Sunday, March 11, 2007

some hockey cheapshots from last week

NJ Devils Cam Janssen's very late hit/elbow on Tomas Kaberle of the Maple Leafs

..and from Thursday night, Chris Simon of the Islanders with this stick cheap shot to the head of the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg.

Lots of discussion in the media the last couple of days as to whether criminal charges should be filed against Simon. This argument completely boggles my mind. In a sport where you allow your players to fight as part of the game, the NHL is just asking for the occasional hit/cheap shot that crosses the line, but that doesn't make it criminal. Its up to the NHL to police itself.

How possibly can the justice system determine what is a "criminal act on the ice" when much of what happens during a game would be considered criminal on the street. How would the justice system determine which violations to prosecute and which to let go? This is for the NHL to sort out. They allow players to fight, slash, cross-check, board and only assess game penalties. Slash hard enough and you can break a wrist, is that criminal? Of course not. Given the right circumstances, a hard enough check with an awkward fall head first into the boards and someone could be seriously injured, but in no way is it criminal. Simon took a cheap shot with his stick and the NHL has penalized him for it, 25 games. Its the largest penalty in NHL history, end of story.

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