Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flyers suspensions

Downie gets 20 games. Jesse Boulerice gets 25. I'm not surprised at all.

Over the summer, the NHL Board of Governors received an agenda request to discuss questionable hits to the head from last year that did not result in player suspensions, and to clarify the criteria for reviewing them. Input was received from league- and team-level management, coaching staff, and player representatives. Criteria were agreed upon and will be considered for hits this season and forward.

The criteria do not ban hitting in hockey, because no one is interested in seeing that happen. They do help to review situations where one player hits another player in the head, and determine what action may be required.

Training materials were prepared (including video) and distributed to every team in time for camp.

What is surprising?

(a) I don't have a problem with either suspension, but I'm not impartial when dealing with hits to the head.

I have first-person experience with chronic health issues resulting from sports-related traumatic facial injuries. Another family member had a basal skull fracture from a hit to the head, and he always jokes about the things he doesn't remember (when, in reality, it's that he can't remember them) and the change to his personality from it.

(b) Both guys attended training camp. To the best of anyone's knowledge, no one missed the mandatory training with regard to the new criteria. They deserved to be reviewed, and in light of the criteria, they deserved suspensions.

So, this doesn't affect me - as a fan - in any way? Not true.

I am completely pissed off that we have two guys on my home team that seemingly gift-wrapped two opportunities to the league in two weeks.

More importantly, I despise the fact that these two seemingly don't give one s**t about the team's well-being.

Finally, I can't stand the fact that this is overshadowing the bigger story. The Flyers are returning from their worst year with a better line-up. They're working hard to forge themselves into a new team unit and working together more every time I see them.

I'll be interested to see what the league does with other reviews for other teams as the season progresses. (Because unless these two suspensions stop the flow of every player's testoterone and make it clear that long suspensions are likely for anyone, I don't believe they're the last ones of the season.)

Meanwhile, I'll be at tonight's home opener to enjoy seeing the rest of the guys live, and deciding who's going to be on my jersey.


Rinslet said...

Ahh yah.. this is what sucks the most for Philly fans about this suspension.

A lot of people are more focused on saying "the broadstreet bullies are back" rather than saying "the flyers are making a comeback".

And they're not even really winning cause of "goon"erism, but a lot of people are just now more attached to the idea that the team are made of goons, and not the fantastic play of Briere, Gagne, etc.

Nadine said...

Exactly. While Holmgren played late in that phase and still looks like one of the Broad Street Bullies, he didn't buy that way on his summer shopping spree.

Anonymous said...

Dude, if the Flyers were an all (legit) goon all the time team, I'd have to start watching them or something... the horror! :-)