NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in the house for last night’s Game 3 between Phoenix and Chicago. Bettman was there front and center to see yet another ugly playoff incident in the playoffs, this one involving Raffi Torres crushing Marian Hossa with a textbook violation of Rule 48.
With Bettman in attendance, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune had the chance to speak with the commissioner and ask him his thoughts on how Brendan Shanahan is handling his job as the VP of Player Safety. Bettman offered up a rather zen-like reply.
“I tell him as long as you do what you think is right, the process will be fine.”
Doing what Shanahan thinks is right doesn’t seem to be working out too well considering the criticism he’s heard for the fine he levied on Nashville’s Shea Weber, the one-game suspension given to Ottawa’s Matt Carkner, as well as his explanation of why Pittsburgh’s James Neal received a one-game suspension for his hit on Claude Giroux but nothing for his equally dangerous hit on Sean Couturier.
Perhaps Bettman is happy to have someone else to take the heat for his decisions along with him. After all, misery loves company and Bettman’s gotten enough grief through his career to Eeyore feel good about his lot in life.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.