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Downie banished for 20 games

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

McAmmond incident gives NHL cause to invoke new criteria for hits to the head, Tim Wharnsby reports ...Read the full article

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  1. Ryan M from Ottawa, Canada writes: Well, it is a lot more severe than what they've handed out in the past. A step in the right direction, for sure.
  2. Joe S from Canada writes: Wow the NHL has finally done something that might lead them into the right direction. Bravo!

    Anyways, I'm curious to see how Downie will be serving the suspension if he doesn't make the Flyers roster.
  3. Andrew Bisson from Ottawa, Canada writes: What a joke. The NHL will soon stand for Nerf Hockey League.
    If Scott Stevens played today, he would be suspended indefinitely.
    Of course it was a dirty hit and I could see maybe up to 10 games, but 20? How is it worse than Niedermayer or Granato using both hands to hit someone in the head with a stick?
    And why won't anyone talk about the equipment being used? If the goal is to get rid of concussions, change the damn equipment! Foam pads would not be doing this much damage.
    As the NHL only listens to the media and the casual fan, I guess this suspension should come as no surprise.
  4. Drew Peacock from the Peg, Canada writes: Message sent ... let's hope other players are listening
  5. Patrick Murray from Canada writes: Of yeah, foam pads would have helped Dean McAmmond.
  6. Andrew Bisson from Ottawa, Canada writes: Foam pads would have helped Lindros, Kariya, Francis and all the other players Stevens knocked out with clean shoulder hits.
  7. Mike Mike from writes: Let's just hope that NHL will be that strict next time Neil goes out of his way trying to take somebody's head off. I am ok with 20 games but lets make it applicable to the Senators as well.
  8. Arron D from Stan's Home, Canada writes: He should have gotten 10 games and been fined $500K, the Flyers should have then been hit for $1 million. That is how you change behaviours, make them too expensive.
    If he's not in conselling for his stupidity, he's not going to change. He should have to sponsor and play in a hockey tournament for children in Darfur.
    I can't wait til McGratton catches the little turd on the ice. I'll miss McGratton, but it will be worth it to get to watch whatever arena they're in have to powerspray the left overs of Downie out of the boards.
  9. Keen to Guess from Canada writes: this guy is the next John Kordic
  10. Spencer C from Ottawa, Canada writes: Andrew Bisson, just because the NHL has made mistakes in the past are you saying they shouldn't try to make things better now?

    Yes, this suspension is inconsistent with past transgressions that went relatively unpunished but that doesn't mean the NHL can't start to do things differently.

    If we keep using the mistakes of the past as our benchmark the league will never improve or go anywhere.
  11. Jay Chinook from Calgary, Canada writes: 20 games? How about 2 years? Headhunting needs to be seriously expensive.
  12. Don Adams from Canada writes: 20 games? That's all? Considering this dude's history, being banned from professional hockey would be a more just penalty.
  13. tom h from Canada writes: Well, it's a start... and probably the most that one could've expected from the NHL.

    Arron D, good call on fining the team as well. Too many teams in this league not only recruit dirty player, but actively encourage this sort of behaviour... Downie himself said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he wants to play dirty to stand out and improve his chances of making the Flyers. What on earth is wrong with this kid and that team??? The fact that Downie thinks play like that is to be admired speaks volumes about attitudes in hockey that still need to be changed. Teams need to be clear about what is not acceptable in the game.
  14. Mark S from Canada writes: Bisson - 10 games? Are you kidding me? Downie is a bush league player that almost ended McAmmond's career... if not did end it. Remains to be seen. And you complain about him getting 20 games? I'd like to hear you say that if you were a McAmmond family member that watched him work his butt off to get into a position where he play in the NHL - all to be taken away by a dirty hit. Or next time you're at work a coworker blind sides you into the slurpee machine and you can't work for a year while he's back at it the next week. I know they get guaranteed contracts, but that doesn't mean much when you're eating from a straw. Sure the equipment has an impact, but just like the guns don't kill people argument - shoulder pads wouldn't be an issue in this case if Downie didn't jump at him while he had his head turned. I don't care if you're wearing shoulder pads from the 60s, that hit is still going to lay him out into the boards head-first. You want this stuff to stop - if it's a deliberate play like this - the offender should be out as long as the player they injured (maybe with a one season limit). Maybe then guys like Boogaard wouldn't have the opportunity to take out multiple players at the knees.
  15. Mr. Happy from Canada writes:
    Here's what else a cynic might say: The last guy to ko McAmmond a mere 4 months ago, and a few weeks after having sat out one game for having ko'ed someone else gets zero games. while the new guy sits for 20.

    Has the NHL really changed its outlook on these types of incidents in such a short period of time (that would be a very good thing) or is this just another example of a player being punished based on who he is (or isn't) and not on what he did.

  16. TheWay ISeeIt from Calgary, Canada writes: Can you believe the comment from Holmgren? 'He was just doing what he would normally and ... well, it was just unfortunate'. Come on! Downie could have easily turned and put his hip into McAmmond, a hard hit but clean. Instead he launches himself into the guy's head. And the coach says it normal behaviour and just an unfortunate result. If that's the coach's attitude, he should be fined and suspended as well. 20 games sends a good message. Now let's see that hold up when it's the regular season and a bona fide major league player commits the foul!
  17. bruce weaver from Canada writes: Like most leagues there are rules for the stars and another set of rules for the journeyman.
  18. asm oak bay from Canada writes: This suspension is woefully inadequate. Mr. Downie should have been suspended immediately and indefinitely. Once the duration of Mr. McAmmond's absence from the Senators line up has been determined by his return, Mr. Downie's suspension should then have been suspended for a further number of days equal to that of Mr. McAmmond's absence from the Ottawa line up. One cannot teach character to an adult man. He either has it or he does not. Mr. Downie's drafting by the Flyers speaks volumes about the teams indifference to character. If I owned a team, I would not let players the ilk of Downie anywhere near it.
  19. Paul, Bytown, from Canada writes: So what happens to the suspension if he's sent to the minors? Does it carry over to the minors? Or does it only count in the NHL? And if so, is it banked so that when he comes back to the NHL, it continues?
  20. Rick C from Canada writes: The absurdity here is the same as the absurdity in most, if not all, the recent infamous incidents. If the injured player wasn't injured and jumped up and fought the guy that hit him it would be in the highlight reels for a week and then enjoyed again at the end of the season on 'the best of the best' to highlight what we watch the sport for.

    The the original hit would be talked about less than the result of the fight that followed.

    There are plenty of 'huge hits' every week, that dont cause injury, that go almost un-noticed, except in the highlight reels at 11:00.

    Also,..I agree with Andrew, take away the armour and you will take away the desire of allot of players to attack and when they do attack the damage will be more even between the attacker and the attacked.

    I am loath to admit that I am on the same page as Don Cherry (on almost any topic) but even he, at the risk of harming his stchick, agrees with a move to softer pads.
  21. N. Reader from Canada writes: if the the NHL sets the bar at 20 for this year let's see if they follow thru on the next possible suspension for this type of hit (should be mid-OCT at the latest) stay tuned

    'i was finishing my check...' duh!!! from what I remember you're not supposed to run over guys who don't have possession of the puck
  22. Garrett Nicolai from Regina, Canada writes: It'll be interesting to see how this works. He is essentially dead weight for a quarter of the season... can the Flyers legitimately justify his 'making the team' to immediately sit out for twenty games, when another player would fill up a roster spot and be able to play? That applies to the case when he would eventually get called up, as well. I wonder how the Flyers will handle it.
  23. S D from Canada writes: 'Just finnishing his check...' Yeah right, he's a mile out of where he's suppose to be on that play, nice try...

    Downie's expendable, hence the long suspension. If this was Darcy Tucker, he'd of got 2 games, maybe 5 (since it's early in the year). Not that I disagree with the 20, it's just the NHL will use this to say they're serious about discipline. Whatever. Teams need to be held accountable for the action of their players. Maybe if the Flyers had to dress 1 less man for the duration of the suspension, then we'd see real action.
  24. S Lucht from Canada writes: Take away the armor and the number of injuries from slashes and pucks probably goes up.

    Useless comments from Paul Holmgren, but not surprising giving his history on the ice. I'm pretty sure he didn't win any Lady Byng trophies.
  25. Bake McBride from vancouver, Canada writes: It wasn't very long ago that Steve Downie was hailed as a hero for his play in the World Jrs. Word is he's always been a bit of a bully & jerk as a teammate off the ice, though that likely wouldn't be apparent as a rookie.

    Anyways, I agree with the suspension & also that some padding should be less protective - there is no need at all to have plastic in the shoulder & elbow pads.
  26. Another Pundit from Canada writes: Mike Mike from writes: Let's just hope that NHL will be that strict next time Neil goes out of his way trying to take somebody's head off. I am ok with 20 games but lets make it applicable to the Senators as well.


    HAHAHHAHAHAHA I really hope you were trying to be funny and not serious draging up that legal hit AGAIN....

    Sadly, I don't think you were trying...
  27. L B from writes: The whole situation spews of hypocrissy...the only reason he's being suspended is because McAmmond is prone to head injuries and got a concussion. Otherwise, had McAmmond not been injured, this would have been a 'great hit' and nobody would be complaining and Downie never would have been suspended.
  28. Garrett Nicolai from Regina, Canada writes: I was just reading another factor that may have come to play in the length suspension. Philadelphia's 22nd game of the season is against the Senators. If Downie were to sit his suspension from the start of the season, he would return just in time to play the Sens again. Could the NHL be trying to set up another rivalry? (I'm just being paranoid, my true feelings are in my previous post)
  29. Virginia Crook from United Kingdom writes: Suspend the player but penalize the team as well. The ethos that pervades the Flyers, (they aren't called the Broad Street Bullies for no reason) is obviously one of barely restrained violence. If you can get away with it then do it. They should prevent the team from fillling his place on the roster, so everyone on the team pays the price for the transgression as well as fine the owners/managers, they are after all the people who encourage the attitude of the players. Yes, I know hockey is a physical game but there are limits.
  30. Jondas McHooter from Canada writes: Nobody should get too excited about the NHL suddenly getting tough. The first time any big name player hits someone in the head like this, you'll be lucky to see 10 games at the most. This is shooting fish in a barrel for the league because Downie won't be playing anyway.
  31. J Law from Canada writes: But will the fans be watching to see if the NHL carries on the with this punishment if a star ( Pronger ) does the same thing in future? And even if the fans scream loudly when the punishment is not of the same caibre what will the NHL's BS story be?
  32. Dave a Conservative from Ottawa, Canada writes: 20 game suspension? Not enough.

    How about the whole season and a whopping $2 million fine on the Flyers. If you play with the big boys and hit illegally you should pay big bucks. If they truly want to clamp down on illegal fighting and hits make the penalties so stiff the franchises, coaches and idiots will listen.

    Downie should be glad that McAmmond isn't pursuing civil legal action against him they guy would be bankrupt.
  33. Gronck the realist from Canada writes: That's it - 20 games? and yes, equipment needs to be changed - offensive body armour shouldn't be part of hockey
  34. Jim D from United States writes: Once again, the clowns in the NHL head office are tut-tutting after the fact, and acting like they've done something useful.

    Fighting should have been essentially eliminated from hockey years ago, but that would disappoint the fans who see hockey as an offshoot of professional wrestling, so it stays.

    Cheap shots, excessive roughness, all could be dealt with by good officiating with meaningful penalties. But instead, we get pre-season and early season 'crackdowns' on dirty play, which disappear by week 3 or the season.

    In close games, the linesman have to skate in and break up scrums of players virtually every time the whistle blows.

    If the NHL had any leadership, and any guts, they could deal with all of this in a firm and persistent fashion. Yeah, games might be slowed down by numerous penalties for a few weeks, or even a month or two, but the players will adapt.

    However, despite the moralizing by league officials over this incident, they sanction and encourage dirty play. They figure it puts asses into the seats. They ought to suspend themselves, without pay.
  35. Ryan M from Ottawa, Canada writes: Haha, a tad bitter, Mike Mike? Is this all a big conspiracy? The Sens clearly must have the refs paid off, right? Why is it that nothing EVER gets called against Ottawa?

    That tune is getting is incredible to see how obsessive you are about Chris Neil and the Sens.
  36. nigel martin from Canada writes: So, Downey has always been a problem? Wasn't he the poster boy for Canadian grit in International hockey? Wasn't he the one that Cherry and other dunderheads held up as the example for young kids? He was a thug then, but I guess he was our thug.
  37. C C from Canada writes: 'Campbell said he'd knew he would eventually deal with a head-sh*t incident but admitted, 'I didn't think it would happen this soon and be so clear cut.'

    Typo in the last sentence is appropriate, if not dyslexic.
  38. garlick toast from Canada writes: i've always hated philly especially'big bad bobby clobber''his slash on kharlomov in '72 was sickening,like a punk keying a bentley.
    macammon had his head down,three feet out from the boards.he left himself wide open.downie is such a lousy skater that he was out of control as he got to the slow motion,his skates are turning right but his forward momentum makes his toes dig in and whammo.if macammon had his head up he could have killed him with a hip check.

    keep your stick on the ice.
  39. Wally Grisold from Toronto, Canada writes: It's a start, I can hardly wait for a statement from Don Cherry.
  40. Mike H from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada writes: asm oak bay from Canada writes: This suspension is woefully inadequate. Mr. Downie should have been suspended immediately and indefinitely. Once the duration of Mr. McAmmond's absence from the Senators line up has been determined by his return, Mr. Downie's suspension should then have been suspended for a further number of days equal to that of Mr. McAmmond's absence from the Ottawa line up.'

    Um...he WAS suspended immediately and indefinitely. Whether you agree with the 20 games or not (it seems like a fair suspension in my opinion. Let's be honest here, it was a dirty hit but he didn't two-hand someone with his stick or anything.) I think you're approach is the worst approach to take. Suspensions should be based on the actions not the results of the actions. That is what the NHL has been doing wrong in my mind. Oh, this guy got hurt, BIG SUSPENSION. This other guy is ok, well, boys will be boys.

    They need to stop operating like that and give 20 games every time for the same hit. Then they will finally put a stop to the head checks. Those are just my thoughts anyway.
  41. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: My question relates not to the nature of the hit itself, but rather to how and if McAmmond's team mates let him down:

    1. Why didn't the goalie and other defencemen alert McAmmond to the oncoming hit so he could avoid it? If everyone else in the building could see Downie cruising in from the blueline unhindered why didn't they? If Downie was seen to be on a mission after the hit put on him why weren't all players on the ice aware of that and looking for/at him specifically and on their guard?

    2. Why did they proceed to do battle over their team mates inert body rather than rushing to his aid and protecting him from the potential for further damage? The reason is likely the same as Downie's....rage overrides intelligence! They responded with violence and then bemoan the role of violence in the game. Makes no sense!
  42. garlick toast from mill village, Canada writes: at least this took place during play,unlike burtuzzi's sucker punch.were there ever a candidate for lifetime suspension he would be it.
    the league should be shamed into banning the hard shoulder/elbow puts the players at needless risk.they also should have copied mlb'sbaseball bat rule and not allowed composite sticks.
  43. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: A twenty game suspension and forfeiture of Downie's salary during this time is a good start. Cry-baby Clarke should be heavily fined for having a goon like this in his organization.
  44. Gideon Goldshlager from Canada writes: Mike Mike = Dumb Dumb. You're pretty obsessed with the Sens eh lad? Well I guess it's understandable- they are the best team in the league after all.
  45. Barrie Bochoff from NB, Canada writes: When a player has to sit out games due to an injury from a flagrant penalty, his team suffers as well. The offending players' team should suffer as well. The league should have the option, in extreme situations, of taking points off the offending teams standings. The coaches would then be more careful who they put on the ice and what the rolls are and the other players will then look at the goons differently.
  46. No use for a name from Toronto, Canada writes: It seems the NHL is finally getting the point.

    Gidiot, how are the Sens the best team in the league? Did they win the cup last year?
  47. tree twothousandfour from Canada writes: 20 games...big of season would be more appropriate.
  48. bill williams from Guelph, Canada writes: I like the idea of taking a player off the ice for as long as anyone they injure is off the ice...but it really should be 1.5 or two times as long in order to act as a deterrent. In addition to losing the services of the offending player, that player's team should face a financial penalty equal to 1.5 or two times the the other team's cost of losing the services of the injured player. In addition, since these players operate under a collective agreement, there should be a labour board hearing into the responsibilities of both the team managements' and the players union's obligations to provide a relatively safe work environment--someone would have to complain, and a player losing a substantial part of their carreer would be an obvious candidate; player agents take note. This game, and our collective will to revel--in our armchairs--in the toughness of (one of) our national sport(s) has become a national embarassment. We cultivate, and ship talent down to the (US) NHL to exploit...and then provide them their biggest market. What a sad farce. And what a sad commentary on the players, their association, and their agents that they can't take a meeting and--in their own best interests-- put a complete and total stop to it.
  49. Slander Us from Toronto, Canada writes: A couple things: First - people (Mike Mike, looking at you) need to stop comparing this to Neil's hit last year - or for that matter, any hit from last year. As a result of a number of hits last season (Neil's, Colby Armstrong's 2 hits, Cam Jannsen, etc.) the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed that the best way to deter this crap is not to change the rules, but rather come down hard on people. Second - Mike Mike, the difference between Neil's hit and Downie's is simple: clear intent to injure. The NHL said in it's release today that they believed Downie was retaliating for the CLEAN hits he took from Schubert and Volchenkov moments earlier. Neil just caught Drury in an awkward position; he didn't jump, didn't charge ... well, just didn't break ANY rules. The NHL said so last year, but you continue to waste space on these boards bringing that up. Apples and oranges, my man. We know you hate Ottawa, but get over it! Third - STOP BLAMING McAmmond! This was in no way his fault. If he was hit with a hard, clean hit, blame him. But when he's hit in the head by a guy that went the length of the ice and jumped - sorry folks, how is that his fault? Like he said yesterday, he doesn't have concussion problems, just the problem of having idiots taking cheap shots on his head.
  50. woof woof from Canada writes: 20 games is about right, but 30 may have sent a stronger message. As for Downie, he's always been a guy that needed a short leash and nothing has changed in that respect.
  51. Proud Canadian from Canada, Canada writes: Mike Mike, get a life. All cases are reviewed by the NHL. All cases. Including Chris Neil. U have a hate on for the Senators, so be it. They were the Stanley Cup Finalists last year you Calgary Bafoon. Against the Mighty Ducks of Aneheim. Remember that. They went all the way. Against New Jersey, Against Pittsburg, they won. Ur team whoever they may be werent even close. On the topic at hand, 20 games for Downie is a pittance to what that player will do to someone someday, just hope someone gets to him before that. He is not a smart person, he can not rationalize right from wrong, he goes off like a bomb, he is a dangerous man and player. Time he is put out of hockey altogether.
  52. Bear Facts from Canada writes: Pre-season games are getting a little out of hand, it's natural for rookies and less talented players to do that little extra to impress the coaches to make the team, fighting and hitting is outweighing the talent aspects of the game. A cheap hit and uncalled for... this is way out of control, to see this kind of aggression in preseason matches.... the players have yet to build the ice awareness, rid the rust, then once they find the rhythm the need to keep your head up, better ice awareness come into play more readily. Where's the respect?
  53. Jed Healey from Canada writes:

    I dont see the issue here? He took out an Ottawa Sens player. Job well done. After all the Sens Suck and choked in the Playoffs. Lets just admit the sens are the most pathetic organization in all of hockey.
  54. Midtown Bob from Toronto, Canada writes: Downie's suspension is overkill. He should have got 5 games tops with a 5 day fine of lost salary.

    That said the leafs will still miss the playoffs.
  55. joe cormorant from Canada writes: Goons like Downie do not deserve to play at all. But this is Pierre McGuire's 'special' guy. I guess he likes 'em rough. Here is your Canadian hockey player - all goon and no brain.
  56. joe cormorant from Canada writes: Jed Healey you must've cried when the Ottawa Senators made the finals last year, a place the Leafs haven't been in 40. Teams like Carolina, Tampa, San Jose, Colorado - all expansion teams have been to the finals since the Leafs. You idiots make me laugh when you say Ottawa choked. What does that make your crappy team who can't even make the playoffs?! Like I say, you leaf fans have exactly the team you deserve. See you on the golf course!
  57. Malcolm Thistle from Toronto, Canada writes: Hockey is becoming more and more irrelevant to the lives of most Canadians and I could care less about the NHL. It will be years yet but until the Canadian teams break away form the NHL and form a new league with the Europeans the NHL will wither on the vine.
  58. joe cormorant from Canada writes: Malcolm, maybe Canadian interest in hockey would increase if Leaf management would actually try to build a winning team and fans had something to cheer about. Or if Betteman would allow Balsillie to move one of his failure franchises to Hamilton.
  59. gord winters from Canada writes: i wonder if canadians will ever grow up enough to enjoy real sports?
  60. b mac from Canada writes: What a joke the NHL is. This was at least as bad if not worse then what Bertuzzi did. But this guy played in Philly and not Vancouver. Philly gets the soft shoe shuffle.
  61. N N from Toronto, Canada writes: They should have banned the punk for one season...that'll learn him.....or, better yet, ban him for life. That'll teach him a good lesson that he can pass on to his kids.
  62. Steve Prime from Canada writes: Malcolm Thistle ... speak for yourself
  63. J Law from Canada writes: nigel martin from Canada writes: So, Downey has always been a problem? Wasn't he the poster boy for Canadian grit in International hockey? Wasn't he the one that Cherry and other dunderheads held up as the example for young kids? He was a thug then, but I guess he was our thug.
    That was/is the problem, Nigel. This kid should have been dealt with in junior hockey, but junior hockey failed him because they used him to intimidate other teams. Junior hockey is all about winning and it doesn't really care a whole lot about the kids I don't give a damn what they say. And why would Philly draft him given Bobby Clark's past history? This kid did what got him the call, as stupid as it was.
  64. Emilio Garazgos from Kanata, Canada writes: I listened to the game on the radio that night and recall the announcers mentioning a number of times that the Flyers were doing head shots and not getting called.

    If that's the case, it seems that the on-ice officials and possibly the Flyers' coaching staff should bear some of the responsibility (and penalty) for the hit on McAmmond.

    If other players were getting away with head shots I'm sure that the message was being passed around on the Flyers' bench .

    And given their past rep (Broad Street Bullies) and their dismal showing last season, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the dimwits behind the bench and in the upper office saw the revival of their past knuckelhead behaviour as a recipe to success this season.

    As for Downie, he'll get over the 20 game suspension quickly enough. He's young and it's early in his career. The question is whether or not he and others will have learned anything from it.l
  65. CD W from coldwater, Canada writes: Can the NHL just ban the leafs for 20 games? It will stop a lot of bad feelings amongst folks in toronto, and we all care about them so much. Maybe the Leaf players can staff the closed libraries and community centres, better than letting them on the ice. Or for the next snow storm they can shovel snow for seniors.
  66. aloysuis paczjoskteyochuk from Canada writes: I recall when the Flyers made fools of themselves chasing the Russians all over the ice trying to hit them out of the rink. Those were the goons of old and we still have goons playing the game, the NHL need the goons to sell the game in the southern markets.
  67. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: NHL Hockey is a business and all that counts is how the product is percieved amongst the consumers. In order to sell the game to the US market, the emphasis has been on the more violent aspects of the game rather than the skills and finesse. Consequently the goon mentality has trumped the skill approach - it sells better to US audiences.

    The sad part is that these NHL guys command so much influence that every 10 year old in Canada wants to emulate them not realizing that it is all about market penetration and gross sales.
  68. jim lllll from Canada writes: After reviewing his stats and suspension in the OHL one could predict this goon would be in trouble in no time. He is a skating Time Bomb....... He would qualify for the brutal sport of King Cage kick boxing.........................He,,,, and others like him should delt with severely. 20 games ,,,,,,,not enough considering his record in the OHL, where he should have been checked and mentaly trained properly .....
  69. j.r ewing from vancouver, Canada writes: Downie is the victim of Campbell setting a precident. That was max a 5 game suspension. Only because he left his feet and it was a little late. Downie is a talented player, so he made a mistake. Whoever said earlier that Downie isn't a good skater has never watched him play. Watch him fight Mcgratton or Neil next time they play, it should be good.
  70. Midtown Bob from Toronto, Canada writes: To gord winters, well I'z enjois nascar therez nuthin' mo' entatainin' than watchin' cars drive round in circles all day while drinkin' bud. and ah likes rastlin' and roller derby
  71. T B from Canada writes: Not sure the punishment really fits the crime here, 20 games is alot for a rookie (if he plays) It was a vicious hit and he did leave his feet but lets not forget that McAmmond also had his head down and has a head like an eggshell from suffering so many concussions. Had McAmmond got up and skated away it would have been a 5 min major for charging at most or had it been Tucker who laid the hit he'd get 5 games max. I'm afraid Bettman is trying to trying to set an example on a fringe player and even though it was a high hit, 20 games I think is over doing it.
  72. Robert Lepage from Canada writes: Come now people, McAmmond had his head up, he was following the play, not watching his pretty pass. Even if he did have his head up and saw Downie, by the time everything clicked, he would already be unconscious. I also love the professional referees on this site, 'he should have got 5 games max, and I say this due to my extensive training as a referee and as a hockey official. I know more than Campbell, no doubt about it'. Also, R.M., the Sens were in the offensive zone, Emery would have had to yell his lungs out in order for McAmmond to hear him. Even then, I highly doubt that McAmmond would have had the chance to do anything once people saw Downie barreling towards him. We should really look at the facts (as pointed out by TSN): 1) Downie was hit hard by Schubert and immediately sought some form of revenge (ties in to #7), this leads the precedent for a premeditated attack 2) Downie's skates left the ice prior to major contact, 3) Downie used his elbow (according to Bob MacKenzie) 4) Downie's hit was late by 0.6 seconds 5) Downie targeted a vulnerable player 6) Downie aimed for the head 7) Downie was trying to make an impression on his time by laying out a big hit. If this happened outside of the rink, this would be grounds for assault! I am most positive that any player who got his by Downie's check would have been, if not knocked unconscious, staggered to the point where they could not get up right after the hit. Maybe short of a few blokes who are tall enough not to get hit in the head, or those who are immuned to concusions due to missing grey matter.
  73. Patrick Matheson from Canada writes: Not Enough

    41 games at least
  74. Edward Carson from Canada writes: I'm curious to the stance of those calling for more games or permanent suspension - what is your view then of Todd Bertuzzi?
    I think do to the league allowing this guy back they can never suspend anyone permanently unless they pretty much killed someone.
  75. James J from Ottawa, Canada writes: Maybe some fact is needed. People seem to be confused and keep writing irrelevant non-sense.

    Fact: Downie broke 4 of 5 rules and is gone for 20 games..good.

    Fact: Neil keeps getting mentioned and his hit was clean.

    Fact: McAmmond doesn't have a problem with concussions...he has a problem with idiots taking shots at his head.

    Fact: So many people are jealous of the Sens.

    Fact: The Leafs are not going to make the playoffs.

    And please ..enough with the 'Sens Choked'...every one who knows hockey also knows that in the finals..only one team wins..if you are going to say that the Sens choked...please include the names of every team who has been in a Stanley Cup finals and lost.

    And while the Sens pounded the haters all said they would lose..while they destroyed haters all said they would lose...while they cleaned Buffalo's Sens haters said they would lose..

    The fact is that Ottawa is a number one team in this league and for that they will be hated by many...Go Sens Go and good luck to all...even Toronto who will be golfing in April.
  76. Robert Austin from Whitehorse, Canada writes: The guy is an idiot and does not deserve to play period.

    Downie either has not been paying attention to recent events over the last few years, or he does not care.

    Either way, he does not deserve to play.

    Consider this: Weren Downie a mechanic and he started banging away on your vehicle's electronic control module with a mallet, you'd be rightfully pissed.

    Game over. Case closed!
  77. Gideon Goldshlager from Canada writes: Don't be jealous No Name- enjoy your cute little team and their new air conditioner. Don't forget to shell out your $ for a Leafs TV subscription, Jason Blake jersey (which looks like a hospital gown) and Holy Mackinaw bumper sticker.

    As far as Dizzy Dean goes- I'd love to see him back soon but doubt it will happen? Guess we'll get to see what Foligno can do.
  78. Mason Storm from Toronto, Canada writes: I say send the Sens and their followers down to the non contact league. When the going gets tough they always choke..just ask Crusty! Sens are chokers and at the end of the year will be saying..'i told you so'! Leafs suck just as bad maybe more.
  79. D B from Canada writes: R.M. from Regina, Canada: In response to your two incredibly stupid questions:

    1) McAmmond's defencemen and goalie did not warn him of the oncoming hit because the play happened in Philadelphia's end of the ice, making them 60 and 200 feet away respectively. Even if it had been in Ottawa's end, most players tend to focus on the play and not some idiot darting in from the blueline to missile-launch his body at someone.

    2) You're right. After the hit, everyone on the ice should have sat down in a big circle and discussed why Stephen's actions were wrong. Then, they could've all hugged each other and gone out for ice cream.

    Are you for real?! Have you ever played hockey? 'Rage overrides intelligence' sound like the words of someone who couldn't tie his/her own skates, and instead, joined the chess club.

    Yours is easily the most laughable post I have ever read on G&M. Congrats!
  80. T B from Canada writes: Yea, sorry there Mr Lepage, I'm sticking with 5 games, 10 max, I don't profess to know more than Mr Bettman, you on the other hand..........well you can draw your own conclusions.
    I believe Downie received 20 games to send a msg to the rest of the league but only because hes a fringe player, call it what you want but last year Pronger knocked McAmmond out for the rest of the play-offs and received what, 1 game. I know the finals are much different than the reg season but a head shot is a head shot is it not ?
    Anyhow IMO if they want to see a dramatic decrease in headshots make the players accountable right there on the ice for their actions, remove the instigator penalty and the players will be able to police themselves.
  81. Patrick Smith from Markham, Canada writes: DB- amen.

    1) The guy leading the breakout should see what is in front of him IF he's got his head up (ergo, why you don't skate with your head down). This is hockey 101. Maybe if the goalie sees someone behind him trying to poke check...

    2) As a goalie in my beer league, if someone runs me like that, screw the hearts and flowers...extract revenge.

    20 games is still pretty stiff, UNLESS this is the new standard for stuff like this (leaving feet, deliberate head contact). If so, then there's a few folks in the league who might want to take notice and perhaps avoid this kind of stuff. Not suggesting this become the National Ringette League, but just knock off the head shots and leaving your feet.

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