Tag:NHL Discipline
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 12:48 pm
 

Cooke won't be disciplined for alleged slew foot

By: Adam Gretz

Matt Cooke is probably never going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to any play that is even remotely close to being dirty or against the rules.

Given his history and the list of plays that make up what is basically a career lowlight film, he doesn't really deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point, either. But that doesn't change the fact that he has made a legitimate effort to clean up his game this season after numerous suspensions, including one last season that turned out to be a 17-game banishment (10 regular season games and all seven of Pittsburgh playoff games) for a hit to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

In 46 games this season Cooke has been issued just 14 penalty minutes, a total that over 430 players in the NHL have topped this season, including 12 of his own teammates. Because he's Matt Cooke, however, guilt is always going to be assumed when he's the focal point, as it was on Thursday night for an alleged slew foot incident during the Penguins' 4-1 win against the New York Rangers that put him squarely in the crosshairs on Friday

This is the play in question, via Empty Netters' Seth Rorabaugh:



You can see another angle (and get some expert commentary) by clicking here.

Cooke has done some bad things on the ice in his career, but this isn't even close to being one of them, even if the Rangers believe it was a slew foot. Richards did not participate in the Rangers' skate on Friday.

There was no penalty called on the play, and according to TSN's Darren Dreger, he won't face any discipline from the NHL.

And he shouldn't, because that's not a slew foot. At its worst it's tripping, at the very least it's two players getting their feet tangled up as they turn into each other going for the puck. Pretty common occurrence, and if it involved almost any player in the league likely wouldn't have even been a blip on the NHL's radar on Friday.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Capitals prepare to face Rene Bourque

By: Adam Gretz

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom hasn't appeared in a game for the team since he was elbowed in the head by then-Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque earlier this month. It was a play that resulted in Bourque earning a five-game suspension from the NHL, and had some of the Capitals, including forward Troy Brouwer, lamenting the fact they weren't going to play another game against Bourque and the Flames this season.

That all changed, of course, when Bourque was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday in the trade that sent Mike Cammalleri back to Calgary.

And which team are the Capitals visiting on Wednesday night? You guessed it, Rene Bourque and the Canadiens.

Not surprisingly, John Erskine, perhaps the Capitals' most willing fighter, is expected to be in the lineup, and some fireworks are expected. It's pretty much a given that somebody is going to challenge Bourque, even if the Capitals are downplaying it and talking about how the two points are the important thing (and, truth be told, they are the most important thing for the Capitals right now).

“For us to say we're going go out there and take liberties at him or something like that, probably not," said forward Joel Ward, via Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times. "I think we'll definitely be playing hard for sure. I'm sure guys are going to be playing pretty hard, especially against him and let him know that what he did we thought was a pretty cheap shot.”

With all of that in mind, the folks at Capitals Blog Russian Machine Never Breaks have their own idea as to how tonight's game is going to play out ... if it were a version of the classic Nintendo game, Mike Tyson's Punch Out.



(H/T Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Rene Bourque suspended 5 games
Bourque traded to Montreal for Mike Cammalleri

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:53 pm
 

No discipline for Lecavalier following punch

By: Adam Gretz

During his third period destruction of the Lightning on Sunday afternoon, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin found himself in the middle of a confrontation with Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier.

The incident started when Malkin ducked out of the way along the boards to avoid a check from Lecavalier, and ended when the Tampa Bay captain threw a punch at Malkin's face during a scrum. When all was said and done, Lecavalier was issued 14 penalty minutes (four for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct) while Malkin received a two-minute minor of his own.

It's been reported on Monday that Lecavalier will not face any further discipline from the NHL for that late punch that he delivered.

The entire incident has sparked a bit of a bizarre reaction, as the Lightning felt that Malkin was taking a run at Lecavalier's knee, while analysts Keith Jones and Mike Milbury put the blame on Malkin for trying to avoid the check, and even went as far as to compare it to the Brad Marchand-Sami Salo incident from last week (and in case you forgot about that one, you can read up on it here).

And here is Milbury and Jones talking about Sunday's incident, and all of the important on-ice action that led to it.



I'm not sure I buy the argument that it's at all comparable to the Marchand-Salo play, but what do you think? Is it the same thing? And should Lecavalier have faced any supplemental discipline from the league for his punch?

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Brad Marchand suspended for clipping
More NHL Discipline news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 6:43 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 6:44 pm
 

Carcillo out for season with torn ACL



By: Adam Gretz

When we were last checking in with Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo, he was receiving a seven-game suspension from the NHL for his hit from behind on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert (as seen above).

Gilbert hasn't returned to the Edmonton lineup since that play, and as it turns out, he wasn't the only player to suffer an injury. It was learned on Friday afternoon that Carcillo suffered a serious knee injury as a result of the hit, and will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair his ACL.

Dr. Michael Terry, the team physician for the Blackhawks, released the following statement on Friday afternoon: “Daniel Carcillo will undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This decision was made today after much evaluation and consideration of various options. We anticipate a full return in six months.”

Carcillo signed a one-year, $775,000 contract with the Blackhawks over the summer after spending the previous two-and-a-half years as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. In 29 games this season he scored two goals to go with nine assists in 28 games. He was also suspended twice for a total of nine games thanks to the aforementioned seven-game banishment for his hit on Gilbert, and also a two-game suspension for a similar hit from behind on Carolina's Joni Pitkanen.

Previously at Eye On Hockey


Daniel Carcillo suspended 7 games
Carcillo suspended 2 games for hit on Pitkanen
More Chicago Blackhawks news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Umberger out indefinitely with concussion



By: Adam Gretz


Anaheim's Jean-Francois Jacques received a three-game suspension earlier this week for a hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger. During Brendan Shanahan's video breakdown of the play and his explanation for the suspension, he noted that Umberger's lack of an injury as a result of the hit went into his decision.

Even though it appeared at the time that Umberger was uninjured, we now know, less than a week later, that he is going to be sidelined indefinitely with a concussion that is believed to have come as a result of that play during Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Ducks.

Umberger was able to play on Tuesday night, Columbus' first game after that incident, and even scored a goal in a 5-2 loss to Chicago. As of Thursday, it's not yet known when he will suit up next for the Jackets.

“It’s a big blow,” general manager Scott Howson told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. “Obviously, R.J. is a big part of this team, and he’s a guy who has always played through a lot of injuries to keep himself in the lineup. But I’m glad he’s taken this step. We’re going to take it slow and handle it the right way, show every bit of patience that is required of an injury like this.”

In 42 games this season Umberger has scored seven goals and recorded 11 assists. He's not only the latest NHL player to go out with a concussion, he's also the latest in a long line of Blue Jackets players to be out of the lineup for any injury, joining a list that already includes Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski and Kristian Huselius.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Jean-Francois Jacques Suspended
More Columbus Blue Jackets News

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Brian Burke talks decline of enforcer



By: Adam Gretz


The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Colton Orr on waivers Wednesday afternoon. He cleared on Thursday, going unclaimed by the 29 other teams in the NHL, paving the way for him to be assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. This development does not please Leafs general manager Brian Burke, a point that he made very clear as he addressed the media on Thursday afternoon talking about the transaction, as well as the decline of the enforcer role in the NHL.

Orr, of course, is one of the NHL's top fighters, and according to his player page at hockeyfights.com has been involved in over 110 fights at the NHL level, including preseason, regular season and postseason games. Compare that to the 11 goals he's scored in 378 career games with the Bruins, Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the six minutes of ice-time that he's averaged per game throughout his career, and it's quite obvious as to what his role is and what's expected of him.

That role is one that has been going away in recent years across the league, and that's a development that is not sitting well with the Leafs' general manager.

Said Burke on Thursday, “The only lament I have on this is the fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other, that the rats will take this game over.

“I know the Greenpeace folks will be happy with this, but I wonder where we’re going, where Brendan Shanahan’s getting six hearings every two days … I wonder, the accountability in our game and the notion that players can stick up for themselves and each other, I wonder where we’re going with that.”

It became clear that there simply wasn't room for Orr on the Maple Leafs roster, as he's appeared in just five games this season, playing a total of just 22:44. To put that total in some perspective, there are currently 46 regular NHL players that average more minutes than that every single game.

Burke's biggest argument is that the role of the fighter will allow for more cheap shots on the ice because there is no fear of retribution, pointing to some of the recent plays that resulted in a suspension from the league over the past week, saying that Shanahan is the only person looking out for other players.

“Pick your poison. Pick one of the suspensions," said Burke. "And so, to me, would those guys do those things if there’s retribution available, if there’s accountability in the game? I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s just a rant that the game’s going in a direction I don’t like, but I’m troubled by this. When a player with the character of Colton Orr, when he can’t contribute in this league, then I’m not sure I like the way it’s going.”

The suggestion -- and Burke isn't the first one to put it out there -- that players like Orr, or the threat of fighting in general, acts as a deterrent to the type of cheap, dirty plays he's talking about here has always blown me away. If fighting were that sort of deterrent we would have never seen those types of things happen -- or at least not as much -- and they've always happened. They still happen, and they will continue to happen, whether fighting exists in the NHL or not. Is the game today really dirtier and filled with more cheap shots than it was 20 or 30 years ago, or when bench clearing brawls (like this one) were a common occurrence?

The other factor at work here is that it's just no longer as financially viable to carry a player that does nothing but fight on your roster. Now that the NHL has roster limits and a salary cap every roster spot and dollar spent matters. You have a limit as to what you can do, and teams are placing a larger emphasis on skating ability, speed and, of course, skill.

Orr is currently in the third year of a four-year contract that pays him $1 million per season. For a player that, again, plays about four-to-five minutes per night (when he's in the gameday lineup, that is) that's probably not the best use of your resources, an aspect that Burke also addressed.

"It’s almost like you’re adding up assets on a sheet and saying, ‘what Colton provides, does that provide the same benefit as a guy who can skate maybe better than he can?'" said Burke. "We’ve done it. We made the decision here. He hasn’t played much here. So I’m not excluding us from this remark. I just wonder where we’re going. Players, in the old days, they protected themselves. And then it evolved into players protecting their teammates. And now, I’m not sure who’s looking after them, other than (NHL disciplinarian) Brendan Shanahan. To me, it’s a dangerous turn in our game.”

It's always been clear that Burke sees a need for fighting in the NHL. It's clear based on his comments, his financial commitments to players like Orr, his comments on Thursday, and, heck, even the makeup of his rosters as a general manager, as his teams are usually near the top of the league in terms of fighting majors per season.

For a variety of reasons the game is changing, and that role is going away, and that's something that Burke is simply going to have to accept and adjust to.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:37 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 8:41 pm
 

Dan Carcillo suspended 7 games



By: Adam Gretz

The NHL's disciplinary committee has been dropping the hammer all day on Wednesday, and the latest player to face its wrath is Chicago Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo.

The league had already announced that Carcillo had received an indefinite suspension for his hit from behind on Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert on Tuesday night. Carcillo was ejected and given a five-minute major for boarding, a penalty that proved to be costly as Edmonton went on to score a pair of goals on the extended power play during its 4-3 win.

A lengthy suspension was obvious, and on Wednesday evening the league announced that Carcillo has been suspended seven games for the hit.

"Carcillo chips the puck behind Gilbert at the Edmonton blue line creating a race for the end boards," said Brendan Shanahan. "This is a 50/50 puck that either player can win, and in such cases a reasonable amount of physical contact is permissable as the the players jostle for position. However, on this play, Carcillo slows up and gets behind Gilbert, just as Gilbert begins slowing down and bracing himself for some contact, Carcillo explodes into him causing a violent crash into the boards. This is a clear violation of the boarding rule."

Carcillo is a repeat offender in the eyes of the league, and has been fined or suspended nine previous times throughout his NHL career, including a two-game suspension earlier in the season for a similar hit against Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

That prior history, combined with the violence of the play, as well as the fact that Gilbert was injured, earned Carcillo the second-longest suspension (in terms of regular season games lost) that's been handed out by Shanahan during his time in charge of player safety. Columbus' James Wisniewski missed the first eight games of the regular season for his preseason incident with Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck.

He won't return to the Chicago lineup until Jan. 18 against the Buffalo Sabres

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 7:28 pm
 

Rene Bourque suspended 5 games



By: Adam Gretz

For the second time this season Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque has been suspended by the NHL, and this time it's for his elbow to the head of Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom during the third period of Washington's 3-1 win on Tuesday night.

He had a disciplinary hearing early on Wednesday, and later in the day it was announced by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan that Bourque will miss Calgary's next five games. He was banished earlier in the season for two games for boarding Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

Said Shanahan, "Backstrom is carrying the puck up the middle of the ice as Bourque pivots and pursues Backstrom, Backstrom makes a pass to Mike Knuble on his right. Bourque continues his path and throws an elbow, making principal of contact with Backstrom's jaw. This a hit to the head and a clear violation of rule 48."

Shanahan also added that he believed Bourque's argument that his elbow was an "instinctive" reflex as opposed to an attempt to injure. He also added that it was "reckless" and "indefensible." Bourque's two-game suspension for hitting Seabrook, which occurred less than a month ago making him a repeat offender, as well as the fact that Backstrom removed himself from the game after his condition became worse. He's currently listed as being day-to-day.

In 38 games this season Bourque has scored 13 goals to go with three assists. He will miss games against Boston, Minnesota, New Jersey, Anaheim and Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return to the Flames lineup on Tuesday, Jan. 17 when the Flames travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com