If you watch hockey for long periods of time, there might be moments when you almost forget that these guys are skating around on razor-sharp blades. The deft skating skills of NHL players can be downright transfixing, but every once in a while, there’s a sobering reminder that skates can be used on an opponent (consciously or not).
Bobby Ryan scored two goals in a big Game 2 win for the Anaheim Ducks last night, but one foolish action will force him to have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL that could end up with a suspension. TSN reports that he will face that hearing after stomping his skate onto Jonathan Blum’s foot while fighting for a puck late in the third period.
(For video of the stomp, click here. On the Forecheck also has an isolated “GIF” of the stomp.)
There are two major precedents when it comes to players being suspended for stomping motions. Chris Pronger received an eight-game suspension for stomping on Ryan Kesler during his Ducks days (is there something in that pond water?) while Chris Simon was hit with a whopping 30-game suspension for his transgression.
Ryan isn’t likely to face as severe as a punishment for three reasons: he’s not a repeat offender, it was a battle for the puck instead of away-from-the-game shenanigans and playoff games are obviously more important than regular season contests.
Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if the league handed out some kind of fine and/or suspension to discourage players from using their skates so inappropriately. It really didn’t seem like Ryan needed to do that and it wasn’t a moment that could really be blamed on the blinding speed of the game.
What do you think? Should Ryan get nothing, a one-game suspension or even face the possibility of a first round ban? Let us know in the comments. We’ll inform you once the league makes a verdict.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.