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Napa, CA • United States • 26 Years Old • Male
Colin Campbell said on NHL Live this afternoon that there was nothing illegal about Mike Richards' hit on David Booth Saturday night.

"He did not jump. He did not elbow him. He did not hit him in a place where he wasn't expecting it. It was an area where you expect to get hit, both the player passing the puck and the player doing the hitting," Campbell said.

Campbell, who smartly recuses himself in all matters related to the Panthers (his son has played for Florida since 2003), went on to say that Hockey Operations met with the NHL General Managers and laid out the criteria for determining if a hit was legal or not. They showed this video http://www.nhl.tv/team/co...sp?catid=618&id=49703 to the GMs as examples of illegal hits.

Right off the bat there is an example almost identical to the Mike Richards hit. If Matt Cooke was subject to supplementary discipline for that hit, why wasn't Richards?

At the end of the video are five criteria that the NHL uses to determine the legality of a hit:

1. If the hit is delivered late
2. If there is an injury on the play
3. If there is a blow to the head area
4. If it is a repeat offender
5. If the hit is on an unsuspecting player

Clearly the Mike Richards hit meets two of these criteria, and depending on your interpretation it meets up to four.

The bottom line is Mike Richards came off the bench and lined up Booth for the hit. To me it looks like he does leave his feet at the last second, but I admit it is inconclusive. He clearly takes one foot of the ice, the second is questionable. Some angles it looks like it is off the ice, others it looks like he just fell akwardly.

This is yet another example of the NHL's lack of continuity when it comes to discipline. In the playoffs last year there were countless examples where the NHL just plain got it wrong. The Flyers lost Daniel Carcillo for one game for his "message sending hit" on Max Talbot, but neither Bill Guerin nor Braydon Coburn were suspended for their fight at the end of the game.

No suspensions were dealt out to Anaheim or Detroit when the Ducks and Wings found themselves in an old fashioned slugfest with three different fights starting after the final horn.

No suspensions or fines were levied after Henrik Zetterberg and Evgeni Malkin threw punches in Game two of the Stanley Cup finals.

I'm not going so far as to say there is a double standard, this time, but I will go so far as to say there is NO standard. Hockey Operations need to get their poop straightened out now before someone important gets seriously hurt. As long as they continue to ignore some incidents that meet the criteria and severly punish others that don't, players like Ovechkin and Crosby will skate around with near immunity simply because they hit anything that moves anyway they want without fear of retribution.

I guarantee if Mike Richards hits Crosby or Ovechkin like he hit David Booth he will suffer a worse fate than the six games dealt out to Donald Brashear for his hit on Blair Betts in the Playoffs.

Mike Richards hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKv2UlneVbk


Kevin Campbell of The Hockey News reports that the NHL may rescind the game misconduct assessed on Richards for the hit.

Normally I'd be okay with something like this, but in this case I'm not. For me to be satisfied the league would have to rescind the five minute penalty for interference too. Otherwise they are saying that Richards did intentionally alter his skating path to make illegal contact with a player who was not in possession of the puck, but it's somehow okay because it was a clean hit? Once again I fail to understand the logic of the NHL.

Rob Scuderi was fined $2500 for his hit on Jason Chimera. My question then is how can the league argue it has no double standards? Chimera skated along the boards into the offensive zone, and Colin Campbell is now going to say he had no expectation of getting hit? Sorry but that doesn't add up. Especially because the more I watch the hit and the more angles I see, the more I believe that Chimera saw the hit coming and made it look worse because he stood straight up after he passed off the puck.

Scuderi hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIav-Su5-bs
Filed Under:   NHL   David Booth   Mike Richards   Corsby   Ovechkin  
October 26, 2009 8:41 PM ET | Delete
what are the 2 clear criteria that are clearly met? the hit to the head obviously.. but thats it .. and he only hit his head because booth turned last second.. also Richards did not leave the bench to come to the hit.. he was on the ice . he took a shot at the other end like 10 seconds prior
October 26, 2009 10:02 PM ET | Delete
October 26, 2009 10:08 PM ET | Delete
I also love the lack of attention focused on the intent. Richards didn't intend to deliver a head shot. Isn't that important at all? I should be. You start legislating too much and you're going to make hockey a non contact sport.
October 27, 2009 11:48 AM ET | Delete
why is all the attention on Richards? when is the other player responsible?
October 27, 2009 11:01 PM ET | Delete
I thnk because he has the "Exploding Shoulder" it looks bad for Richards. It wasn't enough to just check the guy? No, he had to put him into next week!! I think it was a bad hit.
October 28, 2009 5:23 PM ET | Delete
The two clear criteria that were met are hit to the head and injury. As far as coming off the bench, my mistake. By watching only highlights I forced to make a judgement call based on Richards' skating line, which was from the direction of the benches. Bad assumption on my part, but it doesn't change the hit.
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