dirty hits

Ovechkin, Michalek will hear from NHL on Monday


Maybe some of the dislike started with all the media hype, but there should be little doubt that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have taken the hate from there. The NHL will determine if two manifestations of that distaste will result in suspensions on Monday.

Alex Ovechkin will discuss this hit on Zbynek Michalek in the afternoon:

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Michalek might already be in a bad mood by the time that decision comes, however, as he’ll hear from the NHL for his check on Matt Hendricks in the morning.

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Dan Carcillo gets ejected for hit on Tom Gilbert


On the same night that Raffi Torres received what will probably be an ineffective two-game suspension, Daniel Carcillo delivered a discipline-worthy check of his own. The Chicago Blackhawks pest caught Tom Gilbert from behind with the ugly hit you can see as part of the highlights below.

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Much like Torres, Carcillo is quite familiar with being sent to the NHL’s version of the principal’s office. He’s already been suspended five times in his trouble-making career and one can only imagine how many other times he barely avoided a similar fate. Should he get a suspension, fine or nothing at all after receiving a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for his latest example of poor judgment?

This could be an awfully costly night to the falling Edmonton Oilers if Gilbert’s injury is serious considering the fact that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left Monday’s game with an undisclosed injury. More on that later.

(Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Carcillo caught Gilbert with a big hit behind the net as this was the first check that came up in a Google search.)

Raffi Torres receives two-game suspension


Now that Matt Cooke is seemingly cleaning up his act, Raffi Torres might be the NHL’s new poster child for recidivist dirty hitting. Time and time again the Phoenix Coyotes forward bends or breaks the rules and it doesn’t seem like he’s learning from his “mistakes.” Brendan Shanahan & Co. handed him a two-game suspension for his hit on Nate Prosser of the Minnesota Wild.

After making some strong statements with lengthy suspensions during the preseason, there’s a growing sentiment that the NHL’s disciplinary policies are as random and toothless as ever. Many might point to Torres’ bad deeds (not to mention Daniel Carcillo’s antics, which we’ll touch on later) as one of the most plaguing examples.

What do you think? Did Torres deserve more or less of a punishment or did Shanahan get it just right?

Jody Shelley waives in-person meeting with NHL regarding Darryl Boyce hit


One night after the NHL released two videos explaining rules changes related to hits, Jody Shelley landed what many believe was a dirty one on Darryl Boyce Wednesday night. This isn’t exactly the first incident for the Flyers tough guy, either, as Shelley received two separate two-game suspensions for similar hits during the 2010-11 season.

It’s likely that the NHL is making a decision regarding suspending him today. They might even be in the process of preparing an announcement as of this writing.

In situations like these, players are often given the opportunity to speak with the league involving a controversial infraction. Shelley decided to waive his right for an in-person meeting, however, which has already generated speculation as far as how long his suspension might be.

Nick Kypreos reports that the suspension could be five games or more, while TSN’s Kevin Gibson speculates that maybe the penalty might be for three contests. Naturally, when CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio asked Shelley if he deserves a suspension, the Flyers tough guy said “No” although he admitted that he was nervous about the situation. (Danny Briere told Shelley that he should send new head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan an “edible arrangement” to smooth things over, which sounds exactly like something Briere would say.)

As we await word of the punishment or lack thereof, how long do you think the suspension should be – if you think he should be suspended at all? (Click here if you need to see video footage of the hit.)

Jesse Boulerice’s wife takes to Facebook to announce controversial hitter’s retirement


Few players with as careers as undistinguished as Jesse Boulerice’s have generated as much attention as the troublesome hitter did during his limited hockey career. Then again, few managed to become repeat offenders for such ugly incidents in such a concentrated amount of time – and few retired in as strange a way as Boulerice did last week.

Puck Daddy shares his strange retirement announcement, which came through a Facebook message from his wife Jacqueline (who also advertised her new business in the process). Boulerice finished his career with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but most people will remember him for his suspension-filled career.

His final impression for many fans came when he received a 10-game suspension for landing a small hit on a referee during an AHL game. While that move was dumb enough, his worst moments of violence made him a notoriously bad apple. He was even charged with assault in 1998 after hitting Andrew Long in the face with his stick. That wasn’t the only time he used his stick in an ugly way, however, as he also received a 25-game suspension for cross-checking Ryan Kesler in the face on October 10, 2007.

Many in the hockey world will probably utter a sigh of relief that Boulerice is out of the picture, even if someone else will likely step into his place (though probably not with the same splashy results). Hopefully Boulerice will find a way to make a more positive impact with his next job, but if nothing else, he’ll leave his playing days behind in a memorable and odd way.