?

          • Why

            When you slip and are trying to change directions? I can’t speak for NHL athletes but just try something, even if it’s not an exact replica.

            Run at full speed and try and come to a quick stop and take off in the other hand. Watch what happens to your arms. Imagine what happens if a stick is attached. Think about what happens if you slip.

            Look, he hit the guy in the face with a stick and broke his jaw. He gets a suspension. But yes, it’s a lot harder than it looks. Those guys in the league are good.

          • lizmcneill

            Why? They did the same thing. Everyone knows that leaving the bench is 10 games when they suit up. And most of the time guys don’t leave the bench because they don’t want to lose those games. Voila, no more bench-clearing brawls.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Agreed, birdhead. It’s also likely that anyone stupid enough to jump off the bench and risk a 10-game suspension isn’t your most thoughtful and valuable player. That’s why the automatic 10-game suspension has worked for over a decade.

          • lizmcneill

            Kaner used to take nearly all stick penalties when he was even smaller. You’re a little guy with $6M hands, you’re going to punch Scott?

          • DesertHawk

            I don’t think anyone rational is objecting to a non fighter clearing some space with his stick to disengage… although “Don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit” as they said where I grew up, I think everyone’s objection is to Kessel re-engaging with the stick. If you wanna go back in for seconds, you do it with your fists, or you don’t do it at all.

        • Why

          Scott made it pretty clear he was going to try to kick the shit out of whoever lined up across from him. Scott didn’t pick Kessel. Carlyle picked Kessel.

      • Joe DeTolve

        I don’t deny it was cowardly and cheap..I just was a bit shocked by the reaction by some people while lauding line brawls and what not

        • 10thMountainFire

          When I was a teenager I got into the fights. Probie v everyone, etc. But Probert could also play. In fact, he was a very underrated power forward. These days, there is no fucking reason whatsoever to have Scott or Bollig on a pro roster when guys like Morin and Pirri are apparently going back to Rockford.

          • mightymikeD

            right. Like Tiger Williams: led in PIMs and Goals scored for his team.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Exactly. And seeing guys like JR and Cheli fight… that to me is less an issue because most of the time they were responding to being targeted (though Chelios was known to take liberties…). But guys like Bollig and the stains in St. Louis… seriously have no place in the NHL. It infuriates me.

          • M7

            Our own Al Secord. He was awesome…
            1981-82 80GP, 44G, 31A, 75PTS, 303 PIMs
            1982-83 80GP, 54G, 32A, 86PTS, 180 PIMs

        • Why

          It’s about what’s part of the culture of the game and what isn’t. Fifth may want to ignore the history and culture of the game in terms of “evolution” but if you don’t, then we have to talk about history and culture of the game.

          And sticking up for your teammates will always be viewed in a different way then running for your life and throwing shots once you are safe.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Kessel can’t, simply can’t, drop his gloves against Scott. No one could seriously expect that from him. The second swing was asinine and awful, but dropping his gloves was not an option, not in any way whatsoever.

        • Why

          Right. But Joe appears to be comparing the reaction to Scott and Kessel. Scott’s the one who did drop the gloves. Kessel’s the one who slashed Scott, waited until Scott was engaged and then slashed him again. The differing reactions make sense to me.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Kessel was an idiot, and it was brainless reaction. All I’m saying is that any arguemnet in any direction can’t be based on an expectation that Kessel line up legitimately in a fight against Scott.

          • Why

            Ahh. Fair enough.

        • 10thMountainFire

          With all due respect, Not Chico… JR dropped with Probie. On the ice, you do something outside the bounds, you stand up for yourself. Or else we get… fuckin goons on the roster.

          • lizmcneill

            So if some giant goon makes the brain-dead decision to drop the gloves on Kaner, you think Kaner should go? I’m all on for him slashing the goon in the legs and letting everyone else deal with it.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            JR was crazy and had multiple fights under his belt. Kessel? I’d have no problem with Kane not dropping (I know Kane’s smaller), and it’s a similar situation in my books. the second slashed was fucked and he deserves a suspension, but I don’t think you can expect him to fight John fucking Scott.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Fair enough. I really find myself agreeing with you after this post. Kessel, in my mind, still deserves a lengthy sit session for reacting in a way that could have severely injured another player.

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t think Kane makes the second slash. He absolutely makes the first, but he’s a canny little dude, I think he glides back to the bench (where Manchild and Frogger are holding Shaw down, didn’t he leave the bench in the A once?) leaving a line brawl behind him.

          • 10thMountainFire

            That huge brawl in Rockford last year netted Mo and Pirri suspensions I think.

          • steeg of their own

            Or he makes a beeline for Seabs, who will be frothing at the mouth to bonk heads for him anyway.

          • Jim A

            Yeah, he did (I was there that night, vs. Lake Erie). He got a six game suspension for it too.

            Kessel could have held his stick up and says “back off or I’ll use it”, but no matter what, his first swing was enough. He skates backwards faster than Scott can forward, so was there any real danger than Scott was going to kill him if Kessel didn’t want to be there?

        • mazer_rackham

          If Scott had publicly announced he was going to fight someone, and fighting Scott was not an option, why did Kessel provoke him?

          http://i.minus.com/ibumKiipgDXjQX.gif

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yeah. I can’t fault Fluffy in this. I’m struggling really to find any way to find him culpable for instigating this incident.

          • Why

            A little guess that I’ll never be able to prove? Shanahan went through the same process. That’s why Buffalo’s coach ate a fine.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Once Bettman reduced Fuckface Torres’ suspension, I lost all trust in the league to handle disciplinary matters. Fuck them all. I don’t pay any attention to them anymore because they’re nothing but fuckin clowns.

          • lizmcneill

            Torres should be banned from the NHL for life. I hope his knee never gets well enough to play pro hockey again.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So much upboats. ALL the upboats.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I remember Shanahan implying ‘no more chances’ on Torres after the Hossa incident… then Torres went out and had at least two more. Shanahan either has no authority or he’s an idiot. Either way, the NHL office of supplementary discipline is a bad joke.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Your and my idea of provocation are very different, especially if this gif is supposed to be evidence of something.

          • Why

            Well, it does kind of resemble the pick up the gun scene from Shane.

          • Bullitt315

            O/T Shane doesn’t die at the end

          • Why

            And apparently Hicks (and now myself) got that scene wrong. Oh well.

          • Korab22

            It may not be “drop the gloves” provocation, but is evidence that Kessel is either brave, stupid, naive or some combination of all three.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Looks to me like he’s basically just sort of on the cusp of pushing him. Which, ya, is not really savvy given the circumstances and Scott’s volatility. I just don’t see the “let’s do this” message others are seeing.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Because fighting, where two opponents drop the gloves and agree to an even toe-to-toe is in no way comparable to a jackass swinging his stick with an intent to break someone’s legs.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I’ll agree only because Scott went after Kessel. This was not one guy asking another if he ‘wants to go,’ this was an attack.

  • 10thMountainFire

    I think it is obligatory of those of us arguing the merits of fighting in the entire sport, per say, to distinguish between those of us that want the fighting eliminated completely with no caveats and those of us (like myself) who believe that fighting may belong in the sport but those that occupy a roster spot specifically for their face-punching skills with no discernible hockey talent over others that could fill that spot (Bollig, Scott) should be cast out.

    For me, back in the day when edgy/cheap-shot artists like Esa Tikkanen and Claude Lemieux took liberties, they had to fight for themselves. Guys like Stu Grimson, Basil McRae, Tony Twist… fuck those guys. They served no purpose whatsoever in actually skating around the ice aside from waiting to drop their gloves to punch faces. That said, I view Bollig and Scott as direct descendants of those goons and would prefer that fighting remain a sort of ‘self-defense against liberties’; guys like Keith and Seabrook who can fight, know it’s in their best interests to stay out of the box for five minutes at a time, and still can throw down to defend themselves if necessary.

    So for me, in this rambling, hopefully coherent post, I can state that I think fighting may have a place but could be reduced to only one fight every five games or so. Eliminating it completely, as the theory goes, would escalate serious injuries related to stick work. Maybe that’s something we get out of the Kessel/Scott thing… fighting does NOT eliminate stick work.

    And as we saw with Panda, a fucking goddamn piece of fecal matter human being like Raffi Torres nearly robbed us all of years watching one of the most talented hockey players of his generation.

    • Why

      Disagree, but if people want changes they should make clear what the changes they want are.

      • 10thMountainFire

        You disagree and believe there is a spot for guys like Scott and Bollig? Just to be clear…

        • Why

          Yes on Bollig for sure.

          We disagree on Bollig’s skill level. But a defensively solid player who can defend teammates is going to and should have a spot somewhere.

          • 10thMountainFire

            We have that. We have two, actually: Keith and Seabrook.

            And I get the idea that we don’t want those two in the box but having Burish on the roster was the same issue; the guy was an instigator and a fighter. He brought little to the table in terms of skill to produce goals or prevent goals. In the end, Bollig is NOT an improvement defensively or otherwise over skilled players such as Morin, Pirri, and LeBlanc.

          • Why

            I haven’t seen enough of any of them to offer much of a comment but I will say that the Leblanc love right now confuses me a bit. There’s nothing wrong with going back to college and if you’re going to do it, it’s commendable to be voted the best player at that level.

            But take a look at the other guys that have won the Hobey Baker. It’s not exactly a murderers row. And he’s basically the same age as Toews and Kane.

            I haven’t seen him play much. Maybe he’s a fantastic player. But that’s a guy that has a lot left to prove at the NHL and even AHL level.

            EDIT: And you want the top defensive pairing to be responsible for taking on the goons of the league?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Putting him in with Pirri and Morin was not intended to put his skill level or production on their level. But the point stands: Mirri/Porin is a better option than Bollig.

          • Why

            So let’s talk Pirri. A 6 foot centre with apparent defensive zone issues on the fourth line in place of Bollig?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Which is why I prefer Morin for Bollig’s spot.

            And even with his liabilities, you can move Bollig out, replace him with Morin, and gain both a greater presence in our own end and a fuck-ton of skill up front and down the ice.

          • Why

            Morin’s actually more interesting from the little bits of him I’ve seen.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Each time he has been up, he has pretty much impressed all of us. That’s why many of us are so hard-up to understand why this kid continues to languish down in the Rock.

          • lizmcneill

            Say the energy line rather than the fourth. Pirri, Shaw and idk Hayes or JMo and unleash them to slay bums. Kruger and anyone without defensive issues (Saad and Smith maybe) as the mini-checking line. Give Kruger those two rather than Fro and Bollig who are almost negative finishers and I bet his points improve as well.

          • Why

            Sharp, Hossa, Bickell, Kane.

            Assuming a healthy line up, Kruger’s already probably getting Saad moving down to his line. My best guess is he’s also getting the player the coaching staff likes the most from Rockford (although maybe it ends up being Shaw).

            We’re most likely talking fourth line minutes. And I don’t mind Bollig getting some of those.

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t hate Bollig, and I agree he’s now mostly adequate as a fourth-liner. However, in a league where it wasn’t necessary to keep him around to get punched so more valuable players don’t have to, this organization has the depth to replace him with an above-average 4th-liner. Would, frex, JMo be worse defensively than Bollig? I don’t really see it. Does he have the better chance of scoring the odd goal even in 10 minutes a night? Duh.

          • birdhead

            Q: Why didn’t Ben Smith make the team out of training camp last year?
            A: Basically the day before the lockout ended he busted up his hand in a fight.

            Now, we got Brandon Saad because of this but, forget the penalty minutes, do you seriously want to lose Keith or Seabrook for a month because he busted his hand on some asshole’s jaw? (Of course, in Duncs’ case it’s more likely to be busting his elbow on someone’s helmet …)

            I don’t think Bollig should be on the roster and I DEFINITELY don’t think he should be on the roster over Pirri and Morin – obviously. But I don’t think advocating for Duncs or Seabs or Toews or Kane or Hjalmarsson or Kruger to start dropping the gloves more regularly is the solution.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Totally agree. That’s why I noted that we don’t want them off the ice for five minutes, either. My point was strictly that players can stand up for each other. But Bollig taking up a spot on the roster hardly is justified by the risk to one of our other players dropping the gloves.

    • lizmcneill

      If the price to get rid of Scott and Bollig that Tazer isn’t allowed to embarrass himself attempting to fight Jumbo and Backes….I am totally fine with that.

      Fighting doesn’t eliminate the stickwork, we had Mayers and Bollig (I think) on the team when Torres tried to decapitate Hoss. The way to get rid of Torres and his ilk is to make it economically non-viable to employ them: stricter and more consistent suspensions for the players, and cap sanctions for the team that dresses them.

      • 10thMountainFire

        You captured my point in its entirety.

        Bollig and Mayers were actually on the ice when Torres nearly killed Marian Hossa. It did nothing. In fact, that incident speaks more to the complete lunacy of the officials’ lack of control as to what happens on the ice. Anyone could see that leaving Torres in the game, even after Bollig ‘went after him’ (pathetically, actually) was setting the stage for even MORE brawling and cheap shots. Which is why goons (yes, Bollig is a fuckin goon) like Bollig need to be gone.

      • Why

        And laws against murder don’t eliminate murder. They might make it less likely to happen though. Deterrence has never equalled elimination.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Sort of makes your point moot, though. Because you just made the point to ban fighting, making it less likely to happen.

          • Why

            No. Liz’s point appears to be that fighting doesn’t eliminate other dirty plays so we should eliminate fighting.

          • lizmcneill

            It’s sold as a way to protect star players. If it doesn’t, what’s the point of it?
            But Bollig and co are simply irrelevant to a nasty PF-type laying a dirty hit on Toews, or that Sea Scum player clubbing Gagner in the face – hockey has always had fighting and always had dirty players.

          • Why

            Which was my initial point. We don’t know how often dirty plays would happen with fighting. Saying fighting doesn’t help because of such and such an example is pretty similar to saying goal scoring skill doesn’t exist because one time Stamkos missed the net.

          • lizmcneill

            And my point was there is a sure-fire way to reduce dirty plays – hit them in the pocketbook. Matt Cooke didn’t suddenly have a fit of remorse for his headhunting ways – his wife got pissed at the amount of salary the family was losing to suspension fines.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Apparently Torres married his intellectual equal because shithead has simply gone on with his stupid ways.

          • lizmcneill

            2011 playoffs: concusses Seabs
            2012 playoffs: Hossa stretchered off ice
            2013 playoffs: Stoll hospitalized with convulsions following concussion via Torres.

            Funny how a non-dirty player manages to take out an important player on the opposite team every playoffs, isn’t it?

          • 10thMountainFire

            The NHL is simply waiting for a player to be so horribly injured or killed that Scott Parker will look like a two minute minor.

          • Why

            How many times did the league have to fine Cooke before it worked though? And you want teams to depend on the NHL’s wheel of justice?

          • 10thMountainFire

            If we were honest, though, it’s not just the goons. Let’s put all the cards on the table and state clearly that Duncan Keith has now had a few incidents that threaten to mar an otherwise extraordinary performance reputation.

          • Why

            And I want Keith playing close to the line. You can’t be as effective as he is without running the risk of going overboard from time to time.

            If you believe his incidents mar his reputation, that’s fine, but I can’t say I agree.

          • lizmcneill

            Elbowing peoplein the head/swinging your stick at their upper body in what is clearly not an accidental follow-through is over the line IMO.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Great minds.

          • 1benmenno

            And Raffi Torres’s employers want him playing close to the line and are willing to run the risk he’ll go over it.

          • Why

            Yep. *whispers* I don’t have that much of an issue with Torres.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Wait. Fuckin WHAT?

          • Why

            Always leads with the shoulder. Big body who hits hard. Hossa and Seabrook both got caught with their heads down. Usually plants his feet before delivering a check and is only barely off the ice.

            I get the way the rules are enforced now but those aren’t dirty hits in the same way that elbows, stick swinging and the like are.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You are out of your goddamn fuckin mind. That monkey-brained shit stain on humanity’s underwear has injured more players than a non-licensed chiropractor performing Tommy John surgery.

            He has led straight at guys’ heads with his elbows more often than I can count and YouTube has almost created another entire fuckin channel for ‘Raffi Torres stupid fuckin intent to injure’ clips.

            FUCK that motherfucker. If he ever ended up wearing the Indianhead I would boycott.

          • Why

            Show me the hits with the elbow.

            And everything you just said applies equally to Scott Stevens.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Not once did I ever defend Scott Stevens. But we’re talking today. We’re talking about a guy who has a longer track record injuring players than the US Army has on injuring Taliban.

            All you have to do is look it up on YouTube. I won’t go over there to link it. I’m astounded that someone on this planet besides his baboon parents is defending that absolute waste of flesh.

          • Why

            Which one? On the hit on Eberle, his elbow is in against his body and Eberle drops down at the last second. Hejda drops to his knees right before contact. I haven’t seen the Keith to Sedin elbow from Torres at any point but I might have missed something.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m about to lose my shit completely.

            The level of hatred I have for that chimpanzee Torres is roughly equal to that I have for a few remaining members of the Taliban that burned down a few girls schools on my last deployment.

            For Christ’s sake, all you have to do is YouTube the clips. Even Don fucking Cherry, that noted intellectual, thinks Torres is an out-of-control almost-simian.

          • Why

            I’m telling you I have. Which hit do you want me to look at?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I should go to the gym now. I’m full of hate-juice.

            Here’s an entire channel:

            http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL45D2476FE15604B9

          • Why

            Which one is an elbow?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Dude, listen. If you think Raffi fuckin Torres has been unfairly marginalized by fans and players in the NHL, that he’s been the victim of constant and consistently re-occurring bad circumstances, you’ll have no debate partner in me. Raffi Torres is among the dirtiest, filthiest, biggest black eyes the NHL has had in the last two decades. He’s like Dino Ciccarelli without the goals.

          • Why

            Fair enough. If the goal is just to yell things I should probably take a break from this as well.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I am simply astounded that a person is walking this planet in Raffi fuckin Torres’ corner. I do not have the energy to post all of the links to videos if you’re going to claim he was a victim of circumstance on all of them. Just look at the Seabrook incident.

            I just… I can’t breathe. I think I might be having a stroke. I need like, to go push heavy weights for a while.

          • 10thMountainFire

            And further, his hit on Hossa violated like, a million rules. He led in to Hoss’s head after the puck was gone and ON Mayers’ stick, left his feet, and it can be argued it was intent to injure.

          • Why

            There’s always been a buffer period after a pass was made. Hossa made an east west move at the blue line with his head down. Torres finished his check.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You have to be fuckin kidding me. You have to be trolling me right now. Please tell me you’re trolling me. You think the hit on Marian Hossa was a clean play? Are you off your meds?

          • Why

            5 minute charging penalty? Maybe? And with Torres history, a suspension’s going to happen. But if you head down to an ECHL or junior game, you will see five dirtier plays in the first period.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The NHL is not the fuckin ECHL. The players are faster, bigger, and more experienced in how they handle their bodies. This entire fucking argument is fucking ridiculous.

            If you really think Raffi fuckin Torres has been unfairly maligned, you are the victim of a lobotomization.

          • lizmcneill

            Fuck Raffi Torres.

          • Z-man19

            How much courage does it take to nail a guy you know has no clue you’re there?

          • Why

            Finishing a check never requires courage. I’m not calling Torres brave. It’s still a hockey play and Hossa got caught. Same way the Captain got caught against Boston.

          • Z-man19

            Here’s the problem, 10 years ago, nailing a guy like that, ringing his bell, wasn’t a huge issue like say breaking the guys jaw with your stick. The definition of a dirty hit is changing because the guy who got his bell rung, might not be able to say his own name when he’s 45. A broken jaw will heal, the melon may not. I find the hits Torres has made to be just as dirty as someone using his stick as a billy club

          • Why

            Hossa’s got his head in front of his chest, had just made a quick turn and had just gotten rid of the puck. I take your point but that’s not a great example of targeting the head.

          • Z-man19

            Who said anything about targeting the head? Torres likes to drill guys when they don’t see him coming. Old school says ‘that’s hockey, keep your head up’. The size and speed of the players today changes that IMO. The NFL has completely changed their rules because of the same problem. The NHL could do the same and frankly, I don’t think the game would change all that much and might make it better.

            Forget targeting the head. You don’t have to hit someone in the head to concuss them. Call the guy a defenseless skater (Seabs and Hossa would qualify), and you can’t hit him, period.

          • Why

            Players would be allowed to put their head down at any point or pass the puck right before a guy gets there and no one is allowed to hit them?

          • Z-man19

            Not what I said. Take his hit on Seabs, what the hell is Seabs supposed to do different on that play? He takes his eyes off that puck and losses it, he’s creating a bad situation. Torres knows full well he’s got a free shot and takes it. Seabs was the defenseless receiver and you can’t hit him. Yes, there will be pissing and moaning, but it’s one way to reduce the risk of melon injuries. If the NFL can do it, so can the NHL.

          • Why

            Sorry man. When you say Hossa qualifies, that’s an example to me of a guy making himself defenceless in an area of the ice where he generally knows better.

            And I’d be surprised if most people think the NFL is a better game. I’ve heard announcers say that they’re not sure what DB’s are supposed to do.

          • Z-man19

            So the hit on Seabs then? If the NHL wants to solve the problem concussions present, they have two choices, either slow the players down (clutching and grabbing is allowed and/or the two line pass rule is back in) or they have to eliminate some of the hitting, namely the one’s Torres likes to delve out. I have no use for players like him and would rather watch guys like Hossa ply their trade at the current pace of the game.

            I really don’t get it. What part of watching a guy get carted off the ice on a stretcher in a neck brace adds value to the product of hockey? If it takes guys a while to adjust how and when they make hits, so be it. Anything is better than wondering if one of the best players in the game has just played his last game because some average asshole took advantage of a situation and laid the guy out cold.

          • Why

            But this is why when people say that people essentially want “no contact” hockey, they make a good point. Any clean hit to Hossa at that point is going to hit him in the head.

            I’m not happy about guy’s getting carted off. But if the alternative is players not having any responsibility to protect themselves and hitting being removed from the game, well, I dislike the alternative.

          • 1benmenno

            I figured you for an idiot.

          • Z-man19

            Hey Ben, what’s the good word?

          • 1benmenno

            Hey Z, the word is headshots, apparently, and how that’s how they used to do it in old timey hockey days.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I admit I enjoyed his shot on Cooke, in full disclosure. But that is clearly ‘over’ the line. He can play Chelios-like edgy without being a fuckwad.

          • lizmcneill

            “_stricter and more consistent_ suspensions for the players, and cap sanctions for the team that dresses them”

            I would also like a pony and a red Maserati, while I’m wishing.

          • Why

            And my guess is that once we got stricter suspensions, players would have to slow up so much that the game itself would suffer.

            And hockey is a lot of things but it’s never consistent. You’re going to have a hard time getting that one in any legal or semi-legal situation.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I would like to note that you failed to make mention of her pony and Maserati request.

          • Why

            She could get those without making hockey worse. I’m ok with those.

          • lizmcneill

            But everyone already agrees that swinging your stick at another player outside of play is not hockey and it already gets a suspension – just not enough to put anyone off doing it. Sea Scum lose a minimum wage cap hit for however many games and have to call up another thug from the Wolves. Edmonton lose one of their skill players for months. It’s not enough to put Vancouver off the idea of employing reckless idiots. If Scott actually damages Kessel and gets suspended, Buffalo are a BETTER hockey team. Toronto on the other hand, are fucked.

            They tell me that back in the day benching-clearing brawls and players clubbing each other with their sticks were common. It’s not a worse game for not having that nowadays, and I don’t see that it’s worse without punching people’s faces, or trying to get a piece of you guy with your elbow or stick dangerously high because you missed your legal check.

          • Why

            Are we honestly going to pretend that Kassian’s shot on Gagner was anything other than an accident? Look, if you hit a guy in the face with your stick and break his jaw, you get suspended. But I think you’re stretching here.

          • lizmcneill

            It was an accident that he broke his jaw. It seems unlikely that it was an accident that he was swinging his stick so high – the puck was gone by that stage so he wasn’t trying to play, and he had to have seen Gagner was there.

          • Why

            Watch his skates. He slips.

          • birdhead

            Brendan Shanahan didn’t think it was an accident.

          • Why

            You’re wrong.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC_IajW-KjQ

            Listen very closely, beginning at the 42 second mark.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Brendan Shanahan has a very poor track record now.

          • Why

            Fair point. But he didn’t think the stick to the face was intentional.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Frankly, given his track record, I don’t give two fucks what Shanahan thinks because he’s proven he’s fuckin stupid when it comes to discipline.

          • Why

            That’s fine. But if what Shanahan thought gets brought into the discussion, let’s at least quote him correctly.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I see where you are coming from now and I don’t like it. If you’re an ‘old time hockey’ grab your balls/macho men/puttin’ on the foil guy… I’ve got nothing else for you.

          • Why

            And if your a whiney, cry every time someone gets a boo boo… Oh, wait a second, arguing with the invisible people in your head is really something I should leave to you.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You just defended a man in an incident where Marian Hossa lost months of his life to dark fuckin rooms and dizziness. So excuse me if I don’t question your fuckin pro-Torres bullshit.

          • Why

            Go ahead and question it. But you’ve discussed the Taliban in a thread on Torres. Now you’re resorting to pretending that I’m a caricature.

            I’ve got no issue with it. It’s the internet. But I am going to point it out.

          • 10thMountainFire

            We got no further business, guy. Go about your day.

          • Why

            Look man, if you don’t want people who disagree with you saying something, maybe you should just buy a bunch of stuffed animals and yell at them.

          • Waylon

            Lost his life for a few months is putting it mildly – he could have lost his career and the rest of his marble forever. Torres can rot in hell for the way he plays.

          • lizmcneill

            -he didn’t intend to hit him in the face
            -he swung his stick recklessly (you can’t swing a 5-foot long stick above waist height and say it’s unlikely to hurt someone, it’s like saying you shot to disarm and now the guy has no fingers)

            And it’s not like fighting is consistent either – look at that dude that laid the hit on Kaner the other night. Hockey play, Kaner’s fine, he bounces straight back up, but Brookbank decides the dude needs punched anyways.

            As a homer, I get where he was coming from, but the rulebook doesn’t have a Patrick Kane can’t be checked clause, so it’s not justified by the ‘players policing the game’ thing.

          • Why

            But I trust Brookbank to make that call for his teammate. And I’d rather have some degree of anarchy then a poorly designed NHL suspension system getting involved too fast to the possible detriment of the game.

          • lizmcneill

            Would you say the same thing if Lapierre or whoever they replaced him with was punching Hjammer for legally hitting a Sedin?

          • Why

            I’m always rooting for our guys to do well and am not happy when someone stops the Blackhawks from doing so. I’m not going to pretend I’d be happy about that.

            But yes.

            Let’s be clear because I think a lot of other people are saying they only want “staged fights” out of hockey. When would you be comfortable with two guys dropping the gloves?

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t understand your viewpoint. You’re ok with guys getting punched for making a legal check, but not ok for a guy to be suspended for recklessly and illegally swinging his stick. And Torres charging Hossa to put his shoulder into Hoss’ skull is just fine. How about Jumbo Joe smacking Toews repeatedly in the face with his gloves still on, was that a-ok too?

            How hard is it to 1) not hit another guy in the head with your elbows or stick 2) not punch people in the face? There are plenty of more complex
            rules in hockey that no one has a problem following.

            I don’t care if i never see another NHL fight. Goons and AHLers fighting is boring and irrelevant, and stars fighting stars is detrimental to the game if they get injured.

            The anarchy in the league is just great, we sure were a better team when Toews and Hoss were concussed and their roster slots were freed up for Bollig and Brookbank, right?

          • Why

            You’re right. You don’t understand my viewpoint. I’m ok with the Kassian suspension but I think we should be talking about what guys actually did, not making up things that they could have done. Joe took a shot at Toews and Toews took a shot back. Toews didn’t seem to have that big of a problem with it. Better that than the refs missing the first call and having Toews suspended for some crazy amount of time.

            Torres didn’t aim for Hossa’s skull. Hossa made a move that meant that Torres was going to hit him in the skull if he tried to legally check him. And he made it with his head down.

            Hockey is a physical games. Players, including good players, will get injured. Some of us don’t think that the answer is to make it virtually impossible to hit someone without getting a suspension.

            As for fights being boring? You’re in the minority on that one, even if many on this board disagree.

          • Waylon

            Torres’ past behavior and actions mean that he gets no benefit of the doubt on any serious injury he causes – and the rest of the league, (including Doug Wilson), and the other players know it. He shouldn’t be playing anymore because he clearly has not altered his behavior or style of play one iota – unlike Cooke, who’s made the transition (at least so far). He’s been warned and suspended repeatedly, yet still has no regard for his fellow players on the ice, and he only expresses any remorse after he gets suspended, and even then it’s completely half – assed. He’s a stain on the game, and his continued presence in any NHL line – up makes the league a parody in terms of their intent to “clean up the game.” If they’re unwilling to ban him for good, the only solution for players like him would be for the rink areas to be increased to the size of the rinks they use in Europe and the Olympics, which will never happen.

          • lizmcneill

            He hits late, he charges, he leaves his feet….
            I don’t know why Why is talking like I want no-contact hockey. This whole conversation is about punishment for things *that are already against the rules*

          • Waylon

            The thing is I understand Why’s point about taking Torres’ penalties and examining them via a “textbook” style of analysis – but that point is moot when you look at intent, which means everything in this case. Torres’ intention in almost every penalty is to seriously injure another player, it’s never to “make a clean check” or “finish his check.” If that were true, then we’d be seeing massive concussions occuring in every game and watching the league’s best players laid out on stretchers, since every player would only be following the rule book. Obviously players know what’s kosher and what’s way over the line, and Torres doesn’t even know where that line is, he’s so far over it. People can call me a homer for my opinion, but Torres is reviled across the league and across the fan bases – even the fans in San Jose are uncomfortable at times with having him on their team.

          • Why

            Torres keeps getting work. For such a reviled guy, hockey people seem to want him. He appears to me to be reviled in the same way Bolland was reviled.

            And I’m uncomfortable with the idea that what I would term the “mind reader approach” is a better approach then a “textbook” analysis. Player’s with suspension history get longer suspensions. But when determining whether a hit is illegal, I don’t see any better way to approach it.

          • Waylon

            Past actions are predictive of future behavior – and Torres past actions are abundantly clear of his primary intent. No current player I’m aware of has been the cause of so many serious injuries to players, he doesn’t merit any consideration of textbook analysis, because he doesn’t play with any regard to the safety of other players. And Torres keeps getting work for the same reason why guys like Carcillo and Scott keep getting work – the league is full of GM’s handing out contracts to players who aren’t worth a dime, Stan included.

          • Why

            So then anytime Torres hits someone, we assume he has an intent to injure? I understand that “Fuck Raffi Torres” is a rallying cry around here but I’d prefer if the discipline department actually looked at what happened, or as you term it, a textbook analysis.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You know I think more than a few of us are getting a bit tired of you stating things like ‘I know people around here ________…’

            Cool it with the generalizing. We know you’re a condescending personality. There’s no reason to take up more internet space repeating the same stuff.

          • Why

            You can feel as tired about it as you want. Which “generalization” did you feel was inappropriate? That “fuck Raffi Torres” isn’t a rallying cry on this board? The board tends to be more anti-fighting than the general population of hockey fans? And you realize this happens on a board where people who believe fighting has a place in the game are regularly called “meatheads” and “neanderthals”? If you want to go complain to a moderator, be my guest and they’ll do what they think they have to, but I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you.

            As for wasting internet space? I post a lot, especially in response to things I’ve already wrote. But you complaining about the amount I post is a little rich. If you want to have a private conversation with only people that agree with you, I’d advise sending an e-mail.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You consistently say ‘around here’ when caveating a statement where you indict all of us as on the wrong side of one of your opinions. It gets old.

          • Why

            I’m not applying a caveat. But I’m aware of what the general mood on the board is, and when I look at polls or talk to other people that like hockey, I start finding that the general opinion on this board isn’t representative of all hockey fans and it’s a worthwhile point to make. You’re not angry that I’m generalizing, you’re mad that I’m particularizing.

            I understand that it gets old for you. You seem to be surprised that people sometimes disagree with you. At which point, those people are simians or meatheads or retards. That’s fine. To quote a guy I believe you have some degree of respect for, “It takes a lot to make me cry.” But I’m not going to stop expressing my opinion about hockey on a hockey board because you don’t like hearing it.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I didn’t tell you to stop expressing your opinion. You’ve practically picked an argument with everyone on this site at one time or another, especially today. There’s a difference between being a debate partner and being a condescending dick. You’re the latter.

          • Why

            I picked a fight? The post was on enforcers and violence in hockey. I disagreed with the opinions expressed. And I disagreed.

            Again, I’m not crying about it, but go down and read your posts. That’s a lot of name calling for a guy suddenly worried about proper debate etiquette and condescending dickishness. I don’t mind the name calling but I again have no sympathy for the “Woe is me, one guy is disagreeing with me and he should stop” attitude.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I have watched your posts over a few days and you are the same in each: you pick an argument, start in with the ‘I know around here’ nonsense, and then get pissy. Just feel free to not respond to my posts. I’m not a fan of your posts or you.

          • Why

            I kind of feel free to respond to your posts as well. And again, if you think I’m pissy, please go read your posts below. You can go ahead and be a fan or not be a fan. You can ignore my posts. But again, I’m not going to stop talking because you don’t like hearing it.

          • Waylon

            making any kind of comparison of Torres vs. Bolland is utterly ridiculous. Bolland isn’t reviled by anyone, other than meatheaded fans in Vancouver who are forever butthurt over his play against them during the first cup win.

          • lizmcneill

            Oh, yay, Bollig is fighting Jackman again. Wake me up when we go back to actually trying to score goals.

          • Guest

            As opposed to the 2010 Olympic borefest, right?

          • Why

            Do you want to cut the league to around 6 teams as well?

          • Guest

            Hitting him in the face was an accident. He intentionally swung his stick at him though. It’s implicit in his words. “We accept Kassian’s assertion that he did not intend to hit him in the face…”

        • mad-hatter

          And car crashes still happen, so fuck wearing seatbelts and speeding regulations, amiright?

          • Why

            There you go. That’s my point. Don’t tell me that fighting doesn’t eliminate dirty play when the goal is to deter dirty play.

            Not saying you have, it just seems to be a popular line of argument today.

          • mad-hatter

            I haven’t said that, although I don’t really see that fighting does deter dirty play, when most fights happen after a dirty hit. And there’s simply no telling whether that fight would prevent another dangerous hit. I just don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest fighting and reckless behavior are correlated in either direction, and seems to be more of a post hoc narrative than anything. Much like the elusive “momentum” argument.

            Another problem is that this argument assumes the NHL allows self-policing between teams, yet with the instigator rule, the fighting with a visor rule, and now the no-taking-the-helmet-off rule, supports the argument that the NHL at this time has no idea what philosophy it wants to take in regards to fighting. Regardless of whether you think Torres’ hit on Hossa was illegal or not, if Bollig, like Brookbank in defending Kane the other day (as you mentioned elswhere as being his prerogative as a teammate) felt it was over the line, he should have been able to make that known in doing what he was brought to do by knocking Torres out, but the refs didn’t allow that. Sometimes fights are seen as an escalation of tension, rather than an alleviation of that, and that goes back to the differing opinions of the referees. That these issues can be so arbitrary, inconsistent, and in some grey space is a fault of the league and DoPS more so than the individual coaches for having players like Scott or Bollig on the roster.

            Sorry if this argument became super tangential, I walked away while in the middle of writing it and when I came back I forgot where I was going. tl;dr I don’t really know where fighting stands in deterring/not-deterring dirty hockey plays, and that the fault remains with the league for their inconsistencies in this as well as their player suspensions.

          • Why

            All forms of punishment happen after the act. Fighting and suspensions aren’t different in that regard.

          • mad-hatter

            Yes, and the league is inconsistent in whether it will allow teams to distribute their own immediate punishment towards offenders, or if it will hand out the punishment itself. Unfortunately neither are consistent nor strong enough to have proven that they deter anything. Cooke is the only person who has seemed to change his act, and that probably came from the Penguins organization.

          • Why

            Do you see a game like hockey ever having consistent refereeing? If not, how should coaches deal with that?

          • mad-hatter

            No, but the refs’ continuous failure of competency isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m blaming the league for having contradictory rules, such as allowing fighting yet having the instigator rule. No fighting with a visor, but you can’t take off your helmet beforehand. Fining a coach just for having Scott on the ice. Either allow fighting or don’t. It’s not as if a ref can ignore a fight. They can’t be missed like a hook or a high stick.

          • Why

            Most fans of keeping fighting in the game hate the visor rule/helmet rule combination. The instigator rule was brought in because a bunch of people complained that they hated “staged fighting” and wanted to punish guys for starting fights. At the time, the general line was “everyone agrees that fighting has a place in the game, but it’s just these types of fights we’d like to curtail.” Then the rule came in and it didn’t take long for people to start pushing for the banning of fighting all together.

          • mad-hatter

            Is this supposed to excuse the league of their inconsistency, because all you’re doing is further showing how incompetent they can be, and unwilling to make more distinct changes for the fear of upsetting a portion of a fan base, of which only a very, very small contingent would actually consider boycotting the NHL were they to remove fighting? And I’m not even suggesting they do that.

            I don’t care that there are fans that like fighting, and those that don’t. They didn’t make these rules. The NHL did. And it is their job to find a way to mediate between the changing nature of the game and the expectations from its customers all while ensuring the health and safety of its players. If it’s too hard for these executives to figure out how they’re going to keep fighting in the game while eliminating staged fights, goonery, and line brawls, or how to ensure the physicality of the game without ending players’ careers early, then perhaps they shouldn’t be working there.

          • Why

            I’m not excusing the mismash of rules, I’m explaining why the rules were brought in. Apparently, it was because of false statements by the anti-fighting crowd. Maybe you honestly would be happier with the league if they took out the instigator rule, allowed players to remove their helmets and stopped fining coaches for setting up fights. But I have my doubts as to whether it’s actually the inconsistencies that bother you (or more generally, people that like to make this argument) or whether the end goal this is just another argument designed to move the goal posts a little closer.

          • mad-hatter

            I would be happier if the league were consistent in their rules, actually enforced competence in their refereeing, and didn’t make a joke out of their DoPS.

            But I have my doubts as to whether it’s actually the inconsistencies that bother you (or more generally, people that like to make this argument) or whether the end goal this is just another argument designed to move the goal posts a little closer.

            But no, you’re right. This entire conversation has been a mask for changing the net size, because that’s something I’ve ever once talked about.

          • Why

            I’ll admit I laughed at the last part of that. That’s an upvote.

            But you know my point was more general than that. Is the goal to eventually eliminate fighting or simply to make the rules more consistent (and whether they made the game more or less violent or fighty,you’d be happier)? I’m honestly asking. I don’t know a thing about your opinion on the rules other than what you posted. What I have seen is other people and organizations pose similar “I only want this” arguments only to almost immediately turn around and ask for further rule changes once they get there way.

          • mad-hatter

            Honestly, I could care less whether they kept fighting in or not. I wouldn’t necessarily miss it if it were gone. But I’ve accepted it’s a minor part of the game, and on some level I get it. However, I don’t like players who are just goons, and I also hate dumb penalties. Clearly the visor/no-helmet thing is ridiculous, and there has to be a better way to outline the instigator rule. I’m more concerned with head shots and high hits than fighting.

          • Why

            Fair enough. I’m doubting we’d agree on exactly what to do about headshots but the way the thread above was going, I thought we were talking about fighting in particular. My worry is always the next step because I have a fear that once the people that want fighting taken out of the game get to start defining what a “goon” is, the game is going to change for the worse.

            But I don’t see any way to accomplish what you’ve set out above without dramatically worsening the game. I fundamentally don’t see a way to keep the physicality of the game while ensuring that some players don’t have their careers ended early.

            I mean, I’d like to know who keeps the “armour style” shoulder pads in the game because I rarely hear anyone defend their use but that’s about the only rule change I can really get behind.

          • mad-hatter

            Well the topic du jour was fighting, so.

            I don’t know what you think would happen that would make the game dramatically worse. I’m on the strict side that would like automatic suspensions for hits that make contact with the head, and additional fines to the club of repeat/severe offenders. It can’t be that hard to get the few dozen or so players to find a way to lower their elbows or not leave their feet when making a hit. Hundreds of others already do.

          • Why

            Honestly, that Torres hit on Hossa scares me. I’m repeating myself here, but Hossa has his head at chest level and makes a move almost right before contact. Either Hossa gets to play “you can’t hit me” by ducking and turning or Torres would have hit him in the head with a clean check. Elbows and charging are already punished by the league.

            The defenceless player thing has been used before on hits from behind. It became an automatic ejection for the offending player and was often called as if the player being hit had no responsibility. What started to happen in the minor leagues is that guys would turn their backs to players coming to hit them so that the player couldn’t make contact without getting a penalty. My guess is that if the league adopted a similar rule on hits to the head (that is, all contact to the head is a suspension or ejectin) guys making millions of dollars to play hockey would start dropping their heads to avoid contact, possible injury be damned. They already risk injury by stepping on the ice to begin with.

          • mad-hatter

            No, the Torres hit on Hossa was despicable on all levels. We’re just going to disagree on that. And “hit him in the head” and “clean check” are oxymorons.

            There’s also a difference between risking injury and risking permanent sporadic memory loss.

            I don’t pay that much attention to minors outside the AHL, but unless there’s documentation that this head dipping thing is an epidemic, I’m doubting it’s going to be a common occurrence in the NHL.

          • Why

            Sorry man, by “minor leagues”, I meant Canadian minor hockey. That one is my bad.

            But how would I possibly get documentation that players are turning their backs at a higher rate than before the rule change? And how would I possibly prove what’s going to happen in the future NHL if a rule change happens? I’m guessing you can’t prove that changing the suspension rule means that less players will hit other players in the head. It’s a common sense thing. Make something less risky and more advantageous, more people do it. And I know what I’ve seen with regards to hits from behind.

            And if “hit him in the head” and “clean check” are oxymorons, then yes, changing the rules as you suggest means taking physicality out of the game. If that’s legitimately your view, you’ve allowed Player A to stop Player B from hitting him by moving his (Player A’s) head. And you’re going to take money out of the pockets of players every time it happens. And I can tell you every player in the NHL (at least guys that came up through the Canadian system) have been hit in the head. It’s probably more likely once per game if we include all gloves, all sticks and pucks. Concussions happen but the “risk” of getting a concussion from a single hit to the head is relatively low.

          • mad-hatter

            Well I’m sorry but until I have more than just your word that minor league players are dropping their heads, I’m just not going to believe it’s that widespread of an issue. And frankly, I’d still implement a set of rules that forbade any contact with the head and go from there.

            I made no mention of taking physicality out of the game, and I don’t know why that seems to be the automatic conclusion for some people. It’s a simple question: during a check, did the offending Player A hit Player B with his elbow or shoulder? If no, fine. If yes, sorry, enjoy the nachos for a few games. Nothing about pucks and sticks. That can be filed under “shit happens.” There are hundreds of hockey players who manage to understand this concept, and every other player should as well.

            I also don’t care if I’m taking money out of players’ pockets because pro athletes aren’t exactly hurting for cash. What’s five games without pay in comparison to cutting one player’s career ten seasons early so they can go spend the remainder of their days in a dark room? The choice is pretty easy for me. Besides, certain players themselves don’t seem to care if they lose a few days, because they’re right back on the ice pulling the same shit. It wasn’t until Shero spoke up that Cooke learned to keep his elbows down, pretty much immediately. Clearly it’s something easily learned if each club wanted to enforce it.

            Players are supposed to be responsible for their sticks and their skates. They should also be responsible for their bodies.

            ETA: I’m not a doctor, but I know just one hit can cause a concussion, and usually when players have one, it’s easy to find what caused it.

          • Why

            To be clear, I’m talking about hits from behind and players turning their backs in minor hockey. Not headshots.

            There you go. I appreciate you being honest and providing a detailed response but I think you’re making my point for me. In the first paragraph you admit that you don’t care whether players drop their heads into contact: you’d still suspend guys for making contact with their head. In the third paragraph you say that you don’t see why people (and I’ll assume I’m included in those people, because quite frankly, I’m one of them) think you want to take physicality out of the game. You’re admitting that you’re fine with taking the physicality out of the game, then wondering why people “assume” you do.

          • mad-hatter

            I was talking about hits in general, and specifically in the NHL since that’s what I know. I also explained I don’t want the physicality taken out of the game, just contact with the head. Hits that only make contact with the body are fine. I don’t know how else to make that distinction other than above.

            Also, the number of times a player has been hit in the head, whether it resulted in a concussion or not, because he himself dipped his head and not because another player raised an arm or left his feet is pretty minimal. Although I’m not sure we’ll agree on that.

          • Why

            Minimal for sure. But Torres on Hossa is an example. If your head is in front of your body, a hit to the chest becomes a hit to the head. Torres on Eberle (no concussion, IIRC) is another example. You can’t eliminate hits to the head without making it very difficult for players to still hit guys in the chest.

            But right now, the rule is targeting the head or the new rule, which takes into account whether the player put himself in a vulnerable position. Players know that if they cause themselves to be hit in the head, it’s possible that no suspension will be levied. There’s not much of an incentive for doing it right now. Under your rule? With an auto suspension (and I’m assuming a penalty on the play) every time it happens? Players have an incentive to move into the hit. And dropping your head means the guy coming at you can’t cleanly hit you in the chest anymore. A quick turn into the guy takes away hits to the shoulder.

            Players will likely adjust. They’ll stop hitting guys if every single hit means a suspension will result if the other guy protects himself in the way that you’ve now made easiest. Turning into the hitter.

          • mad-hatter

            I…disagree with everything you’ve said, actually. Not sure we’re going to meet in the middle on this one.

  • steeg of their own

    On a totally different subject, but so worth reading about: Getzaf and Perry have agreed to pay for equipment for all the kids who join a Learn to Play hockey program in Anaheim. The kids get to keep their equipment after the program is over. Last year the program had over 1600 kids involved. It’s crazy to me to think about paying for equipment for that many people because I know how expensive equipment for ONE kid can be, but it’s cool that they want to do it.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-nhl-ducks-ryan-getzlaf-corey-perry-20130918,0,1658879.story#axzz2g1wRmccm

    • DesertHawk

      That’s really fucking awesome. If any of the Coyotes wanted to do that in Arizona, I’d be all over it with my kiddo.

      • lizmcneill

        It would be a great way to help build the local fanbase. Sadly they may be too broke, maybe the league should divert some money from the 348234 Winter Classic knockoffs.

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        If Mike Smith and Biz Nasty get in on this, there’ll be like 3 lucky kids in Phoenix. Maybe 4 if they get off to a hot start.

  • Conrad Nattic

    This was a debacle. There were no winners or heroes in a ridiculous preseason line brawl. Nobody looks good. There’s varying degrees of stupid, though, so I guess we can argue about that. Here’s my hierarchy of stupid:

    1 Clearly, Scott at the top. Because Murdersaurus wins by default in any stupidity contest.

    2 Caryle…putting Kessel out there…oy.

    3 Ryan Miller…deciding to fight Bernier.

    4 Rolston…dressing Scott. And then using him.
    5 Clarkson is actually the smartest one…err least dumb here because even though he gets suspended 10 games no one can doubt his commitment to team toughness.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      clarkson is by far one the bigger idiots.

      he left the bench for absolutely no reason, he was completely ineffectual and now hes out ten games while still getting that huge pay check.

      he only hurt his team.

      • Paul the Fossil

        He still gets paid while suspended?

        • lizmcneill

          no. His $$$ goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund, I think.

          • Joe Banks

            To ease the suffering of the children…

        • putmeinthemadhouse

          no but as far as their cap is concerned he does

  • 10thMountainFire
    • Korab22

      Geez, Jammer got a downboat?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Someone has been down-boating throughout the thread from what I have seen. But if you fuck with the Jammer, you fuck with ME.

        Ok, that’s not true. But Jammer would make a great negative inducement for the PP, as we all have discussed… make him the de-facto face-puncher of the PP personnel when it is particularly clown shoes-y

        • lizmcneill

          TBH Mayers could hardly have made the PP worse.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Love me some Jamal Mayers. Dude is all heart.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          (that was me, for fun)

        • Joe Banks

          I think some butt plug is downvoting Xmountain, just to be… you know, – a butt plug.
          Don’t ask me WHY

          • Why

            Because I can’t help myself:

            You really believe I chose to downvote one of his posts and this is the post I chose?

    • mad-hatter

      That’s because Sheriff Mayers is the best, okay.

      • 10thMountainFire

        That might have been my favorite Cup-raising moment this time.

        • mad-hatter

          Same. His influence in the locker room became really apparent this season, especially after hearing about his Detroit Game 6 speech.

          • Jim A

            Jamaal Mayers is on NHL Network. They said he’s their new commentator. Very cool.

  • Preacher

    This will probably be in tomorrow morning’s links, but why wait:

    http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=20739&navid=DL|CHI|home

    Awesome!

    • Why

      I know the word classy is overused but that’s another example of the organization doing the right thing. As a reminder, 41 regular season games or one game in the finals is usually the cut off. 52 names is the maximum for players and management.

      http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/los-angeles-kings-didn-t-stanley-cup-engraving-012038392–nhl.html

      Apparently, the league allowed 23 games as the cut off for the shortened season (rather than the usual 41) so there was no reason to petition for Carcillo but the team did the right thing by doing what it could to get as many players on the cup as possible out of the 52. And kudos to whatever management person took one for the players and didn’t get his name engraved so that Mayers would (or I suppose, whatever person told that guy this was how it’s going to be, but I like the first example better). I’d like to get an article on that person at some point.

  • Jim A

    “Yet, you will never hear anyone with a functioning brain clamor for the golden days of the NFL when there’s a controversial hit.”

    Yes, you do. Of course, you’re going to say anyone who does complain doesn’t have a functioning brain.

    • 1benmenno

      Fox Network has been decrying the recent “War on Football.” So you’re right.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Touching down, ground game …

        • 1benmenno

          Yes, warfare and football have so many commonalities. The Fox commentator forgot to mention some others: cheerleaders, embedded journalists, concession revenues, etc.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yeah, I saw this clip the other day. Aside from getting fed up with athletes being called ‘warriors’, that woman’s analogizing football to the military was as angering as it was embarrassing.

          • 1benmenno

            Insulting, too.

          • putmeinthemadhouse

            thats insane.

          • 10thMountainFire

            It made The Colbert Report, too. Colbert made a good counter-point.

          • 1benmenno

            Was that last night or the night before?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think it was the night before.

          • 1benmenno

            Thanks. Will check it out. (I saw Jon Stewart’s take on this, but not Colbert’s)

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think it was the same night so it would have been the night before last. Pretty funny show that night, too.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Imagine what “news” would sound like if the personalities were required by law to announce, before everything for which it was appropriate, “I’m not qualified to express an informed opinion on this, but …” or maybe just, “I’m, heh-heh, so fucking dumb, but ….”

          • 1benmenno

            Imagine what Coach’s Corner would sound like . . .

          • Paul the Fossil

            It would be two hours long.

          • 1benmenno

            This is what it would sound like if Don Cherry played piano: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdJp5-g69go

          • 10thMountainFire

            That is incredible.

          • 1benmenno

            You can really hear the influence of Arnold Schonberg’s work, can’t you?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I felt that he was channeling his childhood adoration of Chopin but there is an undeniable nod to Schonberg. Truly an artist.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Hey–HEY. I said HEY … you just watch it there, buddy.

          • 1benmenno

            Bleeding heart liberals wussifying our national game. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a regular war on hockey. I got nuttin’ against Yurpeons, I ain’t sayin’ that, but they gotta lot nerve taking spots away from good Canadian boyz. And that’s all I got to say bout dat.

          • Korab22

            When Don Cherry starts a sentence with, “you kids out there need to watch this”, I’m usually in 100% agreement. He does try to teach the game, most of the time anyway, the right way. The other stuff, yep, can’t argue.

          • 1benmenno

            He’s often right, on matters he knows something about. When he starts in on politics or slamming the CBC socialists, I ask myself: hasn’t he been sucking at that teat for far too long to complain?

          • Korab22

            It’s all part of the package – the good, bad and ugly. I’d take him over Milbury anytime though.

  • 10thMountainFire

    Does anyone have any information on when the 2012-2013 retrospective video is due out?

    • 1benmenno

      I think the answer is no. But if patterns persist, then by mid-October it should be available.