Blues enforcer Cam Janssen sounds off about baseball "fights"

camjanssen2.jpg“I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out.”

We’ve all heard the that tired old line before, but you never hear it said about baseball and with good reason: baseball fights stink. When the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals decided to play the 40-man feud the other night in Cincy, it did manage to spook out St. Louis Blues enforcer Cam Janssen.

“To me, it’s pretty scary when you’ve got guys hitting you from behind and there’s 40 guys out there throwing punches and you’re not looking,” Janssen said. “You get blind-sided and all of the sudden you’re down in the pile getting kicked in the face. It’s a scary thing, but sometimes it’s kind of humorous when you see some of those guys try to throw punches.”

A baseball fight is basically like a good old fashioned line brawl in hockey except with four times as many people in the middle of everything pushing and shoving and saying all sorts of unmentionable things here. What got that whole mess started was when Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips decided to mouth off at the Cardinals calling them all sorts of fanciful names. Janssen says that that sort of thing would never fly in the NHL.

“In hockey, no one would do that because they know there’s consequences on the ice. That’s why hockey players have respect for one another. If you’re going to run your mouth like that, then you’re going to be called out on the ice. And I’ll tell you what, there’s nobody going to be breaking that up for a while.”

Not only are baseball fights dangerous, they look all kinds of stupid. While some hockey fans will debate til they’re blue in the face over whether or not hockey needs legal fighting or not, the peacekeeping part of the game is very much still in tact and while some players might be severely lacking in the common respect aspect, what Janssen and others like him do in the NHL is admirable in its own squirrely way. While this Reds-Cardinals brawl has one thing in common with the NHL (Johnny Cueto doing his best Chris Pronger imitation and stomping on a guy with his feet) there’s no doubt that if Cueto started jawing with the likes of Chris Janssen it’d turn into an untimely finish for Mr. Cueto.

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    ‘John leaves a lasting mark’: NHL announces Collins’ departure as COO

    John Collins
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    One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.

    John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.

    More, from the League:

    Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.

    “John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”

    Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.

    “The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”

    Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.

    During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.

    Jackets activate Dubinsky, Wennberg from IR

    Andy Andreoff, Brandon Dubinsky
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    Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.

    Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.

    It wasn’t all good news for the Jackets, though. Defenseman Cody Goloubef and right wing Rene Bourque were placed on IR.

    The biggest return for Columbus is Dubinsky, who had four goals and 11 points in 16 games prior to getting hurt, while averaging nearly 19 minutes per night.

    That said, getting Wennberg back is key as well; the former first-round pick has been plagued by injuries recently but showed well during his rookie campaign in ’14-15, with 20 points in 68 games.

    Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium

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    The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

    Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.

    Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.

    The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)

    Here are the full rosters:


    NBCSN will broadcast the alumni game nationally in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have it in Canada.

    The 2016 Winter Classic will be played the next day (on NBC).

    Goalie nods: Andersen’s ‘flu-like symptoms’ mean Khudobin starts versus Flames

    Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen
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    With Frederik Andersen experiencing “flu-like symptoms” (PHT diagnosis: it might be the flu), the Anaheim Ducks will turn to backup Anton Khudobin for tonight’s home game versus Calgary.

    Khudobin could, in turn, be backed up by Josh Gibson, recalled today from AHL San Diego. The Ducks have officially listed Andersen as “questionable.”

    Khudobin (3-3-0, .917) has not started a game in over a week. His last action came exactly a week ago, after Andersen got the hook versus Nashville.

    Andersen may or may not travel with the Ducks for tomorrow’s game at Arizona.

    The Ducks, of course, are coming off a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay, a result that produced the following quote from Ryan Kesler:

    After a four-game winning streak to start November, Anaheim has since dropped five of its last seven.

    Karri Ramo will be in net for the Flames. After a terrible start to the season, he’s been much better lately, allowing just eight goals combined in his last four starts.


    Craig Anderson for the Senators. Antti Niemi for the Stars.