Did Mike Cammalleri have just cause to go after Nino Niederreiter?


Cammalleri1.jpgLast night we told you about Mike Cammalleri’s bad night in Quebec City where he seemingly went bonkers going after Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter and ultimately slashing him in the ankle. Cammalleri was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the action and Niederreiter left the game with a bruised ankle. Cammalleri isn’t exactly a goon out on the ice so what would make him lose his cool with the 18 year-old youngster? Perhaps it was a hit that might be the first to challenge the NHL’s new blindside hit rule.

Video has popped up showing Niederreiter hitting Cammalleri shoulder-to-shoulder from a point of view for Cammalleri that comes from out of nowhere. You can check out the video from YouTube here. Stu Hackel of Habs Inside/Out thinks that Niederreiter’s hit could help Cammalleri’s case with the NHL.

Looking at the video, a case can be made that contact was shoulder to shoulder from behind. A case can also be made that the head was targeted, even though it wasn’t the principal point of contact.

But even if Colin Campbell and his staff decide Niederreiter did target Cammalleri’s head, the retaliation may still cause some sort of disciplinary action, although it might be softened if the league decides Cammalleri had some justification for his reaction.

Ahh yes, the ever popular Wheel of Justice may get fired up for everyone involved in this. Niederreiter might get dinged for being the first to face the new blindside hit rule while Cammalleri could get sat down by the league for invoking the spirit of “Slap Shot” while going ape on Niederreiter.

For us, Niederreiter’s hit doesn’t qualify as the kind that allows you to go after another player the way Cammalleri did. It’s not that egregious of a play and while you can’t get into a player’s head to guess what their intent was, Niederreiter didn’t appear to be gunning for Cammalleri’s head. Punishing players for playing hockey isn’t something we’re very supportive of. Of course, trying to guess what Colin Campbell may or may not do in regard to punishment is a game that we’re not going to play either, especially if a new rule comes into play.

That said, there’s no justifying Cammalleri swinging his stick towards Niederreiter’s head and face and there’s no excusing him taking a swipe at his ankle. That kind of rogue action should not be tolerated.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.