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McAmmond: 'There's a problem'

Globe and Mail Update

Sens centre is still upset about illegal hit from Flyers' Steve Downie, reports David Naylor ...Read the full article

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  1. bruce weaver from Canada writes: I don;t remember McAmmond saying there was a problem when Neal went after Chris Drury.
  2. Quinn Barreth from Calgary, Canada writes: That was class by McAmmond - no spittle flying, no ranting, just a simple acknowledgment of the apology and a choice to belive it was sincere. Though the dig about having a problem with getting traumatic head injuries was hilarious!

    McAmmond is the kind of ambassador this league needs, not the knuckle-dragging type which seems to predominate.

    I hope he recovers soon and we see him doing his work back on the ice.
  3. John Stanton from Canada writes: The problem is McAmmond has a soft noodle now and clearly has concussion problems. This wont be his last one this year is my prediction unfortunately. And not good news for a team that is looking to be more competitive in physical games.
  4. Ryan M from Ottawa, Canada writes: Wow, bruce, great argument. That comparison hasn't been made at all in the last few days, well done. By the way, the league found Neil's hit to be legal. Downie's clearly was not.

    McAmmond is a class act, I'm surprised he's handling it as well as he his, considering that is the second time in a few months he has been concussed like that.

    Hope to see McAmmond back on the ice soon.
  5. bruce weaver from Canada writes: Let me guess Ryan you are from Ottawa where your players do no wrong. There wasn;t the focus on head shots when Neal's hit happened. If it happened now he would be suspended.
  6. robert gibbons from toronto, writes: As a hockey fan and player, I have to say that this whole situation and the comments I have read from many hockey 'fans' due to this incident has left me astonished. You meatheads are embarrassing to the game, your embarrassing to this country, and I hope you don't have kids cause we don't need more of your type on this planet. No doubt, you'll raise hockey players like Steve Downie, a pathetic meathead. Too bad if a long suspension would hinder his fantastic future career. If an individual with great potential in finance, law, teaching, or any other career goes out and makes a malicious decision to injure someone should we let that go too? Get a life, look in the mirror, you're too stupid to be sharing your opinion with anyone.
  7. Warren H from Canada writes: bruce (basket) thinks you have played too many games without your helmet on!
  8. John Hinkley from Canada writes: This is a great time in the season for the NHL to set an example.

    Unfortunately for Steve Downie he is the example.

    It certainly looks like his questionable actions and illegal hits in the OHL will carry forward to the NHL.

    Set the tone now - zero tolerance - suspend Downie for the season.

    The only way to stop this is tough action. If a player is injured by another player and misses games, then the player causing the injury should miss the same number of games at zero salary plus additional games fro being a repeat offender on an escalating basis.
  9. Ryan M from Ottawa, Canada writes: Bruce, I am a Sens fan. I'm not suggesting that the Sens can do no wrong. There wasn't a focus on head shots last year? Interesting I remember, there was a pretty significant focus on head shots.

    Bringing up Neil's hit on Drury in an article about Dean McAmmond is irrelevant, and it just keeps on being churned up by opposing fans, it seems. Neil did not leave his feet, and he didn't line up Drury from the blue line. His hit was reviewed by the league and he was not punished for it. Downie's hit was not a clean hit.
  10. I Alim from Toronto, Canada writes: Shot to the head!! A thrill a shot!! Players get hurt and suffer in the long run. NHL allows it. It will not stop until NHL stops it. There is no leadership in the NHL, from the owners to the player to stop this! Penalize the behaviour with minimum 20 games suspension and 1 Million dollar fine. Second shot to the head should lead to expulsion from NHL. Fine the player, fine the coach, fine the team.
  11. J P from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Everyone is saying I have concussion problems,' McAmmond said. 'I don't have concussion problems. I've got a problem with someone giving me traumatic blows to the head. That's what I have a problem with.' Absolutely the quote of the season. I'm not typically a Sens fan but agree that McAmmond is a class act and it's good that he can have a bit of a sense of humour about the whole thing. I also think we need to give credit where it's due and acknowledge that Steve Downie did the right thing by apologizing. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him and let's not forget, this kid is 20 years old. Robert, while I agree that the hit was way out of line and Downie deserves to be punished, to suggest that a corporate career and a pro athlete career should have the same standards in regards to injuries is naive. The reality is that hockey, along with football, rugby and even, on occasion, soccer are tough, physical games. By agreeing to take the (very well paying) job, players are implicitly agreeing to take the risks that come with the game. Don't get me wrong - it was a dirty hit - but the punishment is and should be less severe than what one would get for a similar act outside the game because it's part of the game's culture. Now, if Steve Downie continues to play this kind of game, he should be dealt with accordingly (the fact that he had problems in the OHL is not important - it's a different league and he should get to start at the beginning). If believing that makes me stupid then so be it - I guess I'm stupid
  12. K M from Canada writes: Stupid hit. Glad he'll be ok.

    Maybe we need some new equipment rules along with stiff penalties. It will stop when the league wants it to stop.
  13. jim B from Ottawa, Canada writes: Here's the good news

    Dean is alive and hopefully will recover. Players interviewed around the league all said the same thing..Downie is a goon and there is no place for him here. Chris Neil did not receive a suspension or even a penalty..why..because it was legal...Downie's was not.

    John Stanton writes..'The problem is McAmmond has a soft noodle now and clearly has concussion problems. This wont be his last one this year is my prediction unfortunately. And not good news for a team that is looking to be more competitive in physical games. '

    You are a moron John...soft noodle probably..

    The Sens are the hockey analysts picks to win the east again

    and I don't think Ottawa shys away from physical games..they happen to have 2 of the top 3 hitters in the league!!..Fisher and Neil..

    So many Sens haters..guess that's what happens when the other Ontario team sucks real bad and when The Senators are Canada's only chance for postseason success.
  14. Gideon Goldshlager from Canada writes: Hey Brucey- can I have some of what you're smoking? Head shots not in focus last year eh? Whatever bonehead!
  15. Garrett Nicolai from Regina, Canada writes: I don't necessarily agree with the length of suspension >= length of injury argument. There is not a direct correlation between hits and injuries(a player can tear a ligament by going awkwardly into the boards, which often requires season-ending surgery, whereas a hit like this will let McAmmond back sooner). The NHL needs to put a stop to the head-hunting though. I don't know the best way to do it, but something needs to be done. Yes J P, the players do sign on to a certain amount of contact and physical play. They do not, however, sign on to be run over by players gaining momentum from over 50ft. For the record, I'm a Rangers fan.
  16. bruce weaver from Canada writes: Not till later in the season as there were more and more guys, go check it out. In late Feb. the attention was really starting to focus on this issue. yes it had been an issue before that. If the Neal hit happened now he would be suspended.
  17. Mike Mike from writes: Bruce, there is no point arguing here. All you will ever receive is a barrage of childish insults from senators fans. Nothing more nothing less. It is fun to get the all riled up once in a while but other than that... yaaaawn! Sens will win the east and will fold in playoffs as soon as they run into a real opposition. Seen that for the past what... 10 years now?
  18. J Law from Canada writes: John Hinkley from Canada writes in part: This is a great time in the season for the NHL to set an example.

    Unfortunately for Steve Downie he is the example.

    It certainly looks like his questionable actions and illegal hits in the OHL will carry forward to the NHL.

    Set the tone now - zero tolerance - suspend Downie for the season.

    Then I would expect that others that do the same be suspended for the season also.

    Do you think if this is a big star that does the same thing it will happen even if they make an example of Downie?

    The NHL has to be consistant to be credible.
  19. tom h from Canada writes: 'I don't have concussion problems. I've got a problem with someone giving me traumatic blows to the head.' Well said, McAmmond!

    Why do the classy players always become targets of scum like Pronger and Downie? Oh right, because those degenerates wouldn't ever dream of delivering a cheap shot on someone who would return the favour.
  20. jim B from Ottawa, Canada writes: Mid-town (wife) Bob

    That was funny. Loser
  21. Bruce Spence from writes: 1. Downie's hit was a cheap shot.
    2. There have been other such cheap shots in the past.
    3. The NHL condones such hits with little 'slap on the wrist' punishments.
    4. Goons like Downie should be suspended without pay for twice as long as it takes for the victim to recover. If the victim is able to play immediately, then there should still be a minimum punishment to fit the hockey crime. I'd like to see Downie get at least a 40-game suspension.
    When Gary Suter cross-checked Paul Kariya in the face after Kariya scored a goal, Suter was still allowed to play in the '98 Nagano Olympics. That should never have happened. Likewise with Bertuzzi's hit on Moore.
    5. It's a shame that hockey morons like Jimmy B get to spew forth their poisonous hatred on this site.
  22. Another Opinion from Canada writes: Best quote ever: 'I don't have concussion problems. I've got a problem with someone giving me traumatic blows to the head. That's what I have a problem with.'

    While I appreciate the argument that Ottawa may have goons just like every other team, the fact is that McAmmond's career is now in jeopardy because of two very dirty hits.

    I don't care if you're an Ottawa fan or not, if you're actually OK with a player's career being destroyed through cheap shots, you are one irretrievable sick little prick.

    The existance of Chris Neil is not justification for trying to kill McAmmond. MAYBE that's an argument for hitting Neil, but McAmmond? How sick and twisted are you people?

    He didn't deserve what has happened to him. You know it and I know it. The difference is you're trying to justify it. My question to you is: WHY?
  23. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: Great post Bruce, agree with you 100%.

    I hope McAmmond gets better and suffers no linger ill affects, but was he concerned about the 'problem' when Drury was hit?

    How many more head shots and charges will it take before the NHL does something about this?

    Or maybe they like watching an endless parade of players being carried off on stretchers?
  24. Ryan M from Canada writes: Another Opinion, well said. The large majority of Sens fans will agree that Janssen's hit on Kaberle last year was also filthy, it just should not be happening.
  25. Another Opinion from Canada writes: For No use for a name: 'I hope McAmmond gets better and suffers no linger ill affects, but was he concerned about the 'problem' when Drury was hit?'

    Just to be clear, you're issue with McAmmond is that he didn't verbally attack his own teammate when that teammate injured Drury right?

    So, that's your solution is it? Players should universally condemn any hit that they perceive to be an attempt to injure regardless of circumstances. If they don't then they deserve what they get, right?


    McAmmond didn't do anything wrong. He's just watching his career fall apart because OTHER people are playing dirty around him. You want to blame HIM for it? Fine.

    Who's your favorite player? What's your favorite team? The last time a guy on your team threw a cheap shot, did your favorite player call him out publicly? Not a chance.

    I don't know what standard of behaviour you expect from McAmmond but if NO ONE ELSE in the league is demonstrating it, I'd say your standards for McAmmond are JUST A TAD HIGH, wouldn't you say?
  26. Another Opinion from Canada writes: One last thought before I'm off to bed...

    As devoted fans of the NHL, hasn't it occurred to you that part of the reason this behaviour hasn't been stamped out is because you as fans always seem to find a reason to explain it away?

    You decide whether a hit is acceptable based on your team loyalties and who got hit. Don't you think teams notice that? If fans in every city (including Philly) started throwing stuff at Downie at every game and booing him constantly, you think management wouldn't notice?

    Fans in the NHL, more than any other league, have the power to shape the league because it is incredibly gate-driven. Instead, they are content to side with their own team 90% of the time and against the 'other guy' the other 10%.

    McAmmond may have had his career ended by a cheap-shot from a rookie player, and you as fans could have used it to send a message to the NHL... but you didn't. You sided with whatever team you cheer for... and you blamed McAmmond.

  27. John Howard from Canada writes: Bruce--get Neil's name right if you're going to keep yammering about him

    JP--I think your comment was one of the best I've seen over the past could of days.

    I very much appreciate McAmmond's humour in the whole situation. I'm quite interested to see just how exactly Downie's going to pay...sitting out an AHL game isn't exactly the same as sitting out an NHL...and if it's in the AHL Philly doesn't have to worry about his do they fine Philly? Is there any history here on suspensions to guys who were going to be playing in the minors anyhow?
  28. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: Another Opinion, are you done with your rant yet? You've taken my post and totally distorted what I said. Try re - reading it again.

    My issue with McAmmond is that yes, he didn't say anything about when his teammate knocked Drury senseless. But now, after he received a cheap shot, he is saying there is a 'problem'.

    I didn't say McAmmond should 'verbally attack' his teammate - you did.

    At no point did I say McAmmond deserved to get hit the way he did. I would never wish that to anyone, regardless of the team and player.

    I think you have some issues with comprehending people's posts.

    My favourite team are the Leafs. When Domi elbowed Niedermayer in the play - off's in '02, I was pissed - not only because Domi gave a cheapshot to Niedermayer, but because when the Leafs were interviewed after the game, no one had the balls to say it was a cheapshot and that it didn't belong in the game.

    I expect every player to play hard, but fair. Maybe I'm expecting too much - fair enough.

    If you are going to comment on my post, please try to respond to what I write.
  29. John Howard from Canada writes: I'd like to add on to my last comment, that 'Another Opinion' I think you are bang on.
  30. CJ Lecorbeau from Brampton, Canada writes: I just don't get Leaf fans. They seem to try to turn any story that doesn't concern their team in to an opportunity to slander another team. Sort of a penis envy thing.

    May you bask in the type of season that only the likes of Boyd Devereaux, Chad Kilger and their electrifying ilk can provide.
  31. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: Whatever you say, CJ.
  32. Henry Allen from Toronto, Canada writes: I was just thinking I don't remember many Canadians complaining about the concussion given to Alexei Cherepanov by Brandon Sutter in game 2 of the recent so-called Super Series. For the record, Sutter was really ticked after he was slew footed by Cherepanov, so Sutter retaliated by charging full steam, leaving his feet with a clear head shot to Cherepanov, resulting in a concussion that took Cherepanov right out of the series. I find it interesting that a head shot to McAmmond is seen by many as a bad thing, but little was said about the head shot to Cherepanov. Mind you, Cherepanov did decide to play with fire when he slew footed Sutter, and he got burned. For the record, I want head shots outlawed, but I don't like players that slew foot, either.
  33. CJ Lecorbeau from Brampton, Canada writes: Actually ' No use for a Name ', my comment was directed to the guy who started the blog and didn't have much problem comprehending what his blog was trying to say, even if he is a moron. (I agreed with pretty much all of what you said however)
  34. Another Opinion from Canada writes: Yeah yeah... I said I was going to bed. Well, Kelly's Heroes was on so I watched the end of it. NOW I'm going to bed.

    For No need for a name: Yeah, I read your post. I understand what you're trying to say but you have to look at how you said it. You didn't say what happened to McAmmond was unacceptable, period the end. You said what happened to McAmmond was unacceptable BUT...

    Ultimately, and this is for all hockey fans, that 'but' is what keeps this stuff in the game. It can be explained away. It can be defended. It can be rationalized. In your case, McAmmond's protests don't carry weight because he didn't protest when it wasn't against him.

    Well, I don't think our opposition to this kind of thing should be conditional. I don't think it should be subjective or evaluated on a case-by-case basis or measured on a sliding scale.

    If the League determines a player struck another player in the head in a deliberate attempt to cause an injury, then the offender is gone for a full season... no salary, no nothing, the end. I'm sick and tired of excuses.

    I'm sick and tired of seeing 'he didn't deserve it... BUT...'
  35. Ryan M from Canada writes: No use...

    My issue with McAmmond is that yes, he didn't say anything about when his teammate knocked Drury senseless. But now, after he received a cheap shot, he is saying there is a 'problem'...

    No need to take it so see, McAmmond likely used 'problem' in reference to when he said it earl........nevermind...probably no use explaining.
  36. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: Watch for a stiff suspension here because we have a player who is NOT in the NHL yet and they can make an example of him while leaving the marquis players untouched.... a beautiful opportunity for the league and not such a great situation for Downie.

    Ryan Smith made an excellent point the other day when he said today's players are bigger, faster and you have to be in better shape and more alert ESPECIALLY COMING OUT FROM BEHIND THE NET WHICH MCAMMOND WAS DOING with his head down. I also wonder where were the shouts of warning from the goalie and the defenceman to alert McCammond....part of their 'job' is to look after each other. Instead they chose to fight over his inert body which could have even had more serious consequences. What level of suspension would have been proposed had he been badly cut by a skate? Nothing!
  37. Gary Glitter from Toronto, Canada writes: How incredibly refreshing to hear all these references to the much ballyhooed 'Drury Hit'. Did any of you see the hit?

    Chris Drury was knocked out not because of the hit but because he hit his head on the ice because his chinstrap was too loose. Look it up on the web. Seriously, guys, if you're going to pretend to be an expert on something, back it up with a decent argument.

    Any parallel between the Drury hit and the complete wallpapering that Mcammond took it outrageous. That hit had the potential to kill. No joke.

    Any fan of hockey, particularly those who've played, would know exactly how this unfolded and what was running through Downie's mind right before he took flight. He was seeing blood. The only way we are going to tap into that type of brain and stop this from happening is to hit them where it hurts. Take away their hockey. A year suspension will do the trick. It doesn't matter what team you cheer for ... nobody wants this in our game.
  38. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: Another Opinion, Ryan, fair enough. I was trying to convey that this 'problem' has been going on for a few years, and that it isn't now just a problem because McAmmond was on the receiving end.

    How many players last year were taken off the ice on stretchers because of hits to the head? Ryan Malone did the same thing to a Sen player (was it Eaves?) last year in the first round of the play - off's. 2 years ago, Connelly was put out of the play - off's by Schaefer. Neil knocked out Drury. I'm not commenting on whether the checks were legal or not.

    But what is it going to take before the NHL realizes that hits to the head (especially with the elbow/shoulder pads players use nowadays) are seriously hurting players? Does someone hasve to die? To be confined to a wheelchair before the NHL does something about it?

    CJ, the guy who started the blog may have been a Leaf fan - maybe not. But don't lump us all together. I love the Leafs, but I'm certainly wasn't cheering that a Sen player got seriously hurt. I hate the Sens like every faithful Leaf fan does, but I don't want to see someone possibly lose their life/career over a cheap shot.
  39. uncle rukus from Mississauga, Canada writes: From the look of the comments today you see this problem is not going to be resolved soon and in a few months there will be another player lying on the ice face down from a head shot. Unfortunately most hockey fans think like Ryan M from Ottawa it's ok to aim for a guy's head if its legal and not ok when its illegal. To hear Chris Neil jabbering on about this hit was typical of why the NHL is a joke. The same guy saw Drury in a helpless position aimed his shoulder at his head and smoked him. I remember Sens saying he was admiring the pass and should of been aware of what was coming. Well I guess can be said to McAmmond 'Next your skating thru death valley keep you head up Dean!'

    The NHL needs for one guy not to get up and then Bettamn And his stooge Bill Daly will do something.
  40. Rob Gilgan from Canada writes: I'm a Chris Pronger fan, but I think he should have received an extended suspension for his hit on McAmmond in the playoffs - a delibertae elbow to the head.
    Downie needs to sit out for a long time, until he gets the message- but that day may never come. He's been told over and over again - but he's also learned the rules don't apply to him. The NHL has to change that. Players agree to pay within a certain framework of risk. Downie's attitude is outside that framework, currently.
  41. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: Gary Glitter, sorry, but I disagree. I have seen the hit )numerous times). Drury was admiring his pass and was hit with a combo elbow/shoulder. Granted, Neil didn't leave his feet, but still he hit Drury when he was in a vulnerable position. Sure, Drury should have had his chin strap on tighter (all players should) but he didn't see the hit coming.
  42. Jasper the Black Lab from Vancouver, Canada writes: Look up the video on YouTube in slomo
    You can see Downie leave his feet about hafway from the goal line to the point of impact.
  43. Patrick Matheson from Canada writes: THE NHL... needs to send a message... I admit this is a lame beginning of a letter but... If they wish to keep and maintain any sense of fair play about this sport and INDUSTRY... this kind of play is completely unacceptable.

    I AM a Canadian but if this kind of Bull Sh*T continues.... bye bye NHL
  44. Vince Porter from Canada writes: The NHL can rid itself of the Downies - unless it needs them. And, if it needs them, well, it's game over, anyway!
  45. AS IT IS from Toronto, Canada writes: As much as I was disgusted with the hit on McAmmond I do not wish to put the blame entirely on Downie.
    Yes, he has a history and a short temper but doesn't the spirit of competitiveness that is fostered during the exhibition seaon add to this sort of thing.
    We are talking about 'kids' competing to play at the professional level. The pressure must be enormous, not just from family but coaching staff and entire hockey organizations.
    The game has changed so much over the years! It is more of a science than anything else.
    Stiff suspension or not, this goes a heck of a lot deeper.
    It's a shame for hockey and hockey fans everywhere.
  46. N. Reader from Canada writes: the NHL will do 'something' if and when a guy of Sidney Crosby's caliber gets knocked out and the 'stars' start speaking out en-masse and force the NHL to legislate rules against deliberate blows to the head - given the meathead machismo culture of most NHL players and mgmt it's not likely to happen anytime soon, I have no problem with 2 guys dropping the gloves for a honest face to face fight to settle their differences however these kind of head hunting hits are cowardly/pathetic and have no honor, the players that make these kind of hits should take a hard look in the mirror because they could be next on the hit list.
  47. Henry Allen from Toronto, Canada writes: Concussions in hockey will always happen because hockey is a fast, hard hitting game. The issue now facing the NHL is not the total elimination of accidental concussions. The central issue is the reasonable reduction of the chances of having a concussion.

    This approach obviously includes equipment, like the use of best possible helmets designed to absorb kinetic energy from a blow to the head. And, as Don Cherry stated very clearly, armoured shoulder and elbow pads must be re-designed, something the NHL has done nothing about.

    The second direction is that no blow above the shoulders should be tolerated and must be severely punished. The NHL is dragging its feet. Odds are that the NHL will not severely punish head shots until a player dies or is reduced to the mental state of a vegetable.
  48. Chris Michaels from Oakville, Canada writes: Looks to me like there's few people who've played the sport commenting per usual.

    My opinion is that Downie should be suspended since this hit was a charge. Maybe 5 games. But, remember that what he did is something that, if McAmmond had have gotten up and returned to play, would've been patted on the back.

    Everyone thinks that eliminating headshots is an easy solution. It's not. This isn't like hitting a Quarterback who's standing like a statue in the pocket. When players are skating, many are low to the ice and are leading with their heads. Hence, any physical contact (of an open ice variety) is likely to contact their head first.

    Eliminating hits where guys get their arms up is fine - like they've done in junior. A little easier to call. But a shoulder to the head is a fairly clean hit, provided it isn't a charge.

    Hockey players have a duty to protect themselves at all times. In my opinion, McAmmond was lazy in this situation and it cost him dearly. Anyone cutting around the net has to be wary of opponents coming in the opposite direction. All players from Pee-Wee on up know this ---especially when attempting a wrap-around.

    The bigger issue here is respect for fellow players. It's hard to say whether Downie could've recognized McAmmond was in a vulnerable spot and held up---he was charging, so he was moving mighty quick. And, he was angry and looking for a hit.

    I don't want to make excuses for Downie - but let's face it. This is the biggest audition of his life, and he's got to show what he brings to the table.

    The NHL should also shoulder some of the blame for developing an environment where a player like Downie can do this with little recourse. He obviously wasn't fearing Brian McGrattan lining up beside him next game.

    If Downie has any respect for the game, he'll find McGrattan next game and take his lumps.
  49. Another Pundit from Canada writes: Ok, I'll post this for the 40th time to help give perspective to the haters...

    Downie's hit was to Jensen's hit that Neil's hit was to Armstrong's hit.

    All four were hard, heavy hits. Two done legally, and not penalized because of that. Two very cheap and illegal, and were penalized and suspensions involved. Try and see through the fog of your tinted glasses, if not for 15 minutes this not-even-yet season...

    The league needs to examine ways to tell the difference between the four hits I mentioned, penalize them at least to discourage head shots, and do it in a way that doesn't take hitting out of the game... it's a tough challenge, would take a couple seasons, but in my opinion would be worth it.
  50. P McLean from Canada writes: Downie has been a problem all along. That nobody seemed to think Downie would commit an infraction of this degree this quickly suggests far too many peopel with blinders on.

    Great point by whomever it was who stated Downie does not have to fear lining up next to Mcgrattan. There was never an unwritten "Gretzky rule" in the 80s. It was clearly written "Semenko", and then later amended to "McSorley."

    As far as Drury, the argument is "he was admiring his pass." Well, unless I missed something in physics, making a pass indicates you no longer have the puck...Why are these hits 4 seconds after a guy gets rid of the puck not being called interference?
  51. Sher Bear from North of Sensville, Canada writes: When there is direct/initial contact with the head, there has to be serious consequences including long term suspensions for intent to injure. It is quite sickening that Downie can justify his headhunting actions with "I just finish my checks", given his known history.
  52. garlick toast from Canada writes: Chris Michaels from Oakville, Canada,i agree.put in a"headshot"rule and you'll see more players leading with their heads to draw a penalty.what galls me is the issue of hard-shell shoulder/elbow pads.they have become a weapon which was not their original function.when ron macclean brought it up with bettman on hnic,bettman's response said it all regarding his viewpoint,"do you know how much it would cost to change?think of the manufacturers."
  53. Mr. Happy from Canada writes: What kind of suspension did Pronger get when he knocked out McAmmond, and where was the same level of outrage over Downie's actions?

    Pronger's hit was like you walking into a bank to make a withdrawal only to have the teller suddenly punch you in the face as you count your bills, whereas Downie's was more like a guy leaving the bank with a hand full of bills and getting mugged. Neither type of incident should happen, but one type is more preventable than the other.

  54. C M from Canada writes: People might blame the players alone when this kind of thing happens, but in my opinion, there's something wrong with team management and team owners who insist on signing players who are known hot-heads (and especially ones with rap sheets from their junior days like Downie) and yet do nothing to get their anger management issues dealt with. I hope Downie and any who follow him are dealt with severely, but I also hope there's some heavy punishment handed out to the team's top brass.
  55. Tired Ofitall from Canada writes: Ban this is idiot from hockey....please!

    And fire Bettman!
  56. Devil Bud from not Ottawa, Canada writes: First off, if you haven't played at a higher level than house league hockey, then go back to watching and simply cheering for your team. Steve Downie is young, he is allowed to make mistakes. Just under a year ago, people in Canada were praising this guy at the World Juniors for being such a great talent, a future star power forward. Yes, this guy has problems controling his emotions, granted. On the other hand, this guy plays every single game the way guys like Wendel Clark, Cam Neely, healthy Owen Nolan, etc. played the game. I remember just a short few years back when Scott Stevens won the Conn Smythe. Has anyone actually watched Scott Stevens closely? This guy would be out on the ice for 30-45 secs. skating full-tilt simply waiting for someone to put their head down. Just ask Eric Lindros or Paul Kariya. No one said anything then, simply because it was Scott Stevens. So, if you are trying to set precedents here, start by looking to what the game actually is. This is a rough game, filled with emotion, rules, unwritten rules and guys that know all too well what happens when they think they are invincible. I have no problem with Steve Downie receiving a reasonable suspension, but so much of this has been blown out of proportion that it seems that the League is about to make a massive mistake. Look to worse hits and go down from there. I can name two hits last year that were way worse than this one: Jansen on Kaberle, Neil on Drury. Figure it out. To all you armchair athletes...stick to bowling and working on your beer guts, you have no business commenting on how best to ruine a young kid's career.
  57. George Hall from Canada writes: The NHL is going downhill as it caters to the fams who are into the violence and don't appreciate the skill and talent.
    The abysmal tv rating of last years finals tell you that.
  58. bob miller from Canada writes: I have heard Downie described by former Maple Leaf player (on TSN) as a "good kid." I have read where Bobby Orr, who happens to represent Downie, describe him as "a good kid."
    Downwie is NOT a "good kid"...he is a seriously troubled kid...look at his record in junior hockey. Things get swept under the carpet all too often. This "good kid" is going to seriously (or kill) someone one of these days if he doesn't get some kind of help. He is an emotional timebomb.
  59. James McGillawee from Oshawa, Canada writes: Do these professional athletes have to pass a drug screen test within four hours of their on ice "collision"? It should be mandatory for all professional athletes to be subject to random and mandatory testing for performance enhancing medications! How many of these "incidents" are "steroid enhanced"?!!!
  60. James Jones from Canada writes: I wasn't down on Bertuzzi after his assault. Why? Because the NHL approved of such things in those days. (Tacit approval.) After that,everyone seemed to agree it was time to clean up the game. For most of my young days I was not a sports fan, & mostly that's true 2day, but I have come to enjoy hockey & am a regular viewer of HNIC. However I would never actually go to a game. For 1, they're too expensive, but also there have been times when I changed channels during HNIC because there was too much of that boring boorish behaviour. Hooliganism just doesn't entertain me!
  61. Moe Sizlac from Toronto, Canada writes: I agree Bob Miller... we appear to accept otherwise unacceptable behaviour from someone if they're a hockey player with even a shred of talent. What's more disturbing is that people like Don Cherry and other 'traditionalists' would have you believe that such behaviour is in fact good and representative of dedication and drive to win (and events like this are just small mistakes 'good kids' make).

    I would suggest that a pattern of behaviour like this indicates a 'bad kid' that shouldn't be allowed to play in the NHL. Why should you be able to play in the NHL just because you're a good enough hockey player? We should look at the complete person and if all parts of that individual's personality don't meet the league's standards, they shouldn't be allowed in. The problems is that right now, this kind of behaviour is considered OK by the league. In my opinion that needs to change.
  62. Hoo Boy from Ottawa, Canada writes: A lot of folks are calling on the NHL to do something about it. I think the NHLPA ought to be leading the charge on this one, especially if the league is dragging their heals. If they have any leadership at all, they will come out and take a stance against head-hunting in the NHL, and perhaps even come up with some ideas for a program or for rule changes. After all, they are partners in the "new" NHL.
  63. Mahmoud O'grady from Chaostan, Canada writes: Unfortunately, the lack of leadership on the issue by NHL and NHLPA will ultimately lead to civil suits to redress the wrong. Frankly, I'm surprised our litigious southern cousins haven't been all over this.

    In short, if you commit an act like Downies', and I lose my income stream, my loss of income becomes the benchmark for a settlement, and in a case like this, rightly so.

    If we start slapping the players that pull this crap with a lawsuit and it costs them dearly, maybe, just maybe, the NHL & NHLPA plus membership & management will wake up and take appropriate action.

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