Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Suspend Heatley

Brendan Bell left the dressing room on crutches [Saturday] night after Toronto's 3-2 National Hockey League exhibition game loss to the Ottawa Senators in Halifax.

He was taken to hospital for examination, but there was no report on the severity of the injury.

"He took a slash," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "It's precautionary. We're going to see how he is tomorrow."
For those who haven't seen it, the play that appears to have broken Bell's foot happened when he had the puck at the point and was looking to make a play. Senators star Dany Heatley came out to pressure him, but instead of trying to block the shot or pick Bell's pocket, Heatley took a baseball swing — with a backswing that was approximately eye level — in the direction of the puck.

He missed. And now Bell has a broken foot.

Sure, Bell's a marginal player looking to occupy a marginal position on a marginal franchise, but you can be sure, if the roles were reversed and it had been his baseball swing crippling Heatley, we'd currently be hearing fans calling for the rookie's head.

As it stands, Heatley's the perpetrator of this mindless — and dangerous — whacking, and he should be suspended for a regular-season game or two to make ammends.

Interestingly enough, the Leafs face the Senators in Games 1 and 2 when the contests start to matter next week. And you can bet Toronto GM John Ferguson has his tape of what happened in the mail to the NHL's head office.

23 Comments:

At 8:38 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really was a horrific slash and baseball swing is putting it lightly. It looked like Heatley was trying to fell an oak tree.

But of course nothing will happen and it will go down as one more instance of a dirty play by a sens player going unpunished (see: Alfredsson, Daniel).

 
At 10:00 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger fauxrumors said...

Stirs up an unresolved issue. Who gets suspended and for how long?Should the player be suspended for the 'intent' or how badly he injures an opponent? Would Bertuzzi be public enemy #1 if Moore hadn't received a fractured neck? Unlikely he'd of even received a suspension at all.
Same here. Heatly swings and bruises the kid no one says much after. He breaks his foot, and blogs have stories devoted to it.

 
At 10:26 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with intent versus how badly someone gets hurt is that everyone could plead that they didn't mean to hurt them as badly as they did.

Take Bertuzzi, sure he didn't go into it thinking 'I am going to fracture his vertebrae and end his career' but he did go into it thinking 'I am going to teach this guy a lesson about hitting superstars'. The intent was to injure to some extent.

As for how long, I'd love to see players get suspended for the length of time the players that they hurt are out. Gary Suter would have missed months like Kariya did, Bertuzzi would be out of the NHL, and Heatley would get 4-6 weeks (if Bell's foot is in fact broken).

As it stands, Heatley will probably get some chickenshit suspension if anything.

 
At 10:58 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could have been worse.
Heatley could have offered to drive Bell home in his Ferrari.

 
At 11:39 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger ninja said...

oh snap. that was harsh.

 
At 11:46 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger E Colquhoun said...

It was a dangerous play and he should be suspended for it. End of story.

 
At 11:55 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Let's just be happy all Heatley broke was his foot.

 
At 11:55 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Shit. Someone beat me to the punch. And it was better, too. Damn anonymous!

 
At 12:04 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger fauxrumors said...

Yes, Bertuzzi's intent was to go after Moore. Thats our point. No one would have cared if his intent was to injure him IF no injury took place.
It just seeems most 'NHL justice' is knee jerk and arbitrary. There is NO standard to fines/suspensions.

 
At 12:28 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Pleasure Motors said...

It could have been worse.
Heatley could have offered to drive Bell home in his Ferrari.


HA HA! Because Dan Snyder is DEAD! That's HILARIOUS!

 
At 12:31 PM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fauxrumors, you are right, the NHL disciplinary system is a crapshoot at best.

And Pleasure Motors, you have just made everyone feel bad for laughing at a joke.

 
At 2:42 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Skraut said...

Well, Klesla got 2 games for stumbling on his way to hit Ruutu, which ended up in a Clip, so weather it was intended or not the same rule should apply here.

 
At 2:46 PM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Hurricane E said...

What exactly was Heatly trying to accomplish with that swing? Move yer feet! Reminds me of a flailing bender in a men's league game late in the 3rd, down by ten.

It's time to institute the Eye4Eye Cheapshot rule: Heatly gets suspended until Bell can play.

 
At 3:05 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger fauxrumors said...

If they had the eye for and eye rule Bertuzzi would still be sitting out?
While on the surface that sounds like a good idea, it wouldn't work well in all cases.
If a star injures a scrub, would the team with the injured player keep him out for additional games to gain a competitive advantage?

 
At 3:39 PM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Bertuzzi would still be sitting out because he ended Moore's career. You wouldn't see dirty plays like that if the player thought there was a chance it would not only end the other player's career (because clearly that is not a consideration [Ulf Samuelsson]) but their own.

And yes, there would have to be a way to ensure that the scrub's players team didn't keep him out longer than was necessary. An NHL medical office maybe?

And it looks like Heatley might get off scot-free: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=178862&hubname=

 
At 3:50 PM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Sherry said...

You can't really base suspensions or punishments based on the extent of the injury because there are alot of vicious plays out there that should be punished but aren't because by a stroke of luck nobody was seriously hurt.

I don't know if they typically hand out suspensions for stuff that happens during preseason. Even if, the league doesn't exactly have a history of handing out big punishments for star players. Kovalchuk only got a fine for a slash on Neil last season.

 
At 4:53 PM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the idea isn't that you base all suspensions on how long someone is out. If Brashear by some miracle had been ok McSorley would still have deserved a suspension. But 2 games for a slash that has knocked Bell out (if he even gets that) for a few weeks is not really on par with the viciousness and result of the crime.

Kovalchuk is a great example of Campbell's terrible stewardship of discipline. The guy is a moron.

 
At 7:21 PM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute--there are no standards for fines or suspensions? Is this a banana republic kangaroo court, or a 21st century entity that spans a continent?

I hate the NFL, but they even have fines specified for wearing the wrong color socks.

 
At 8:57 AM, September 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I finally had a chance to see the slash on TV last night. I don't care when Heatley says "I didn't mean to do it", bottom line is that he was EXTREMELY reckless with his stick the result of which injured another player. And for the league not to mete out any consequences for such actions is pretty much spineless and inconsistent. Should the participants have been reversed, Bell would be sitting down for X games, that is guaranteed. And before you Bytown people jump all over me for being a crybaby member of Leaf Nation, back up the truck - GO HABS!

 
At 9:24 AM, September 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin Campbell ostensibly goes by precedent and a player's past history. Most of his decisions will leave you scratching your head if not outright cursing his existence.

 
At 9:50 AM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Does anyone really care? I mean, he hit a Leaf.

 
At 10:04 AM, September 27, 2006, Blogger ninja said...

oh snap. that was lame.

 
At 2:25 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger fauxrumors said...

Andy Grabia said...
Does anyone really care? I mean, he hit a Leaf.


Geez, if he was gonna take someone out why not then Tucker? LOL

 

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