Thursday, November 24, 2005

Shanahan's on the record

Eric McErlain from Off Wing Opinion had this question on Monday: 'Where in the world is Brendan Shanahan?'

Eric was asking in response to Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman's recent criticisms of 'the new NHL.' I didn't respond at the time because I hadn't yet read Globe columnist Eric Duhatschek's Saturday piece — an article that is nearly all Shanahan tromping on those critical of the revamped league:
"You can bodycheck. There hasn't been a change in the rule of hitting. If anything, we've encouraged hitting by taking away other options. Some clowns like to call this the no-hit league. I've seen lots of games when the collisions are great. And you know what else? Some of these [players], who've never hit before, are now saying, 'Oh, I can't hit any more.' My question is: 'When did you ever hit before? Who are you trying to kid?' But you can't please everybody."
Do these guys really play on the same team?


At 10:27 p.m., November 24, 2005, Anonymous Rob Visconti said...

Actually, I don't think Yzerman and Shanahan are as far apart as the quote you included might indicate. After all, on the topic of "what referees could do differently", in the very same article, Shanahan said:

""Without changing the standard, the referees just need to make sure a penalty's a penalty. If they're not sure, as players we would all accept a non-call more than a bad call."

When I first read Yzerman's comments in my copy of the Freep last weekend, prior to all of the subsequent reaction, that's pretty much how I interpreted them.

At 12:09 a.m., November 25, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

No. Yzerman said the 'new NHL' wasn't hockey; Shanahan defends the changes the competition committee has made.

On some points, sure, there's common ground, but you can certainly see why McErlain wanted to see a response from Shanahan.

At 2:50 a.m., November 25, 2005, Blogger Grampapinhead said...

That is blatantly taken out of context. The rest of the quote:

"There are penalties all over," he said. "I'll just use Mathieu Schneider's penalty as an example. He steps up and takes his guy out, and his stick gets caught and the crowd cheers so the referee puts his hand up. There has to be some discretion. The referees have to use some judgment on what is a penalty and what is not. They've taken judgment out of it and I think it's somewhat made it easy on the referees just to call anything, because there is no judgment.
"No. Yzerman said the 'new NHL' wasn't hockey;"
"Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."

A 22 yr veteran, and shoo-in for the 'Hall of Fame' deserves a whole lot more respect than this pipsqueak sportswriter gave him. I am counting on James Mirtle to put it right.

At 2:57 a.m., November 25, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Grampa, here's quoting the portion of what Yzerman said that is relevant to the comment I made:

"Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman told the Detroit Free Press. "It's not hockey."

Your insult's uncalled for considering what I said is directly attributable to Yzerman. That has nothing to do with how much I do or do not 'respect' Stevie Y.

(How the referees call the game is all part of what the competition committee is responsible for addressing. I'm sure Shanahan will address his teammate's criticisms at their next meeting.)

At 3:09 a.m., November 25, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I should qualify my response as it's all in the interpretation of what Yzerman said. When he says, "Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great" it's a matter of what you think Yzerman's saying.

In my opinion, 'this' refers to the brand of hockey being played now. He's not referring solely to the refereeing here — and if he is, it makes little sense. Everyone's saying the refereeing is great? I'm not sure that's the case at all.

Yzerman's obviously frustrated with the game that's being played out there; he's being critical of more than bad referees here. The new calls = the new NHL.

At 6:04 a.m., November 25, 2005, Blogger Grampapinhead said...

The way I read it, that little one line quote was taken from dead center between two qualifying statements. I see some pretty sleazy editing here to get a headliner statement. Hey, I could be wrong. Only way to know is if we were there. I think Rob Visconti has made a valid point. Read what Shanahan said entirely and you might think that his "everything is great" quote is also taken out of context because he goes on to describe what is wrong that needs to be addressed.

At 8:18 a.m., November 25, 2005, Anonymous Rob Visconti said...

I'm sure Eric wanted to hear from Shanny b/c, on some level, everyone loves a good controversy.

Thing is, we don't know what Helene asked Yzerman to elicit the response "It's not not great. It's not hockey."

Was the question couched in terms of some specific calls that were made in that game, or was she asking a question that broadly relates to the "new" NHL as a whole? Context matters.

Regardless, even if Shanahan and Yzerman do disagree, so what? Reasonable people can disagree, and these are two guys who assuredly are both concerned with the good of the game, and they've both earned the right to voice their opinions.


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