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Elizabeth , NJ • United States • 34 Years Old • Male
I want to take a slightly different look at the recent furor at headshots in the NHL. Do I think they should be minimized? ABSOLUTELY! Do I think they can be completely eradicated? No, I dont, they happen, this is a fast game played by fast men but just because something is a head shot doesnt mean it should automatically be grounds fro a suspension. Hell anytime a big d-man hits a St Louis, Gionta, or Briere its bound to be a head shot. The real questions here should be as follows....

1)Was it necessary? Was this just "finishing your checks" or was this intentional intent to injure? The fact that Downie just had gotten flattened by Schubert leads me to believe, especially given Downie's volatile history, this was nothing but an attempt at revenge.

2)How long after the puck is gone? There needs to be a definitive measure of what is a "late hit" suspensions have been handed out for this, but the league still has not publicly defined "late" we all agree that at 2.3 seconds Janssens hit on Kaberle was late however personally I feel last nights hit while it was after the puck was gone and while McAmmond was admiring his pass it was fast enough that it was NOT a late hit.

3)Finally we come to HOW you hit....there is leaving your feet as result of collision and then there is the flying through the air routine Downie put on last night. Additionally while it doesn't really apply here I also think there is a difference between lifting your elbow to follow through on a hit with the shoulder / upper arm and leading with the elbow.

Thats my two cents worth on the subject, my personal opinion is Downie will be a problem player, his history has shown it, NOW is the perfect time for the NHL to speak loud clear and firmly in this matter. A long suspension at both the AHL / NHL level ( ala Perezhogin) is appropriate and neccessary.
Additionally, I am not a fan of pre-meditated revenge, its how we ended up in the Bertuzzi mess. Brian McGratton's words after the game sounded ominously like various Canucks comments prior to the Moore incident. Now would be a good time for the league to speak LOUD AND CLEAR that another Bertuzzi/Moore type incident will be dealt with harshly.
Filed Under:   Downie   McAmmond   Headshots   Suspensions   Flyers   Sens  
September 26, 2007 11:41 AM ET | Delete
Agree completely with everything you say, JD
September 26, 2007 6:07 PM ET | Delete
McGrattan should be fined for his comments, I hope for his sake he's in the press box the next time the two teams play.
September 27, 2007 9:41 AM ET | Delete
They should 'strongly' recommend that Grats not be dressed for the next Flyers/Sens game. I don't want to see a bloodbath where there's a good chance someone gets killed.I think it's a 20 game suspension. That's my (un)official guess.
September 27, 2007 11:47 AM ET | Delete
All great points. I mean, here in Philly I've had people talking about November 24 as a game for the Flyers to exact some kind of revenge for what McGratton said. For the past few years, I've really anticipated Flyers/Sens games on the same par as games against the Devils or Rangers or Pittsburgh from the early '90s. I'd like for that to continue in a really hardnosed, gritty way; but not dirty. Keep the goons in the basment and just bring hard assed players for a tough game!!!
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