Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Somebody Needs To Explain This To Me.

When Ronald Petrovicky left Kris Newbury in a pool of his own blood after a fight, the Ultimate Fighting On Ice fans cheered and the NHL looked the other way. Petrovicky got a five minute major for fighting and that was it.

Yet a little over a month later, when Stephane Robidas (who was penalized 2 minutes for charging) gets carried off on a stretcher courtesy of Jordin Tootoo, Tootoo gets suspended for five games. Huh?

I could understand if Tootoo sought out Robidas and punched him without provocation as has happened too many times. That would certainly justify a suspension. Even Colin Campbell acknowledged:

In reviewing this incident, Stephane Robidas appeared to be initiating a confrontation by approaching Jordon Tootoo.

DUH! I seriously doubt Robidas was skating over to ask Tootoo for advice about which club to go to after the game. But declaring that "Mr. Tootoo's forceful blow to Robidas' head was an overly aggressive and inappropriate response" kinda overrules that a player has a right to defend himself. A player can only defend himself with appropriate force? How does one define that?

Furthermoer, couldn't this same logic have been applied to the Petrovicky-Newbury fight? How many other "gloved single punches to the head" have been thrown in the NHL this year? Mr. Donald Brashear did it himself just two weeks ago on Long Island. There was no suspension for Mr. Brashear either.

This is why the NHL's disciplinary system is so ineffective. A player like Chris Simon, gets 25 games for a deliberate stick swinging incident which is only two more than what the previous offender got. Now a guy who is defending himself from a potential fight gets five games. Players who have done the same thing this season (gloved punch to the head) have had nothing done to them. Other players have been carried off on stretchers as a result of a fight this season and nothing was done to their assailant either.

Now I understand why these UFOI fans are so confused. They THINK (which is part of their problem in the first place) that the NHL is trying to cut down on fighting. While suspensions such as this gives some credence to that line of thought, the big picture shows the reality that the NHL isn't. When more Jordan Tootoo's are made an example of, then and only then will I believe that the NHL is serious about cracking down on its gratuitous violence.



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