Bure on Churla

How long would Bure have been suspended for elbowing Churla if it happened in the 2012 playoffs?


There’s not much CBA stuff to report on right now, so let’s piggyback off the news that Pavel Bure’s number will be retired by the Vancouver Canucks to explore a question that Halford asked on Twitter the other day:

How long would Bure have been suspended for elbowing Shane Churla if it had occurred during the 2012 playoffs?

If you haven’t seen the play, enjoy:

The hit occurred in Game 2 of the 1994 Western Conference semi-finals. The Canucks went on to win the series in five games and went all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the Rangers in seven.

Bure wasn’t penalized on the play and was fined just $500 (!!!) by NHL disciplinarian Brian Burke.

Not surprisingly, Churla was incensed: “If it was the other way around, I’d be gone for 15 games at least. People would be calling me the biggest goon in hockey.”

But Bure didn’t see it that way, arguing it was the only thing he could do to stop the abuse he was taking on the ice.

“It’s not my style, but I had no choice,” he said. “They’re trying to kill me. I’m lucky I didn’t get hurt.”

Even worse for the Stars, Bure caught fire and, as Sports Illustrated put it, “almost single-handedly” eliminated Dallas.

Might the Stars have made it a closer series, or even won, if Bure had been suspended? It’s possible, given Games 3, 4, and 5 in Vancouver were decided by four goals combined and Games 6 and 7 would’ve been played in Dallas.

So back to the original question: What would Bure have received from Brendan Shanahan if the hit happened in 2012?

I’m going to say five games. If Churla had been seriously hurt (he didn’t miss a game), it would’ve been more.

Yes, Bure was a superstar, and the NHL loves its superstars. But consider:

—- The puck was nowhere near Churla. He had no reason to believe he was about to be blindsided. It was the definition of defenseless.

—- It was a direct head shot.

—- It was retaliatory.

Anyway, feel free to argue in the comments section. It’s been too long since we’ve been able to do that.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.