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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
Yeah, I'd like to see Jesse Boulerice waived and gone from the Flyers. Nothing against the guy personally, but when you attack another player in the manner he did, you have no place in my NHL.

However, the Flyers now have a bit of a injury crunch, with Ben Eager and Scottie Upshall hurt, and they needed to recall a winger to fill in. Since Boulerice and the also suspended Steve Downie can't play, the team needs a fill in.

Enter Stefan Ruzicka.

Ruzicka had a good solid camp for the Flyers and I was mildly surprised that Dennis Tolpeko stuck ahead of him to start the season. Tolpeko didn't do anything negative during his previous stint with the Flyers, but Ruzicka is a slightly bigger guy and will be on the fourth line with Jim Dowd and Riley Cote. The Flyers have gotten good, consistent efforts out of the top three lines and recalling Tolpeko would probably result in a shuffling of that.

So anyhow, Boulerice will stew in the AHL-of course the AHL might decide to enforce his NHL ban(as Downie was suspended for a month in the AHL), so he might be sitting even as a Phantom. That's the part of the crux of this blog, namely that a guy who has committed an act like Boulerice should NOT be able to play at any level during his NHL suspension.

That brings up a bigger question, one that XM radio touched on yesterday. Should a team be punished for the actions of their players? In other words, both Downie and Boulerice are currently off the Flyers' roster, so there's no cap penalty or roster spot penalty for the Flyers.

The only pain the Flyers feel is that they still have to pay Boulerice and Downie-well not them, but their salaries, into the NHL disability fund. To a team owned by a giant company like Comcast, that is not a harsh penalty.

So, should teams be forced to leave suspended guys on the roster and/or take the ensuing cap hits and deal with possible injury replacement issues?

My take is that the cap hits should still apply and that the only way an suspended guy can be moved from the roster is if injuries necessitate such a maneuver. However, even in case of an injury, the cap hit should still apply. Maybe then teams wouldn't employ guys with the histories of Boulerice or Chris Simon.

The other part of this blog that hits my main point is enforcement and even handed application of jhustice. Consistent punishment from the NHL head office is necessary.Prior to Downie, only stick incident had received suspensions of twenty games or more. Based solely on past disciplines handed down, Downie should have gotten 15 games, maximum. However, I felt that 20 games would be the new benchmark no matter what for headshots.

All the media brown nosing of Mr Colin Campbell needs to be rescinded, IMO, because he has punished actions based not on the severity or intent, but on the spotlight. Banning one guy for twenty game means NOTHING if the next guy gets a simple talking to.

The Wller-Tootoo incident and following punishment-or lack there of-shows us is that Campbell is lying on a couple fronts:

1. Downie's OHL suspensions didn't play a factor. I am willing to bet my meager savings that had Weller had the past of Downie, he'd be cooling his heels for at least ten games.

2. The NHL is trying aggressively to limit headshots. If it was, then Weller would have received the six games he deserved as punishment.

I am not some half-cocked Flyers fan saying the NHL has an agenda against the Flyers. Ok I AM a half-cocked Flyers fan, but I don't buy the agenda against my team. I just want justice dispensed evenly.

BTW, Andy Sutton should have been suspended, too.

Another part of one of these incidents I don't want to ignore is that both Boulerice and Ryan Kesler had a little battle going on all night. I think that the referees should share a touch of responsibility, not for the incident, but for allowing all the rough stuff and stick infractions that were going on between the two guys all night long.

What good is calling ticky tack interference penalties all night-calls against both teams were tight in that area for most of the early part of the game-but allowing both Kesler and Boulerice to get away with cross checks and slashes numerous times before Boulerice went upside Kesler's melon?

My complaint against NHL on ice officiation isn't with the Boulerice hit, it's with the inconsistent and slip shod performance of the refs across the board-with few exceptions. I know the NHL does a throuough evaluation of Refs, but dismissing one Blaine Angus doesn't solve the issue of consistency.

The NHL as a whole entity needs to do a far better job of consistent on ice enforcement and especially off-ice punishment of any and all infractions. Not just the ones that get the lead story on TSN or Sportsnet.
Filed Under:   Jsaq   suspensions   Boulerice   referees   Flyers   Ruzicka  
October 16, 2007 8:55 AM ET | Delete
i agree w/ your point about the inconsistency, but it was tootoo that deserved a suspension for his downie-like hit. not as many gms, but definitely the type of hit the league "says' they are trying to get rid of. it's getting to be a joke.
October 16, 2007 9:34 AM ET | Delete
TOTALLY agree that a suspended player should NOT be allowed to play at any level of professional hockey. In addition, the team he was playing for during the infraction should not be permitted to make adjustments to their line up to compensate for his suspension - salary wise or roster wise.
October 16, 2007 9:40 AM ET | Delete
Isaiah, both Tootoo and Weller deserved suspension, but Weller's was more like Downie and Boulerice, in that it was a retaliatory hit.
October 16, 2007 10:46 AM ET | Delete
As a Predators fan, and thus, Tootoo supporter, I really feel that Weller deserves a suspension and Tootoo nothing. Here is my reasoning. The hit that Tootoo put out was frighteningly similar to the hit Downie put on McAmmond. Right when I saw him do it (I was watching the game), I cringed. I even told my wife that the hit was so close to the Downie one. But here is the difference. Tootoo did not leave his feet. It is a clean hit until the feet are left in this situation. Plus, Toots did not even make full contact and then Weller proceeds to truly blindside Tootoo with a forearm to the face. Weller was looking for blood where Tootoo was trying to spark a lifeless team. I am checking daily about a Weller suspension and am shocked nothing has happened.
October 16, 2007 11:06 AM ET | Delete
Weller's match penalty was rescinded, so nothing is going to happen to him
October 16, 2007 11:28 AM ET | Delete
I can't believe anyone is surprised at the league's inconsistancy. That's their MO.
October 16, 2007 12:06 PM ET | Delete
any reason as to why they rescinded the penalty?
October 16, 2007 1:34 PM ET | Delete
NHL judgement is a joke - again.Sutton? Weller? Tootoo? When Downie gets 20 they should have gotten at least 5-15, depending on the incident.Sutton ~12-15Weller ~10-15Tootoo ~5-8
October 16, 2007 4:43 PM ET | Delete
in other words, tootoo just wanted to knock the guy's head off and weller came to his defense. am i missing something? and the point another poster makes- just because a guy didn't leave his feet? that's lame. it was a 6 stride head shot in "death valley"- everything the league is trying to deter. if downie's is worth 20, tootoo should have received 5 at least. re weller, IMO, that was a clothesline and tootoo conveniently turtled up. what to do about that, i can't say i care. at least his retaliation was instantly reflexive, which is somewhat understandable, unlike downie and jesse. what i do care about is an unprovoked cheap shot the league recently pontificated against. the message therefore is, "keep runnin' at'em jordan, it's all legal". wellers action would not end a career, tootoo's would. that's really my point.
October 16, 2007 5:45 PM ET | Delete
Jsaq, consistency in officiating in the NHL is really a pipe dream. Just when it appears as though they are calling a game consistently, they slack off. When this happens, players begin to think they can get away with murder. The old story, give them an inch and they'll take a mile! Thank you
October 16, 2007 8:02 PM ET | Delete
I won't argue that Tootoo's actions were worse than Weller's, but both were worthy of a suspension. Coming to a teammate's defense is one thing, but a WWE clothesline? that's another thing
October 16, 2007 9:42 PM ET | Delete
But if Tootoo had been Weller in that situation, you can bet Tootoo would have received 20 games. That is ridiculous! These are professional players playing a contact sport, and I cannot sit and defend the Pheonix player who had his head down. Sure, Tootoo was going for a big hit, but he did not take 6 strides. I saw it happen first hand. Weller should have received a huge suspension. Tootoo should have received a major (maybe), but he Missed on the hit! And Tootoo turtled up? Whatever. He got a stiff arm to the face from a guy twice his size. I'd love to see any of us take a hit like that and still have our senses.
October 17, 2007 2:12 PM ET | Delete
if tootoo can't stand up for himself, he shouldn't be taking cheap runs at other plyrs. if he misses that type of hit, he should get less of a suspension. he mostly hit the PHO plyr, though. we had a guy like that in gautier. actually, most of his hits were good, but when he laid a guy out he would turtle from any retribution- embarrassing. mike richards is a guy who will fight just about anybody and he's no giant. tootoo will inevitably get suspended for his goonery. what's a shame is that another guy will get laid out because the league practiced selective enforcement.
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