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"I'm not a know-it-all, I'm just opinionated"
Wernersville, PA • United States • 43 Years Old • Male
Randy Jones was handed a two-game suspension today by Colin Campbell. While it may not be the number of games everyone wanted, this is probably the right suspension.

While I don't think that Randy Jones was in any way trying to injure Patrice Bergeron, he does need to be a little more cognizant of the possibility of injuring him in that situation. I am sick of reading all the comments being left in Panaccio's and Tolensky's blog by everyone about whether or not it was a dirty hit. That's a completely subjective opinion. You can say it was a dirty hit by a clean player who was doing more than just finishing his check, or you can say it was a clean hit and blame Bergeron for turning and crouching at the last second. But really, does it matter? Bergeron is relatively ok, thank god, and that's the most important thing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was watching on Saturday afternoon and had the horrible feeling they had just witnessed a young star in the league have his career ended and possibly his life changed forever. I can honestly say that I genuinely thought that Patrice was paralized. It didn't help matters that they didn't give an update on his condition until well after the game had ended on Post Game Live.

Getting back to the suspension though, while I don't personally believe that Randy Jones had any bad intentions, a message needs to be sent to the players of the league that they really do need to consider the consequences of their actions on the ice. These are all young men and have alot of years ahead of them to live. No one wants to see someone be taken off the ice on a stretcher, not the players, not the fans, and certainly not the league officials. So, the two-game suspension given to Jones is more than acceptable given that no matter how you look at it, he hit Bergeron in the back and put him in danger and maybe the suspension should have even been longer.

I don't want to hear that Bergeron put himself in danger by turning his skates perpendicular to the boards or crouching down or any of that crap. The only thing that matters is that Jones hit him in the back into the boards and that stuff has absolutely got to stop before someone is irreparably injured.

For those of you that are saying that this is somehow reflecting on the Flyers as an organization, please move along and find something else to whine about. There isn't a team in the league that doesn't employ a player that has made that exact same hit at some point in their career. The fact that this is the third suspension of the season of a Flyers player is absolutely unfortunate, but the three instances are completely separate and in no way connected other than the sweater worn by the players in all three circumstances. There is no way that this is being taught or encouraged by Stevens or anyone else on his staff. I'm sure Jones will serve his suspension without argument and I can guarantee that he feels worse than anyone about this whole situation. Let's just all let it go and move on and hope that the players will learn something from this, although I doubt that will happen.

So, to answer my title question, no, Randy Jones is not a thug. He has absolutely no history of anything like this in his entire hockey career. He was obviously distraught over the thought of having seriously injured Bergeron. He didn't wait until later that day or a couple days later, he issued a statement during that game. he said that he felt awful about what he had done, he had deep regret and understood that what he did was wrong. Randy Jones is not a thug. Randy Jones is a decent young hockey player who is off to his best start ever in the NHL and wants to just move on and keep playing hockey the way he always has. Hard and clean.
October 30, 2007 6:36 PM ET | Delete
Very nicely written. You made some great points. You represented Flyers fans well.
October 30, 2007 10:38 PM ET | Delete
FINALLY! this is the best written piece on the subject i have read so far. you said everything perfectly. nicely done and thank you for showing me that this site has not totally been taken over by uneducated hockey wanna-be fans.
October 30, 2007 11:56 PM ET | Delete
Well, players do need to protect themselves on the ice, too -- for their own safety. If they dont, they may be the next Bergeron. I dont care how many players are suspended for boarding, it wont stop until two things happen: 1) players learn to protect themselves and stop exposing themselves to being boarded. Jones is very unfortunate in this situation. The last thing he intended was to injure Bergeron. But, he caught Bergeron in an awkward position. A position he wasnt expecting Bergeon to be in, in the split second instance he commited to the check. I dont think we should fool ourselves that this wont happen again, because a bad Flyers player was suspended for the infraction. It will still happen, and hopefully less often, but not until players make the effort to both protect themselves and pull off these kind of hits will they ever go away, which brings me to 2) the league responds consistently on these issues. When Volchenkov and Mezie, both with worse reputations than Jones, can board a player and not be suspended, then an inconsistent message is being sent by the league. Booth left on a stretcher too.
October 31, 2007 2:35 AM ET | Delete
Well done! I have to agree with just about all you have said here. Too bad one of the idiots (smacklby) had to chime in with his blame the victim schtick. I know most Flyers fans aren't like him, but it is good to see it in print.
October 31, 2007 8:35 AM ET | Delete
Thank you to everyone who left positive comments. I appreciate that! Smacklby, while I respect your opinion and agree that players do need to do a better job of protecting themselves on the ice, that doesn't not give free reign to hit players in the back if they are in a bad position. If you are trying to say in all of these cases you have noted that the blame should be on the recipient of the hit, well then I just can't agree with you. I do agree though that the league should be more consistent in punishing these hits. Regardless of who is hitting or who is getting hit, it should be a pre-determined suspension for hits in the back.
October 31, 2007 10:05 AM ET | Delete
Smacklby is not saying it is all Bergs fault, he is simply saying that as a result of the position HE put HIMSELF in, that injury was able to occur. If you read up on the Flyers website and the article about tonights game, you will see John Stevens comments. They are well more written than this and they are on point. Berg put himself in that situation and Randy was expecting him to be in a different position and as a result the injury ocurred. If you look back at everything the Flyers have sasid about previous suspensions they have taken the blame and agreed with the league. Stevens came out and said, as the coach of Randy Jones, that he clearly didnt mean to hurt him and that Berg put himself in a vulnerable situation and i will quote him.. "it was nearly the perfect storm"
October 31, 2007 10:06 AM ET | Delete
correction: article about tomorrow nights game
October 31, 2007 10:13 AM ET | Delete
Yeah, I did read that article and I didn't say anything contrary to that other than regardless of the players position, hitting in the back needs to stop. I understand that it's split second decision making, but that's their job. There is no doubt in my mind that Jones could have let off a bit and lightened the hit he put on Bergeron. Don't misunderstand me and think that I'm against hitting or tough hockey, because that's not the case at all. And, I also don't completely blame Jones, nor do I think it was a "dirty" hit. But, nevertheless, it was a hit in the back, therefore it was worthy of the suspension he received. Thanks for your response and reading my blog though. I appreciate you taking the time!
October 31, 2007 3:33 PM ET | Delete
Nice middle of the road post. I too am glad that the results were not worse for Bergeron, and most certainly don't place blame on him but also realize that this is a physical game where players need to learn to keep their heads up. Unless that is they want to end up roadkill like Eric Lindros did. I think both players unfortuantely made a bad choice and ultimately both ended up paying for it. At the speed the game is played at in the NHL I don't think these type of games can be avoided all together.
October 31, 2007 6:40 PM ET | Delete
Flyer10 -- Which are you? Hypocrite or liar? Here are your own words: "Bergeron is as much at fault as Jones." You have placed blame on him. Any credibility your words had is gone now -- which is it? Hypocrite or liar? or maybe just selective memory, eh!
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