Considering how well-documented Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows’ nibble was on Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s hand, our initial instinct was to expect a one-game suspension. Jarkko Ruutu did receive a two-game suspension for biting Andrew Peters in a 2009 regular season game, after all. That being said, the NHL doesn’t exactly have a clear no-biting policy in its rulebook and this is the Stanley Cup finals we’re talking about, so maybe Burrows is safe to chomp away after all.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a matter of earth-shattering importance. The Burrows bite didn’t leave Bergeron injured. It didn’t generate a goal for one of the team two teams either way. Instead it’s something of a “water cooler moment” to be shown alongside that stunning Raffi Torres game-winner. Here’s another chance to watch video footage of the bite.
It’s a man’s game. Get a tetanus shot, and move on.
Maybe Alex Burrows had no idea that was your finger in his mouth — it was a 5 o’clock game, the eating patterns were off a little, and he was hungry. Maybe he thought it was some sort of hors d’oeuvre, like a cocktail wiener.
And anyway, what was your finger doing in his mouth in the first place?
There the two of you were, a couple of nice francophone lads giving it to each other verbally in your first language, with linesman Pierre Racicot taking notes and trying to keep you from eye-gouging each other while you were facewashing and exchanging unpleasantries after the clock ran out on the first period of the Stanley Cup Final.
All good, clean fun for the whole family, and now this ugly accusation has come up, and the soon-to-be-ex National Hockey League minister of injustice, Colin Campbell, isn’t even able to rule on it because his boy Gregory plays for Boston.
What do you think, then? Should Burrows receive a fine and/or suspension for that silly move or should we all just move on? Let us know in the poll below.
Clutter-bucks: Isles sign energy guy to five-year, $17.5 million extension
The New York Islanders made a splash on Friday, signing veteran forward Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year, $17.5 million extension — one that carries a $3.5 million average annual cap hit through 2023.
Clutterbuck, 29, has two goals and nine points through 25 games this year, while averaging 15:26 TOI per night (his highest average since joining the Isles four years ago). As per usual, he leads the club in hits — one of the staples of his game — and serves as one of the club’s alternate captains.
This new contract represents a nice raise for the former Minnesota Wild man. His last contract, set to expire in July, was of the four-year, $11 million variety, and carried a $2.75 million cap hit.
This contract also resembles the one GM Garth Snow gave another of the club’s role forwards. This summer, Casey Cizikas signed a five-year, $16.75 million extension — one with a $3.35 million hit — despite the fact he’d never scored more than 30 points in a season, or averaged more than 14 minutes of ice time.
This style of spending — along with splashes made for free agent disappointments Jason Chimera and Andrew Ladd — is sure to raise some questions. The Isles opted not to spend that money on retaining two of their key players from a season ago, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, and the club has struggled to find its form through the first quarter of this year.
Bettman: Salary cap could stay the same for next season
Don’t expect a big jump in next season’s salary cap.
“We’re not going to give out any numbers now,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday, per Yahoo Sports. “The cap could range from where it is now to a couple or so million up, but we’re all going to have to focus on what makes the most sense moving forward.”
The salary cap only went up slightly for the current season, from $71.4 million to $73 million. The only slight increase was due to the lower Canadian dollar, which negatively impacted last season’s league revenues by “$100 or 200 million,” Bettman said earlier this year.
The loonie has been holding relatively steady for around half a year. It’s currently worth $0.76 USD and has been helped by the recent oil rally.
A flat salary cap would be bad news for big spenders like the Chicago Blackhawks, who still need to get Artemi Panarin signed to an extension. The Los Angeles Kings could also be forced to make some tough decisions, as they’ve got Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson in need of new deals. Ditto for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have key RFAs in Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz, and Conor Sheary.
Henrik Lundqvist has set such a high bar that his 12-8-1 record with a .912 save percentage is cause for great concern these days in New York.
That his backup, Antti Raanta, is 6-1-0 with a .932 save percentage only contributes to that concern, because if Raanta can manage those numbers, what’s Lundqvist’s excuse?
“I feel like I’m tracking the puck well, moving well,” Lundqvist told the Daily News. “It just comes down to some bad decisions at times that cost me.”
Indeed, December has not started well for The King. He’s allowed 10 goals in three starts for a save percentage of .894. In Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Islanders, his decision to poke check a loose puck led to the winning goal by Andrew Ladd.