Tell Your Code To Shut Up

From my editorial in last night’s Committed Indian.

I would really prefer it if this game I love being a fan of could like, go a whole week without embarrassing itself.

You’ve probably seen it by now, the travesty that took place last night in Boston. Hey Bruins, maybe you’d like to play a game in which a player doesn’t get taken off on a stretcher? Try it sometime.

The idiocy started when Brooks Orpik crushed Loui Eriksson with what looked to be a legal hit. As it always seems to these days, this caused Boston chapter thug Shawn Thornton to try and fight Orpik, which Orpik justifiably declined.

This is where the idiocy starts, and I’m sick of it. No player should feel like he has to fight after a clean check. There’s nothing wrong with it. But the amount of voices that will come out and blame Orpik for not following the bullshit “code” because he declined a fight is what keeps things like what followed a part of the game. And it shouldn’t be.

Turning the night’s events from just silly to despicable was Pittsburgh’s James Neal intentionally skating his knee into the back of the head of a prone Brad Marchand. Somehow, Neal only got a minor penalty for this and won’t face an in-person hearing for the clearest of headshots (Note: Neal was suspended 5 games today). How can a league that at least claims it’s trying to protect players from concussions, and is now facing a class-action lawsuit mind you on the very same subject, let this slip as some run of the mill penalty is beyond me. Actually, it’s not. It’s very NHL.

That would have been enough to turn your stomach, but then Thornton thought ot himself, “If they think that’s despicable, I’ll show them DESPICABLE.” From the scrum that ensued after the attack on Marchand, Thornton grabbed Orpik (because he had anything to do with it), slew-footed him to the ice and punched him repeatedly when he was on the ice, even after he was unconscious. This was a Bertuzzi sequel. Orpik left on a stretcher.

I’ll give Thornton a smidgen of credit for facing the media after, admitting how wrong he was, and apparently in acceptance of the book being thrown at him. Which it will be. More than Raffi Torres could muster a couple Aprils ago. But that’s not near enough.

Hockey would do well to rid itself of this supposed “code” that when not followed somehow justifies this lawlessness to some. Even following it causes mayhem.
It’s because lunatics like Thornton think “The Code” is a way of life that they go apeshit when they think it’s been soiled. What a load of bullshit. And really the only people who swear by this fucking thing are Neanderthals who are desperately clinging to their place in the game. And they’re soon to be gone.

“The Code” should be a respect for a fellow pro. It should mean you never try to injure a player that could risk his career or health. You treat the game and opponent with respect. But I see that idea being spat on by players seemingly every week. Nothing short of sickening. And all we hear is about if everyone followed “The Code” we wouldn’t have these problems.

If “The Code” was actually supposed to stand in for policing, then it’s a shitty policeman officer (intentional, some of you will get it). If it really is the answer then how come you can’t get more players to follow it?

You know what “The Code” sounds like to me? It sounds like a desperate justification for a shrinking minority of players to give them some air of honor and macho-ness for their soon to be disappeared job. “The Code” only applies to the Scott’s, Parros’s, Thornton’s of the world. It’s a mini-game within the game of hockey. It’s rules for a sideshow.

And it always bends to justify something that isn’t justifiable. How is part of this “code” that someone has to fight after a clean hit? Why do you have to engage in a fight when your opponent is trying to get a beaten team going? Why would you want to wake the other team up? How does it fit into this “code” when you feel aggrieved so you send your goon out to fight the other team’s goon, neither of which had anything to do with the play that has everyone upset in the first place?

“The Code” is in the same bin with the “Unwritten Rules of Baseball,” which only Brian McCann and the St. Louis Cardinals think still apply. Because honestly, isn’t it kind of chickenshit to throw a rock hard baseball at someone from 60 feet away when he can’t then throw his bat at you?

Same with “The Code.” We’ve progressed beyond it, and would do well to jettison those who can’t let go.
.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    I’ve rewritten this three times. It comes down to two thoughts.

    Point 1. Ban fighting. Yeah, This Is Hockey. Sometimes A Fight Is Justified!

    Don’t care. Cuz if you allow certain acts of violence, but not others, you create a gray area however fine that will encourage teams to keep a meat head on the payroll, and encourage said meat heads to push the envelope. And let’s face it, if there’s a gray area….

    Point 2. DPOS will fuck it up and make it even more confusing. I totally agree that five games for a knee to the head is a joke.

    Point 3. (Cardinal Ximines of the Spanish Inquisition). If a ref fails to call a penalty on a suspendable offense, he will be held accountable by the league. It will have to be someone other than the head of officiating, though, as any ref would laugh at Steve Walkom punishing them for failing to call a penalty on a hit that warranted 5/10/game and a 25 game suspension.

    Point 4. Sigh. I’ll come in again. (Cardinal Ximines of the Spanish Inquisition).

  • 334Rules

    The problem is that the game is played primarily by guys in their 20s who have grown up in hockey locker rooms. Fighting and “the code” make perfect sense to them. The same abundance of testosterone that makes them physical freaks of nature keeps them from seeing the stupidity of it. And as for Sparky and his argument that “sometimes a fight is justified,” let me point out that there’s an awful lot of hockey that gets played without fights.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      Sometimes fighting is justified. The countless leagues all over the world that don’t allow it just came to the realization that it’s not worth having the 95% of the fights that are by-and-large pointless (at best) just to preserve the 5% that actually serve some sort of purpose. What do you mean that the lack of fighting in those leagues hasn’t led to an overall increase in stick play and other goonery like we’ve been warned about?

      • Paul the Fossil

        This. I’ve been playing for 25 years in no-check rec leagues that are full of guys who’d played a lot of check hockey when younger (high school, small-college, traveling youth teams, adult “A” checking rec leagues, etc.). About a dozen years ago USA Hockey made dropping the gloves, which used to happen in our games, an automatic multi-game suspension. Even local house leagues which aren’t formally a part of USA Hockey adopted the same zero-tolerance policy towards fighting. (In one case only grudgingly after the local cops literally had to be called onto the ice to stop a brawl, but they did it.) Since we all pay to play in these leagues and there are no refunds, that worked: it’s now been years since I saw a “dance” in a rec-league game.

        And here’s the thing, when that change was made every guy I knew who had played in check leagues predicted rampant new mayhem. I mean every single guy, they were completely unanimous: “It’s going to be all slashing and spearing now, anybody who doesn’t switch to a full face cage will be fair game. These amateur refs won’t be able to control a game now. No accountability for the hacks,” etc.

        That was over a decade ago now and those predictions were completely wrong across the board. There is no particular difference in the hack/slash element of our games than before the change; the refs are doing no worse (nor better unfortunately) at reffing our games; middle-aged weekend warriors are not being carried off moaning in agony from nasty stickwork; etc. Tons of guys still play in our leagues without cages and they are still much more likely to take a puck in the chops than a stick.

        My point here is certainly not to try to map rec-league hockey onto pro hockey because there are big differences for sure. But for me this firsthand experience/observation with a large sample size has blown a large hole in the general credibility of the “no fighting enables rampant swordplay” argument. Hence for instance I’m still waiting for an article or broadcast which makes that claim about college hockey, as they all still do, that offers some actual data or facts supporting the claim. Still haven’t seen it. So my bullshit detector nowadays buzzes loudly whenever that particular argument is offered.

        • 1benmenno

          It is bullshit. No data, only conservative paranoia.

    • laaarmer

      How many of these guys actually fight? By that I mean more than 2-3 per season.

      They have been brought up to “take a number”, as fighting is illegal and comes with stiff penalties in youth / minor hockey.

      What Thornton did was against all “codes”. He should be banned for life, after Scott gets a hold of him again.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Scott should be relegated to on-ice DoPS enforcement. His nameplate can just say “Kraken” and anytime anybody offends “The Code” he is released…

        • CozBullsFan

          This is the best idea on how to use Scott that I’ve heard yet.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Some quick scanning of stats at hockeyfights.com suggests that

        (a) The cutoff between actual hockey players and professional fighters is now around 5 or 6 individual fights per NHL full season. Some decent players have that many fighting majors in a season but above that total it’s almost all low-minutes goons. When you get to 10 fights in a season it’s 100 percent goons.

        (b) There are somewhere between 50 and 70 of those professional fighters on skates in the league. They are not all active in the league at any given moment because some of them get sent up/down during a season and/or spend time injured. At any given moment maybe 30 to 40 of them are actually active in NHL lineups.

        Seems like the NHL could try the approach that (I forget which) junior league has adopted: escalating suspensions to try to force out the goons. Your 4th fight in a season gets you a bonus 2-game suspension, 6th fight gets you another 3-game suspension, 8th fight gets you another 5-game suspension, etc. Basically make it impossible to play and get paid for being a fighter on skates rather than a hockey player who now and then gets into it with somebody. In other words take the league back to the way it was before the professional goon was invented in the 70s/80s.

        • Toews still makes funny faces!

          Meh, That will lead to baiting or flagrant/reprehensible taunting or even targeting of players on the cusp during the final push to the playoffs, perhaps even to cause them to be suspended at the beginning of the silly season intentionally or to at the least just pound the hell out of players. This would not make for good Hockey at all.

          • Paul the Fossil

            Okay so the goons get taunted and baited into one more fight and have to miss the playoffs — so? Seems like if anything that makes for better hockey in the playoffs. (And/or the goons mostly get sat for the playoffs now, and more than half the goons play on non-playoff teams anyway, so the above scenario is irrelevant in a lot of cases.)

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t think we’d miss Bollig. Shaw’s had 4, 2 and 1 so far fights per season, and if he was in danger of losing his spot he’d reign it in.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            You assume that ONLY goons will fight to that limit. So no-way douchefuck players over the course of the season try to bait higher caliber players by hitting-baiting etc… into fisticuffs just to get them out wither right?

          • Paul the Fossil

            Maybe, though it’s not like they don’t try that now sometimes. But anyway maybe that major-junior league that’s using this approach can serve as a test of how players adapt to it.

  • OMFS88

    Unrelated and I apologize for that but does anyone know who plan #4 is in net for the Hawks? Have they called an Ice Hog up yet?

    • justforkicks

      Simpson was called up

      • jordyhawk

        Looks like he’s already shitting himself in this shot:

        http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks

        • DesertHawk

          Sure does.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        So what the hell are the Hogs doing for goalies?

        • lizmcneill

          Carruth and the nearest unemployed ex-college goalie? The Walleye signed Toivonen (remember him?) when Carruth got called up to the Rock.

          • laaarmer

            Lady!

  • 10thMountainFire

    Kruger was hammered with two dangerous hits, both worthy of disgust, and Bollig was on the ice for both of them. Bollig then fought… after the second time Kruger had been run over. So what purpose does a guy like Bollig serve in that regard? Is he out there as a deterrent? If so, then the Torres hit on Hossa proved that he’s useless in that role. Is he out there as a banger? Ok, I can see that. But he does it poorly. And if it’s ‘presence’? Nonsense. Shenanigans. Not a chance. I don’t hate Bollig. I just don’t see him serving any purpose, especially when we have talented players that can occupy that roster spot.

    I like a good fight. I don’t sit on the side of banning it all. But Bollig’s stupid pro wrestling nonsense last night on the way to the box was Tie Domi-stupid. It was a straight up embarrassment. Adam Burish dumbness. Then, he let Kruger get mashed up before doing anything. Unless he grows into a serious third or fourth line player, guys like Bollig don’t have roles.

    • jordyhawk

      And then he played to the crowd like he whupped the other guy. l didn’t like that (or Shaw doing it the other night for that matter). As much as I respect Shaw I have my fingers crossed every time he fights that he doesn’t get killed. He doesn’t protect himself at all.

    • lizmcneill

      When Shaw fights it’s because he’s mad as hell. He doesn’t have the technique of the enforcers, and most of the league is above his weight class apart from tiny skill players like Kaner who won’t fight him anyway. Oh, and Marchand. I don’t like to see Shaw fight because I’m afraid he’ll get seriously hurt one of these days.

      Bollig’s fights are a sideshow. He can’t even protect Kruger, who skates a regular shift with him, from getting run over, so what use is he to Kane and Toews? Is Backes really going to drop them with Bollig? I’m sure Bollig has him shaking in his skates. (oh halp we have to play the goonshow again before the Olympics, hope Tazer gets a 24-hour flu tbh.)

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Andy Strickland ‏@andystrickland
        Protecting ur teammates is arguably the greatest part of hockey. It can also be its biggest curse as evident by the Shawn Thornton incident

        I’m guessing meatheadedness comes from water tables poisoned by the Purina factories.

      • Waylon

        but Shaw was a very effective deterrent to Marchand’s antics during the Finals. Marchand tried to injure Keith when he wasn’t looking during a stoppage in play, and Shaw got right up in his face and was physical with him the entire series. Marchand’s play suffered as a result.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Marchand’s ineffectiveness was one of several enjoyable outcomes of that series.

  • Accipiter

    I didn’t like the hit by Orpik on Loui Eriksson simply because he never had the puck. If he had the puck, the hit was perfectly fine. Nothing that happened justifies what Thornton did.

    • DesertHawk

      I felt like the Orpik hit was a bit high, and it looked like he left his feet to me. That doesn’t excuse Thornton’s actions at all though. That whole game was a shit show.

      • lizmcneill

        It was late and Eriksson had his head turned but I don’t think he left his feet. He should have sat for 2 minutes IMO but under the current rules it’s not dirty. Of course, neither was Willie Mitchell scrambling Tazer’s brains in a blindside hit in the traintracks a few years ago. You think eventually open-ice hits on an unprepared layer might be looked at less kindly given what we know now about concussions. An arm t the chest would probably have knocked Eriksson on his ass just as effectively.

    • AirTrafficAJ

      Actually the puck had just left when Orpik bulldozed him.

      • Accipiter

        It was near Eriksson, may have grazed his stick, he never had the puck. Just my opinion, I never hit anyone (when I played) who wasn’t in control of the puck and I don’t like seeing it. It’s predatory behavior.

        • Z-man19

          I concur, Eriksson is completely defenseless there. I don’t see how that hit is all that different than what Torres did to Seabs a few years ago.

          • 1benmenno

            NFL has a penalty for hitting defenceless receiver. NFL code doesn’t trump that new rule.

        • AirTrafficAJ

          No worries man. Not disagreeing with you, just what I saw.

        • Waylon

          It was borderline and probably crap, but considering the team in question (Boston), you have to wonder about karma being a bitch. What Boychuk did to Toews in the Finals should’ve been a suspension, and instead he got…nothing.

          • lizmcneill

            Eriksson wasn’t even on the team at that point.

          • Waylon

            my point is that Boston’s well – known for exactly this kind of play, and that they’re forever playing right on the edge. Not justifying what Oprik did, but it’s a little like the Boy Who Cried Wolf right now with this team.

        • Why

          When played properly, this game is played by predators (not Predators, that’s an important distinction).

          • Accipiter

            Sure, if you have the puck you better be ready to get hit. If you get hurt by a clean hit, those are the breaks.
            (also, I didn’t really like the position Eriksson put himself in) Like I said, my opinion. You can still win hockey games without making questionable plays. I know most people don’t care as long as the team won, but to me winning doesn’t come at any cost.

  • jordyhawk

    The Code: Indian head, Team, Line.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      The code?

      12. 11. 2. 25. 14. 11. 18. 16. 23. 3. 25.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        Smoke monster plz.

    • Jim A

      Not god? Just asking.

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    The Bollig fight I am less concerned about. The game was already decided, it was coming from an early exchange as well, it did not hurt the team.
    Thornton, Fuck him. Marchand, I normally say Fuck Him but what Neal did, I want to see happen to no player. But just to be safe, fuck him and Lucic anyways.
    I am not always a fan of the timing of fights, but I do totally agree they should always be mutually agreed to, never one guy just allowed to start pounding on another. If the timing is bad, it is a team sport and his team needs to let them know, “You fucked us with that fight”, just like any other boneheaded play or the Coach needs to bench his ass. I still see the very notion of fighting having a deterrent value. It may not deter all douchebaggery, but if the players say it does have an impact I have to agree with them. The new rules on headshots has most definitely deterred many many potentially bad hits, we are seeing players be more cautious, but because it is not 100% effective does not mean it does not have a significant impact, I feel the same with fighting. It may not stop all fuckers from being assholes, but I am sure it does stop a lot of crap regardless, not all hockey players are keen on having another player try to break their hands with their face.

    • laaarmer

      I say you can start throwing the second you think a guy took a cheap shot at you, so long as the guy is facing you and you give him the customary “I’m going to kick your ass you fucking piece of shit”. Then go until you either can”t or he can’t.
      I have been through this on here before. They need to fight their own battles. No unleashing Bollig on somebody for Kruger. Kruger needs to fight his own battles as far as fighting goes. Nobody really fucks with Kane anymore. Yeah they hit him, but he will get you in the face with his stick and gladly take the penalty if you fuck with him. Toews is the same.

      Now, Bollig is welcome to get a guy in the corner on the next shift if he feels his teammate was treated poorly, and then tell him to knock it off or every fucking time he’s on the ice, he is going to get run.

      • Toews still makes funny faces!

        I do not want Kane-Toews-Sharp-Hossa-Saad anywhere near the likes of Thornton to fight their own battles. That is where I would expect Bollig-Shaw to get in between the two and say, “You gotta problem with Kaner, you’re going through me first”.

        • laaarmer

          If Thornton or the like takes a run at Kaner, etc I guarantee you that a stick will come up in his face. Without question. I also guarantee, Bickell, Saad, Seabrook, Keith, etc, will let Thornton know what is about to happen. If Bollig takes a run later and Thornton wants to fight because of that, I’m all for it. But the initial problem needs to be solved by theose involved. Kane can get him three ways. Stick to face, goal scored, or preferrably both

          • laaarmer

            I watched an interview with Toews a while back where he relayed a message that his father gave him when he was younger. If somebody is running you, get your stick and hands up. Right in the jaw. They will stop.
            I told my younger smaller son about this and I have watched him put it in practice the past two seasons. They do stop.

          • Jim A

            Worked for me 40 years ago. If you ran into my stick, that was your problem.

          • DesertHawk

            I very much liked how the TEAM played against Roussel, before he scored that fucking PS goal. He was definitely feeling it, I believe.

          • laaarmer

            Yep, and he will feel it again shortly.

          • lizmcneill

            Going for Kaner is probably the fastest way to get the whole team riled at you with the exception of running Crow. Kane will stick you in the legs and skate off to the bench, then score on the ensuing PP. Sharpy and Toews will crosscheck you or rough you up a bit. Seabs/Bicks/Rosi will knock you hard on your ass, and Shaw or Bollig will offer to drop the gloves.

          • DesertHawk

            And Crow will give paddle whacks and bear hugs… if you’re close to the net.

          • lizmcneill

            Crow protecting Toews was the best :)

          • justforkicks

            Kaner slashing people and skating a way was not always the way though. Because of exactly what Laaarmer said. When Kane first came into the league, and you did something he didn’t like, he’d high stick the shit out of you. People learned.

            And lest we not forget, Kane came to the aid of Toews in the playoffs against the Coyotes. That he then needed to be saved by sharp is irrelevant.

          • lizmcneill

            Kaner trying to protect his teammates is so funny. Bless him.

          • AirTrafficAJ

            That’s what I wished Braden Holtby did when Emery came skating down at him. Shoulda used his paddle like a fucking lightsaber and cut him down

          • Waylon

            agreed – what Keith did to Dustin Brown in last year’s playoffs was fully justifiable, in spite of his suspension. I rarely agree with Grapes, but he was spot – on when he viewed the entire tape of what lead to that action. Brown chopped Keith’s stick out of his hands, damn straight he deserved a stick to his mug. No other way to stop that kind of shit.

          • Accipiter

            Jeff Carter ?

          • Waylon

            I thought it was Brown who did the dirty deed.

          • Z-man19

            Carter

          • Accipiter
          • 1benmenno

            I shoulda shot the guy who cut me off in traffic today. No other way to stop that kind of shit.

      • lizmcneill

        Kruger’s 180lb and can’t draw a penalty. With the way the kill is I wouldn’t advise him to start high-sticking people even when they run him.

        His best protection is his own speed/agility. But he’s always been the guy that absorbs a beating every game and comes up smiling.

  • laaarmer

    Sam, the code actually applies to guys like Iginla or Howe who didn’t/don’t need protection. It’s guys like Crosby, Kane, and Gretzky that make it seem justifiable to play people like Thornton, Scott, and Parros (and to a lesser extent Bollig). They have no code. Their code is to intimidate. Nobody is intimidated.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    The problem as I see it lies half with management, and half with officiating. There are quite a few GMs out there who played in the 80s and early 90s (or act like they did. Brian Burke I’m looking at you) and still believe in this dinosaur shit. Coaches like Adam Oates look at this and go “Damn right, Orpik shoulda put up his dukes!”. Then you have a decent portion of the officiating crews who are still around from that era and agree with that kind of thing.

    Until the league is entirely on the same page as this, I don’t see it going away. Officials are still going to swallow their whistles on things like Neal’s Crane Kick to Marchand’s head (side note: I have some changing to do as well, because when I first saw what Neal did I was all “holy shit, what an asshole!”, then I saw it was Marchand, and part of me wanted to say “oh, it’s Marchand. That’s ok then”), GM’s are still going to employ people like John Scott, and coaches are still going to put them out there.

    Potential solutions:

    1. Fine the coaches when shit like this goes down. You put them out there, you pay the price.

    2. Teams with players that are suspended play with one less player on the bench on games where they are gone. When every game turns into a bag skate, the players will start knocking that shit off.

    3. Up the fines to the point where boners like Thornton (who according to CapGeek makes 1.1 mil) are losing such a significant portion of their paychecks that it becomes fiscally irresponsible to pull this bullshit.

    Realistically I know that none of the above are going to occur until someone like Crosby is on a stretcher, and the league is out some serious marketing dough.

    • Toews still makes funny faces!

      I would go for number 3.
      Number 1 the coach does not have enough total control on players. They are not always given the choice who is on their team and at times if the player is benched or not. So if a Coach if forced to their disagreement to play a guy they do not want to, how do you them hold them accountable for those actions?
      Number 2 Teams are allowed to have 22 (IIRC) players on their NHL Active Roster, it would need to be one of those spots, and I am pretty sure it already does affect one of those spots, a player cannot serve a suspension while in the minors. You will not get the players to buy off on shortening the bench like that (since it is a CBA item, the NHLPA would need to go along with it) So that option is not even a realistic option.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        You say that coaches don’t have enough control over players, but what I saw in Buffalo when John Scott was sent out at the end of a game to “send a message” and ended up beheading Erikkson (this poor fucking guy. It’s always him) speaks otherwise.

        • Toews still makes funny faces!

          One instance is not all inclusive. More than one Coach has stated they have not had total control on who is dressed at times. It is THOSE instances I am talking about, not the others. Since there is more than one situation, making a One Size fits all option is simply not fair to those already being handcuffed

          • AirTrafficAJ

            Making a rule change is by definition a one size fits all option. I think it’s getting to the point where that needs to be considered.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            Well no kidding that is what a rule is, than it would have to be accompanied by a rule no owner will agree to(because THEY own the team) is that only the Head Coach can determine who will skate.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            As long as the Owner (or anybody over the Coach) can dictate to the Coach who will play, holding that coach accountable for his superiors decisions is the wrong answer.

          • 1benmenno

            Bobby Clarke claims that his coach, Freddie Shero, had no control over what the 70s Flyers did on the ice.

          • 1benmenno

            Note: I don’t buy it.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            I know it is Basketball but it still a Chicago team of a GM telling the COACH to play somebody. How do you then hold that coach accountable for the players actions?

            http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/rosenblog/2009/03/the-bulls-have-one-franchise-player-the-coach-has-to-be-told-to-play-him-huh.html

          • 1benmenno

            A coach can always tell a player how to play. Shero put The Hammer out on the ice knowing full well what was going to happen.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            He can tell him how to play, but that does not mean the player will listen (I REALLY doubt Jullian for a second knew or suspected Thornton would do that, in fact I am willing to bet he told his players to not do something stupid on the ice), and if the Coach is being told to play that player regardless, well……………..

          • 1benmenno

            Then penalize the management. That’s where your argument is headed. Go up the chain of command, not down.

          • Toews still makes funny faces!

            But that gets back to the dilemma, the Owners will NEVER go along with that

          • 1benmenno

            Wait till the next round of class action lawsuits.

    • mad-hatter

      I think the club should be fined for the same amount the same player will lose in his suspension, in addition to harsher punishments. Once the owner starts losing money, I’d imagine they’d push their coaches to better manage the players, and their GMs to not sign notable repeat offenders.

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

    I don’t think there’s any easy ways to curb these kinds of extreme events unless you’re somehow able to appeal to “the code” that these players feel like they’re adhering to when they act/react like this in the first place. So the only way to decrease incidents is to make a player’s teammates somehow suffer for his own bad decisions. You would begin to deter the stupidity only if “sticking up” for your teammates in these fucked up ways in fact ends up hurting your teammates. (How you do that I don’t know.)

    Either that, or the current suspensions and fines have to become truly severe. Neal’s suspension today made me think I know nothing about the game. I haven’t been overly critical of Shanahan so far, but this one made me think I truly don’t see the game like players and ex-players see it. How that stays at 5 games simply because Marchand wasn’t injured … I seriously can’t find a reasonable explanation.

    • Z-man19

      Solid points Chico. I’m not shocked at all that Neal only got 5 games. The NHL has proven that it takes injuries into account. Do something reckless, didn’t hurt anyone, don’t worry about it. What Sam is suggesting is possible but only if the NHL can come up with a way to be consistent in the suspensions it hands out. Everyone should have known almost exactly what Neal was going to get for a suspension, instead, it’s the crazy eight ball. No one knows what the penalties are. Fix that and guys will adjust their behavior

      • justforkicks

        I still think there should be something along the line of set # of games per offense (e.g. 1 game for 1st offense, 5 for 2nd offsense, 10 for 3rd offense), with injuries ADDING on rather then subtracting from. Of course then you still have to take severity of what was done into account, but I don’t know how to add that in.

    • birdhead

      So the only way to decrease incidents is to make a player’s teammates somehow suffer for his own bad decisions.

      How about fining teams? Non-trivial sums, I mean. That might do it too. Make the player’s employer suffer for the employee’s bad decisions.

      • 2883

        How about putting the team on the defensive, giving automatic major penalties and game misconducts?

        • birdhead

          I’d be on board with that too but I think the fining thing would actually be more effective. What changed Cooke’s play? Getting suspended, or getting told by Mario that his job was at stake?

          • 2883

            Don’t you think if they gave major penalties every time that a team would realize they put their team in a losing situation time after time

          • birdhead

            Yeah. I do think that an almost automatic major penalty for contact/hits to the head in the same way high-sticking is an automatic minor whether you meant to do it or not would have a big impact. tackle it from many angles …

          • mad-hatter

            Too bad they’ll never tell Neal his job is at stake because goals maybe?

          • birdhead

            Yup. Same reason he only got 5. Sucks.

          • lizmcneill

            The automatic major would also help with that.

      • 1benmenno

        Hit ‘em in the pocket book.

        • birdhead

          that’s what I’m getting at. I know NHL teams aren’t necessarily money-spinners but I doubt owners want to lose money for no reason.

          • 1benmenno

            And I’m agreeing. Because merely penalizing the players on the ice doesn’t do enough.

          • birdhead

            Yup. Penalising the individual players won’t really make a difference if there’s a tolerance for the behaviour in the organisation.

          • Z-man19

            I think if there was any consistency to it, that would help. Just think if the NHL had fined/suspended Roussel for punching Kane. The Shaw fight probably never happens and Dallas loses a pretty good player for a game on an action that wasn’t even a penalty. Stuff like that might be effective

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

        Personally, I think that would be a justified move, and it would go a good distance to calming these kinds of things. So Ideal Me is fully on board with those kinds of ideas. But I think the NHLPA would (perversely) fight tooth and nail to prevent it, arguing about the position it would force players into–that is, the position of having directly cost the owner money.

        That’s part of why I think whatever punishment gets handed down somehow has to influence his teammates–if the players get pissed about it being “protected” in these ways, the code gets altered from the inside.

        • birdhead

          Interesting thought about the NHLPA. Considering the NHLPA usually fights against suspensions and fines, for obvious membership-losing-money reasons, I would have thought they’d be on board with shifting that – but you might be right.

          I tend to agree that immediate, in-game responses would be a plus.

      • lizmcneill

        Or losing draft picks for repeated offenses.

        • birdhead

          I sort of gasped and went SO EXTREME!! but, well, that would almost certainly do it.

  • mazer_rackham

    Hey, if there was some “code” at my job that allowed me to punch annoying people in the face I’d be a staunch defender of it.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      That’s it. I’m asking the owner if we can adhere to the code starting tomorrow…and I’m bringing the foil.

  • justforkicks

    Julien isn’t getting fined right as far as we know, right? Whatshisface got fined for putting Scott on the ice (even though he didn’t have last change), but I have heard nothing about Julien, who put Thorton out on the ice against Orpik repeatedly. I guess you can say you don’t know for sure that Julien put him out for that specific reason, but…

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Tots agree. Julian should get fined for his role.

    • CozBullsFan

      Yeah, he should have been docked for that. I was surprised he didn’t considering how obvious his matchups changed after the Orpik hit.

  • mad-hatter

    What really aggravates me about the Neal incident is that this is a guy who shares a locker room with Sidney Crosby, the once poster boy of the dangers of concussions and suspension reform.

    Players don’t respect each other. That’s a bunch of bullshit. They talk a big game with the nonsense code but when it gets down to ice level the majority of them could care less about the guys in the other sweater. It’s easy to get riled up about player safety when it’s your teammate in the dark room, but for other incidents? “Hockey play.” It’s like when Landeskog threw an elbow out at Keith in his first game back from his own concussion.

    • laaarmer

      Do you remember when Crosby speared Ovechkin?

      I think the players took note.

      Payback is a bitch

      • lizmcneill

        Crosby’s kind of a rat. Our captain is the best captain.

        • Accipiter

          I don’t mind Crosby. Toews takes his share of abuse, Crosby takes a lot more.

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t mind Crosby either. Dislike his cult, but you can’t deny he’s the best hockey player in the world right now. I prefer Toews for homer reasons though.

          • Accipiter

            I believe what laaarmer was eluding to is that Crosby brings some of the abuse he gets by his own actions on the ice. A player should defend himself. If a player does something that is beyond that (a spear, in the example above) he should be ready for what he gets in return.

          • mad-hatter

            Sure, but what he gets in return shouldn’t be a possible career ending injury

          • Accipiter

            What ends Crosby career at this point might just be a minor injury if it happened to another player, the injuries all pile up in the end, some more than others. To be clear, I don’t like it, but some players should try to draw less attention to themselves.

          • birdhead

            Like Marian Hossa, say?

          • Accipiter

            Exactly. Marian doesn’t draw much unnecessary attention to himself. He is a great hockey player, that in itself brings unwanted attention from other players.

          • birdhead

            Ah, that’s why Hossa’s never been injured on a dirty hit, because he’s such an unassuming guy.

            Great players are gonna get run cos they’re great, that includes Crosby, no kind of attention-seeking behaviour deserves an elbow to the head.

          • Accipiter

            You don’t think I understood the Marian Hossa reference ? I’m pretty sure you can read.

          • birdhead

            I thought I could too, but I don’t really understand what you’re getting at so I’m going to gracefully (ish) retire.

          • 1benmenno

            Speaking of slings and arrows:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM2SiS2moZI

          • birdhead

            Ahh, that show. Was it you I rec’d that to? Have you enjoyed it? :)

          • 1benmenno

            Yeah, you rec’d it. And I had to look it up. Found the whole series on youtube. Thx. How does a New Zealander know about obscure Canadian shows?

          • birdhead

            I used to work in a drama school and someone recommended it to me in an art-imitates-life kind of way. It was … cathartic. (I watched due South around the same time.)

          • 1benmenno

            Any resonance between NZ and Canadian culture?

          • birdhead

            I’ve always thought there was, but I’ve never visited. Both Commonwealth countries, both with a bigger brasher noisier wealthier neighbour, both low-population-density. I have observed among some Canadians the same sliiiightly defensive chip-on-shoulder that NZ has (that for example Aussies don’t). Canada’s much bigger and has much worse weather, of course ;)

          • Z-man19

            both with a bigger brasher noisier wealthier neighbour,
            Those Greenlanders can be real loud mouths

          • Accipiter

            It’s those Quebecois ….

          • 1benmenno

            sacre blou!

          • Z-man19

            BLou is sacred?

          • justforkicks

            only in his own mind

          • 1benmenno

            Partial seasons tickets, mon ami.

          • justforkicks

            300 level or bust

          • Accipiter

            What size bust we talkin’ here ?

          • justforkicks

            i’ll send you some measuring tape and you can let me know

          • 1benmenno

            That makes sense, in terms of noisy neighbors. Pierre Trudeau said to the American press, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

          • birdhead

            Hah! Exactly right.

          • Z-man19

            as far as I can tell, you both said the same thing

          • birdhead

            and here I thought we were disagreeing. oops.

          • Z-man19

            He is a great hockey player, that in itself brings unwanted attention from other players.

            Great players are gonna get run cos they’re great, that includes Crosby

            Seems pretty similar to me, but I’m thick so….

          • justforkicks

            They are both saying that. I think Accipiter is also saying that you don’t hear about Hossa slewfooting guys or doing other shady things (at least not that I recall), so he gets the attention due to being great but its not compounded because of him doing dirty shit as well. Crosby already gets the attention because he’s a great player, but it can be made worse, and not necessarily through any fault of his own, by the perceived pass from the refs he gets when he does things like slewfoot players without a call (I say that specifically because I remember a situation with Callahan).

          • Accipiter

            I am not good at the english. This is what all my comments about the topic add up to.

            Thanks, jfk.

          • justforkicks

            i got your back bro

          • Z-man19

            you and me JFK, bringing peace to all the internet

          • justforkicks

            this place would fall apart without us

          • laaarmer

            It depends upon what he did

          • mad-hatter

            Like?

          • laaarmer

            Like Torres hit on Hossa

          • laaarmer

            OR
            Thornton on Orpik

          • mad-hatter

            Fuck him, but I still don’t really wish significant injury on him. I’d rather the league have the guts to do something themselves, but I also want to be a millionaire.

          • laaarmer

            I think he gets it at some point from a player

          • mad-hatter

            Possibly. He’ll have to play against the Blues sometimes and they have plenty of options.

        • MattC86

          I think a lot of non-Hawks fans view them in the same light after Toews’ whine-fest against Detroit and Zetterberg. And I don’t really blame them. Crosby has nasty elements to his game Toews doesn’t (the spears and jabs and trips and slashes) but I don’t doubt either of their leadership abilities. And Crosby makes players around him better in a way that Toews, as much as I love the guy, simply does not. Chris Kunitz is not an elite goal scorers in the NHL, period, but he could end up with more goals than anybody on the Hawks, and on the fucking Olympic team, for God’s sake. That’s the Crosby effect. Even Kane hasn’t turned anybody into that kind of goal-scoring machine.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Rob Brown, anyone?

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

        I actually don’t remember him spearing Ovechkin. That’s the first I’ve heard of that. (Not suggesting he’s an angel, but I never saw/heard about that particular incident.)

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

      I remember this coming up before … does anyone have a link to the Landeskog elbow to Keith? I’ve yet to see anything about it anywhere except in the odd comment here.

      • mad-hatter

        I don’t have a video link, but it happened in last year’s first regulation loss against the Avs. As I remember it, Landeskog came with an elbow against Keith, either while battling for a puck in the corner or clipping him while his head was down, I don’t remember. I do know that Bicks came in immediately after that and there was a bit of a scrum between the two, as well as Duncs and some other Av players. On the boxscore for the game Bickell was given a misconduct and two minutes for roughing, while Landeskog got two minutes for slashing.

        • justforkicks

          Landeskog made a joke about it on twitter too, after, if I’m remembering correctly. Such a punk.

          • mad-hatter

            I can’t stand anyone on that damn team. Sad that they’re kinda popular with the tumblrverse.

          • justforkicks

            yeah i hate the whole fucking team. and pretty sure none of them are or will be on team usa so that won’t change.

          • 2883

            Isn’t Stasny an American?

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah he has a pretty good chance of making it unfortunately.

          • 2883

            He’s Canadian I think born in Canada after I looked it up

          • mad-hatter

            Uh, no? “Paul Stastny is an American professional ice hockey center…” He was on the US team in 2010 and centered the first line.

          • 2883
          • justforkicks

            that’s really weird. he’s basically on every persons projection to center a line on team usa.

          • 2883

            I mean he must have some American in him..

          • justforkicks

            lol

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

            He’s a dual citizen, decided to play American. Like Brett Hull.

          • 2883

            He’s a Jimmy Eat World fan then eh?

          • 1benmenno

            Dual loyalties. Traitors.

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

            Wasn’t good enough to play on our team, so he went somewhere he could get a roster spot. (Now I’ll go watch for bricks coming through my window.)

          • Z-man19

            you have windows?

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

            HEY. BRICKS COME THROUGH CELLOPHANE TOO YOU KNOW.

          • 1benmenno

            People with cellophane windows shouldn’t throw gumballs.

          • CozBullsFan

            Gumballs are the opposite of spice. They do not flow freely.

          • CozBullsFan

            Guess that makes me a traitor. Traitor to Canada or the US though?

          • 1benmenno

            Double agent.

          • CozBullsFan

            Yes.

          • 1benmenno

            The Spy Who Came In From The Cold . . .

          • Z-man19

            ‘cip is as well.

          • 1benmenno

            ‘cippy cup? Yeah, that’s right. I said it.

          • 2883

            Depends wehre are your loyalties.

          • CozBullsFan

            US of course. Born there and lived there most of my life. Canadian citizen through my mom. Interesting fact about my mom! She was neighbors with the one and only Gordie Howe for a brief time!

            Edit: Canadian, not Canada

          • lizmcneill

            So many children of Canadian hockey players swiped by the USA. Parise, too.

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

            We don’t do apple pie as well.

          • 1benmenno

            Americans do pie, that’s true. Saw the movie.

          • Z-man19

            my wife made me apple pie for my birthday, it was fabulous

          • Accipiter

            But you are married. Why didn’t you just eat the apple pie ?

          • Z-man19

            made me an apple pie and I ate it, smartass

          • justforkicks

            i fucking love apple pie.

          • Z-man19

            one piece left

          • justforkicks

            send it to meeeeeeeeeeeeeee

          • Z-man19

            I would, if you were closer than NJ, and by closer I mean across the street. The last piece is MINE

          • justforkicks

            so jealous. i’ll have to buy one tomorrow because now i really really want some.

          • Z-man19

            nothing beats a homemade apple pie, unless of course I have to make it then buying is bettah

          • justforkicks

            i know. i miss thanksgiving, when my friends made pies and all i had to do was stuff my face.

          • 2883

            that was my memory too… a Kane Parise Stasny line.

          • justforkicks

            no he’d be on team usa. fml i forgot about him.

          • Accipiter

            Although born in Canada, Stastny is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Both he and his brother Yan have chosen to play internationally for the United States.

          • 2883

            I don’t want his brother Yan on the team. Does that make him the Yang?

          • Z-man19

            Yin

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

            beat me again

          • 1benmenno

            Gumball?

          • Z-man19

            he’s gumball dry

          • 1benmenno

            Trust in God
            and keep your gumballs dry.

          • Accipiter

            Okay, but only because you asked so nicely.

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

            I’m going home if everyone keeps making fun.

          • 2883

            I’ve been drinking so you can safely discount what I say.

          • mad-hatter

            I thought that was the rule around here.

          • Z-man19

            this is different how?

          • CozBullsFan

            By that line of thinking, shouldn’t we discount anything anyone says here? lol

          • 2883

            Yes.

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

            I do that whether you’re drinking or not.

          • 2883

            Sweet. Well then you’re safe.

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

            Really? Holy. I love Duchene, O’Reilly, MacKinnon, Landeskog, Giguere … quite a few. (Granted, Varlamov is not among them.)

          • mad-hatter

            Good hockey players, but I’m not exactly sad they’re not Hawks. With the ROR and locker room shenanigans last year, and now Varlamov, I’m just really turned off the whole lot of them.

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

            (I don’t know what ROR means.)

          • justforkicks

            ryan o’reilly

          • mad-hatter

            lol Ryan O’Reilly. I don’t have links on hand but he was complaining about his role on the team and not getting the money he wanted during that whole RFA fiasco, and the locker room suffered from it. Plus Landeskog was whining and complaining about his teammates later in the season when they just kept losing.

          • justforkicks

            i thought he pretty much stopped after he got the contract signed. what bugged me was duchene talking about it in every interview after and saying HE’D never do that. like fuck dude, he’s back on the team, just let it go.

          • mad-hatter

            I can’t remember. I only paid attention when Andi came over or they made some kind of MSM headlines. The Avs weren’t one of the teams I followed all that consistently or closely last year.

          • justforkicks

            I remember it because she and some others really liked that Duchene had the “courage” to be honest and speak his mind, but after like the first interview, it just became very “look at me look at me” of him.

          • mad-hatter

            I just think relationships among players and coaches and other such things like that should stay in the locker room. Unless it’s, y’know, illegal.

          • lizmcneill

            Yes. See also Stals flapping his mouth about his ice time. Maybe it’s not the coach, y’know?

          • mad-hatter

            Yep and yep.

          • justforkicks

            yeah me too. though i think if someone really feels like something has to be said, then fine say it once and let it go. continuing to harp on it seems like it’d make the locker room really uncomfortable.

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

            Ahh … knew the locker room things, but thought the ROR was separate from that.

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

            Yowser. I remember a report about that at the time, but I never read the letter itself.

          • lizmcneill

            Hawks’ org wipe brow in relief that as embarrassing as Kaner used to be, at least his parents didn’t air the dirty laundry to the papers. That really annoys me.

          • birdhead

            If the Varlamov situation had happened on the Hawks I’m pretty sure every one of the Hawks would have said exactly what the Avs did.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah, probably. Which means I’d just be even more angry.

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

          Thanks for the reference. Here it is:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QptemBuyeqU&t=1m0s

          We’ll all have different eyes on this, but that’s an elbow to the shoulder imo, followed by a slash to the upper arm (when the ref’s hand goes up). I feel better about my Landeskog like now.

          • mad-hatter

            Hmm I can’t really see from that angle, but I distinctly remembering it being an elbow.

  • mad-hatter

    In other news:

    Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger
    2014-2015 NHL salary cap projection delivered at Board of Governors meeting. Upwards of $71 million next season. CDN TV rights also ratified.

    • BrandonPirri

      So the Hawks will have enough to pay everyone they need to next season, and add another piece. Fantastic :D

      • Accipiter

        Only if the player prices/salaries stay constant.

        • BrandonPirri

          Most of the team is locked up, except for Smith, Morin, Raanta and Pirri. All of which are RFAs.

          • Z-man19

            Uh, GAAD and two other yucks are due new contracts pretty soon

          • BrandonPirri

            Saad is an RFA too.

          • Z-man19

            True, the two yucks might be pricey though

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          For that reason look for DDN/Saad to be extended this summer.

          • lizmcneill

            Probably Saad also. Maybe Leddy.

          • 2883

            They’re both gonna get max ocntracts.

          • lizmcneill

            isn’t max like 12M? I do hope not.

          • 2883

            8ish max bonus is 14

          • lizmcneill

            They aren’t eligible for bonuses. 8.8 might be a nice number for Kaner for the obvious reason, and they’ll get 8 years as they’re signing with their home team.

          • Z-man19

            they sign the deal on 8/19 next year, book it

          • mad-hatter

            will you put a gumball down on that?

          • Z-man19

            let’s see, Chico owes me two, you owe me one, hmmm, the odds anyone remembers this is pretty low, YEP, we got a bet here

          • mad-hatter

            You’ll be surprised what I’ll remember for a gumball.

          • CozBullsFan

            No gumballs for you!

          • Z-man19

            if you win, it’s your gumball anyway

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah I just want to save on shipping.

          • Z-man19

            like you did with our hats?

          • Accipiter

            Those never left the factory.

          • Z-man19

            I don’t think there is a factory

          • mad-hatter

            The union doesn’t allow factories.

          • Z-man19

            The Non Hat Makers Union

          • Accipiter

            happy-hatters

          • Z-man19

            we picked the wrong hatter

          • mad-hatter

            Wait what round did I go in?

          • Z-man19

            the turd of course

          • mad-hatter

            Well anyway I’m sure you’d be happy to know that ahn is trading me for Miller and birdhead and ben have already approved so you’ll be down a manic milliner.

          • CozBullsFan

            I don’t think they will get max. Toews has said he likes the plan of the team keeping everyone together and adding good to great pieces each year.

      • mad-hatter

        Next year will be smooth sailing really. Still worried about 2016 with DDN, Saad, and Leddy contracts. I would guess $76mil would be the absolute lowest the cap could be for the Hawks to keep them, but who knows.

        • BrandonPirri

          The new Canadian TV deal is projected to push the cap to over 75 million for the 2015-2016 season and over 80 million for 2016-2017. If the NHL HRR numbers increase further, those numbers will get correspondingly larger.

          • Z-man19

            Can’t wait for the next lockout to be about money

          • 2883

            and it will be. the owners hate paying their players.

          • 1benmenno

            and the players play like they hate each other. Yet they’re fellow union members. Things haven’t changed that much since the days of Ted Lindsay.

          • mad-hatter

            DDN, Saad, and Leddy could collectively earn an extra $10.5mil to what they’re currently making. Even if the cap were to go up to $78mil for 2016, someone’s going to have to go.

          • lizmcneill

            Also losing about 5M with Rozi and Oduya’s contracts coming off the books (if Leddy hasn’t overtaken Odie by that time he won’t need much of a payrise). Saad probably gets a bridge deal for a couple of years (although something like 5×5 would likely work out cheaper in the end but it’s unlikely it would fit).

            Home discounts, DDN, home discounts.

          • mad-hatter

            I’m assumiing Stan will bring in another vet defenseman, if not just keep one of the two, so that’s probably only about $2.5 to $3mil off the books. As much as the cap goes up the market prices for players is sure to follow, whether we like it or not.

          • lizmcneill

            There’s 23.5M left of the current cap. That’s gone on DDN and next year’s FA depth forwards plus Raanta. 10M for Leddy, Saad, Frogger and a bottom-pair dman is pretty tight. They’ll probably want to trade someone to make space for kids again anyway.

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

            My assumption henceforth will be that fans of teams benefiting from the steeply rising cap–American fans in particular–will be cheering on the Great White North at the Olympics this year with genuine camaraderie.

          • Z-man19

            I’ll cheer you on in the bronze medal game, assuming it’s not against us

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

            See, now that’s just defeatist, assuming your team isn’t even going to medal.

          • Z-man19

            I’m assuming gold medal BABY

  • 2883

    Guess who has two thumbs and is now officially a PhD … this guy

    • Z-man19

      You didn’t have two thumbs before? Congrats

    • Accipiter

      That is pretty impressive. Congrats.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Did you get thumbs with the PhD?

    • 1benmenno

      Mazel tov!

      • Z-man19

        You’d think 2883 would have brought us cigars or something.

        • 1benmenno

          He gave birth to a dissertation.

          • Z-man19

            I told you that thinking on the shitter was best

          • 2883

            I think by the time you told me that, the dissertation was written, I was working on my presentation to the committee.

          • Z-man19

            Get married, have kids, the bathroom will be your think tank

          • 2883

            Think tank eh? I’ll have to make sure my diet has lots of fiber then

          • Z-man19

            A good exhaust fan is a must

          • 1benmenno

            Courtesy flush, please.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Show that turd who’s boss!

          • 1benmenno

            Tree turdy turd?

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Pat, is that you? (I have to admit I did actually laugh out loud at that.)

          • 10thMountainFire

            So are you going to give us a brief on your subject matter or just leave me assuming your work was a quantitative break down of basket weaving among demographically irrelevant statistical categories in underdeveloped counties in Mississippi?

        • 2883

          Smoke em if you got em..

    • birdhead

      Congratulations Dr 2883!

      • 2883

        Merci beaucoup. Half bottle of champagne and 3 beers in and I’m not feeling too bad yet.

    • justforkicks

      congrats!!

    • CozBullsFan

      Grats man!

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Congrats man! I will eat a big red candle in your honor!

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Doctor Two Thumbs!

    • 10thMountainFire

      Congrats, brother. It’s a long haul but you made it. Drinks are on you. I prefer… Johnnie Walker Blue.

    • MattC86

      Congrats, Doctor!

    • ahnfire

      YAAAAY congrats 2883!!!

    • derlemke

      Can I get a prescription for this rash.

  • Jim

    If Thornton did that anywhere but in a hockey rink, he would be jailed for assault.

    Football and Hockey still sadly use the same strategy. Injure the other teams good players to even the playing field. After the Hossa hit, and the NHL’s non response, I actually considered stopping watching sports. I only started watching again because this BlackHawks team is once in a lifetime, and I didn’t want to miss it.

    It was maybe 10 years ago that Carson Palmer and the Bengals played Pittsburgh in the AFC final. Clearly Cincy was going to win the game. Pittsburgh went after Palmer’s knee and took him out. The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl. To me that’s not sports.

    • AMR

      When they played Phoenix that Hossa Hit? If so the NHL came down hard on Torres for that hit. If I remember correctly it was 20 games plus even with the reduction by Bettman. That is pretty harsh especially during the playoffs

    • Guest

      As a Steeler fan, I think that your account of the situation in Cincinnati that day is a COMPLETE fabrication. Don’t make shit up to try to prove your point. The defensive tackle went low after getting blocked down. That used to be allowed. It was a result of these kind of outcomes that crawling your way to the QB’s legs is no longer allowed.

  • mad-hatter

    How is Sassone getting paid:

    Tim Sassone @TimSassone 9m
    Probably. Shaw and Kruger too. Leddy? Meh. “@jcull1010: @TimSassone is saad now considered part of the core?”

    • justforkicks

      oh good grief

      • lizmcneill

        I love Kruger, but there is no question who has more skill and upside out of him and Leddy. Same with Mutt.

        newsflash, not everyone on the team can be the core!

        • 2883

          Kruger will take a lot less to re-sign than Leddy though.

          • lizmcneill

            True, but the core does tend to be more expensive.

        • mad-hatter

          I also don’t quite think Shaw is core. He’s great at what he does, but he’s still a movable piece if necessary.

          • justforkicks

            agreed. tbh i tend to think our core is the usual suspects, and then we have the core-lite, which is where guys like Leddy fall into, where they still have some developing to do, and if it goes as planned will become core, otherwise just great players who can net a great return, and then those outside the core who are awesome, but still moveable pieces.

          • lizmcneill

            Bolly was core-lite and he was moved. Fro never made it to core-lite and he was still awesome.

          • justforkicks

            yeah because his season didn’t go as planned and he never made the transition to core. Fro unfortunately never made it from outside the core, poor kid. i still miss him and his energy and crazy eyebrows.

          • mad-hatter

            I would say that Bolly was actual core up until last year.

          • justforkicks

            i used to say that but apparently he was being shopped for a good chunk of time, even prior to last season (based on an interview i read)

          • lizmcneill

            who was the interview with?

          • justforkicks

            I think it was with bolly actually.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah, and other NHL insiders also mentioned that his trade wasn’t a surprise.

          • lizmcneill

            that would suck, if he knew for years he was being shopped :(

          • justforkicks

            he seemed good with it and happy to go home. plus he got to win another cup in the meantime. i mean i’m sure it sucked but at least it ended well for him.

          • lizmcneill

            until the fucking Nucks sliced up his ankle :’(

          • justforkicks

            i hate them too

          • mad-hatter

            Oh right, I think I read something like that too. But for three years or so he was the reason that Q could roll the lines the way he did. Guess what Bolly brought became more of a luxury than a necessity. :

          • justforkicks

            ugh i know. in his healthy years and in the right role, bolland was such a badass. i still tend to think we would have seen better things from him last season on a straight checking line with the right wingers (like bicks and fro) versus where he was slotted.

          • mad-hatter

            Bolly’s just a unique player. Sucks that injuries and what-not kept him from being 100% all the time.

          • justforkicks

            and he got hurt with the leafs again. so much sadness. i love him and his crazy eyes.

          • mad-hatter

            Same. And agreed about Kruger being core-lite too. Though Bollig has been better than expected, and Ben Smith has really improved lately, it’s really him bringing that fourth line along, and in some ways Q’s giving him a tougher responsibility than he ever gave Bolland. But the lines in general are so unconventional.

            I wonder if Hammer’s made himself a full core piece though. What with Oduya and Rozsival with nearing expiration dates (unless Stan resigns one), and then a bunch of rookies coming up, he’s going to be pretty necessary during the transition from Marlboro 72 to whomever.

          • lizmcneill

            Yeah, I don’t think the org’s in any rush to replace Kruger in the next few years. The kids on the Rock are still very young. Stan isn’t the HF boards LOL TRADE KRUEGER AND BRING UP DANAULT NOW”.

          • justforkicks

            Yeah, like I mentioned, he’s the player they are actually encouraging some hogs to aspire to, so you know he’s special. But when those players are ready, kruger probably gets moved unless he finds a new role for himself (i like him so I’ll hope for that).

            I think so for Hammer, particularly with his play last season and this one. He’s been so solid and consistent, and with the new contract, I think if he’s not full core, he’s at least at the cusp.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah as happy as it makes me that Kruger’s play is something to aspire to for some of the younger guys it makes me sad because if that happens then :

            But we’re not talking about that and I’m going back to la la land where Kruger stays forever.

          • justforkicks

            i think we still have a good chunk of time so that’s good.

          • lizmcneill

            I think Saad/Crow/Jelly/Bicks/Leddy are ahead of him in the “kinda-core” list. Fortunately he’s signed to a friendly deal for the next 2 seasons after this.

          • justforkicks

            yeah, those are my core-lite picks. i would add kruger, but the hawks are actively developing players in the hogs to take his place, so.

          • lizmcneill

            Crying. He’s still developing himself though, maybe he can be 3C and the kids come up for the 4th line.

          • justforkicks

            maybe he gets a season to mentor and in that time he can reinvent himself into a goal scorer

          • lizmcneill

            Or it would be a better shutdown line if it was Kruger plus mini-Kruger instead of Kruger and Bollig.

          • justforkicks

            yeah maybe. i think we still have some time so we’ll have to see how it goes.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I am dumber for having read that, actually.

  • 2883

    Alshon with an absurd TD

    • 1benmenno

      Da Bears!

      • 2883

        DITKA.

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Looks like it’s 2 teams of mini-Ditkas on offense and 2 teams of hot, steaming garbage on defense.

          • 2883

            What happened to the Bears D…. the D that used to be among the best D’s in football

          • CozBullsFan

            They are finally starting to show their age. We have the oldest avg age of D players than any other team.

          • 1benmenno

            Did the loss of Israel Idonije have an impact? (I root for him because he played for the University of Manitoba).

          • CozBullsFan

            In hindsight, it did. WIth all the injuries to D line, he would have helped.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Yes. He was always good at planting and having contain which McClellin is horrible at.

          • CozBullsFan

            McClellin is being shoehorned into positions he isn’t built for because of injuries. Not really on him. Just bad planning by the Bears. That said, he’s also not a DE. He should be an OLB in a 3-4 D.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Agreed. He’s not a DE. Bad, bad pick by Emery just as Hardin was. Is this Bizarro Angelo? Good at picking/signing offensive players and totally incompetent at picking/signing defensive players? (In his defense, I thought Williams and Anderson were solid pick ups but Williams got hurt). Dear lord do we need actual NFL safeties too.

          • CozBullsFan

            He’s an upgrade over Angelo in every way. He made a couple bad picks. McClellin might not be bad if the Bears end up going to the 3-4 D in the near future. Otherwise, yes, he is a bust.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Emery is 2x the GM that Angelo was. He seems bold and to have a clear vision though I’m waiting to see what kind of defensive stamp Trestman/Emery want to put on the team. I think they need to do their own thing and not just keep trying to implement the old defense. I love what he did with the OL last offseason. Pretty genius and shrewd.

          • CozBullsFan

            I agree. So, what do you think Jones is going to do after this season? Think he is going to can the entire staff and rebuild? It’s all his fault for it being like this. He should have never fired Ryan. Worst move he could have made. Ryan was the only thing standing between over achieving and straight bad.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            He’ll probably wipe the slate clean and then go out and overpay for someone with a name rather than figure out who might work best (i.e.–Cowher or Billick or something).

          • CozBullsFan

            So just him being himself. New Al Davis?

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Yup. He’s starting to look embalmed too.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            1. Tons of injuries.
            2. Loss of Lovie and Marinelli
            3. Addition of Mel Tucker

        • 1benmenno

          Gale Sayers!

        • CozBullsFan

          GO BEARS!

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      NFL Lamp!!

  • ChiCityKyle

    For better or for worse, NHL 14 also supports the bullshit “code”. You are allowed to fight for your teammate if checked hard, clean or cheap you typically have the option to stand up and fight the player who checked them…..So what’s the message EA is sending? Pro Meatballery?

    • 1benmenno

      Maybe EA could turn concussed players into zombies to tap into new markets.

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

        Sort of like what the NHL has tried with Roenick and Milbury between periods on NBC?

        • 1benmenno

          Night of LDBC. Living Dead Broadcasting Corp.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Is that a John Scott reference?

  • 1benmenno

    Hm. Cutler not missed?

    • laaarmer

      Who knew?

    • CozBullsFan

      I’m on the fence about him. He was rushed back too soon and it showed. Who’s to blame for that? Can’t honestly say one over the other. It’s a collection of bad choices. Still, while Cutler had shown some improvement from the new coach and system, he still had his bad tendencies. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the franchise tag and a last chance. Not sure it would prove anything. I think Emery should just let him go and continue rebuilding.

  • CozBullsFan

    Did anyone see that picture of the Quebec minor-pro player that got a skate to his face? I’ll link the story instead of the picture so you can venture to see it if you want. http://tinyurl.com/mvxorhr

  • Dr. John

    I’ve said it for years, and I know my take is not the most popular one, but here we go: the NHL would do well to cleanse itself from violence as much as it could. That means –

    a) ban fighting: no point in tolerating on the ice what in real life is a criminal act; this isn’t boxing or MMA, it’s hockey, and the point of the sport is not to fight, period. In all other major pro team sports, fighting means being expelled from the game and perhaps more. And I really don’t care about the “it can switch a game’s momentum”; “players are against banning fights”; “it’s necessary to prevent further violence”; “it’s popular among some viewers” arguments.

    b) to overcome the predictable objection from players and pro-fighting folks to the effect that fighting is necessary to penalize cheapshots when officiating fails to do so, officiating should be considerably improved, vid replays allowed to be used to give penalties, and cheap shots should be penalized much more severely

    I’m 200% convinced that for one single fan the League would lose by banning fights, it would gain at least two new ones.

    Of course, I know I’ll never see these changes being implemented, and I’ll accept fighting as long as it’ll be part of the game. As long as I have the opportunity to walk away from my screen when it happens, I can live with it.

    • Why

      Beg Shanny. Beg the police. Beg the Crown. Someone needs to put a stop to it. We just need a strong hand to put their foot down and all those angry men will be changed and we can just watch saucer passes and snipes. All those people that hate hockey just need the game changed so they can feel good about watching it. It’s so beautiful when it’s played without all the extra shit that would result in arrest anywhere else.

      They don’t breathe, eat and sleep the game. Christ, I don’t either anymore. But this isn’t church and if you care about the scoreboard, you’re going to have to save yourself.

      • Dr. John

        Well, good news for supporters of the status quo – things simply won’t change. Not in my lifetime, at least. To be sure: I like hockey the way it is – but as many other folks, I’d like it much more without that insane & useless extra violence.

        • Why

          And I’ll tell you that you’ll probably find plenty of support for that point of view around here. But I’ve got little use for sanity right now and no use for it once the playoffs start.

          • lizmcneill

            Look at it like asset management. Shawn Thorntons and Brandon Bolligs and Raffi Torreses are a dime a dozen. Hossas and Toewses and Marc Savards don’t come along so frequently. Once you break him, he’s gone and you don’t get another.

      • Accipiter

        You are taking it to an extreme, that’s fine. You could still see just about everything you saw before, except maybe a defenceless player getting his head punched while laying on the ice. I guess you like that, I’d be fine if I never saw it again.

        • DesertHawk

          Defenceless player being head punched is already against the rules…

          • Accipiter

            True, fighting is also against the rules. I guess that is why you get a penalty for it. If the first part (trying to get someone to fight you) is not longer there, then maybe the second part (player who doesn’t want to fight and gets head punched while laying on ice) won’t happen any more, dunno.

        • Why

          I’m taking it to an extreme? We’re talking about banning something that’s been part of the game since before any of us were born.

          • Accipiter

            Doesn’t bother me. The extreme part is that you think it will reduce the game to saucer passes and blah blah blah …..

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Agreed, in fact a much better job of postulating than my post at the beginning of this thread. You are a pro athlete. If you need to fight to get motivated, take a good long look in the mirror.

      The violence also gives the sport a black eye. You can bet that somewhere stations that never show hockey highlights are showing the Thornton vid.

      I love the idea of replay for calling major penalties (but not for minors) and also for reviewing goals after ‘Intent to blow.’ If the puck is going in the net anyway, it should count. Problem is, I’m not sure every arena has the multiple cameras and quality of crew we’re used to seeing from major markets, but I would love to see the two refs get together to review a the severity of a roughing or boarding call. While we’re on the subject, let a linesman blow a whistle and tell a ref, “You need to take a look at that hit. I know you were looking right at it, Steve, but you really need to take a look at it.”

      Of course for that to happen, the refs need to be willing to consult each other, something that rarely happens in hockey. They’ve done it in the NFL for a long time, and now even in major league baseball (which HATES change) the umps will hold a confab when necessary, something you never saw in the 70′s.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        It seems strange to me that a club can spend $62M per year paying their players but not less than $100k protecting them with cameras.

        • Dr. John

          In my book, that’s what you’d call a good point.

  • Preacher

    Not to start an international incident but how much of the fighting “culture” of hockey is a “Canadian” thing? In all those little towns with their less-than-minor-league level teams, fighting is expected, approved of, and enjoyed. It’s a source of pride for some squads, even more important than winning. Odd that in a country where one Vancouver elementary school banned all forms of touching (including tag) for its kindergarten classes, the culture of fighting is so accepted and promoted.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I’d say none at all. Although it has been said by many an American pundit that Canadians are the kindest, gentlest people on earth, until you put them on ice, give them sticks, and a small piece of rubber to fight over.

    • Dr. John

      As a Canadian, I’d say that even here, fighting is a much controversial issue, at least in Eastern Canada where I live – I’m a Quebec Frenchie and I’d say that the only people in the local media supporting fighting are former players turned hockey analysts, such as Mario Tremblay or George Laraque. The issue is even more controversial when it comes to Junior hockey, where several incidents over the years generated lots of public movement for banning fighting and violence. I see right now slightly more resistance to a crackdown on on-ice violence in English Canada, but there’s also been a change in attitude in the past 2 decades in English Can. But as long as Don Cherry will get paid 700,000$/y at HNIC to keep on spreading the goonish gospel, I guess the pro-fight viewpoint will get more attention. Wish I could show you some polling data on the issue. I’ll look for some when I have some time.

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

      I don’t think it’s a Canadian thing as much as it’s just a significant part of the history of the sport … a history that flows primarily from this country and the nationality of its players. Fighting itself? I don’t think that’s particularly Canadian, as Dr John and Sparky mention, too.

  • Commit88

    That was pretty dirty by Thornton. I pretty much agree with what Sam said even though I like fighting in hockey. I would have no problem with Morin and Roussel going at the end of the game last night. i think they should have been allowed to fight. I don’t get why the refs dive in between anyone who wants to fight these days, sorta stupid.

    Anyways, unfortunate what happened to Orpik and I wouldn’t have wanted to fight Thornton either. From what I remember he crushes people.