Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The reaction to the Tootoo suspension

“Jordin was put into a very difficult situation. Robidas confronted him. All he could see was a player coming at him with his arms up and certainly looking like he is ready to enter into some sort of altercation. That happens with Jordin frequently. When he gets into an altercation there are always players who want to get back at him. In my opinion they both threw punches and Jordin’s landed.”
“If you feel like you are getting attacked you have to protect yourself. I would stand behind that. You can’t tell me that Toots didn’t feel like he was under attack. Robidas wasn’t coming over there to give him a kiss.”
“Jordin did what I think everybody would do in that situation,” Poile said. “He reacted and threw a punch. You don’t want anybody to get hurt, but the fact he got injured really contributed to the situation.

“I’ve seen this happened many times before. I thought the referees called it correctly. I’m obviously very surprised at the suspension.”
"If I go in and try to jump him, that's my fault. But I'm just going in there to let him know, 'Hey, you don't hit Modano like that, and if you want to go, we'll go.' That's all I was doing. I wasn't going to jump him. But then, boom."
I have a lot of respect for Poile and Trotz, both for what they've done with the Nashville franchise and for who they are as long-time hockey men, and, sure, it's to be expected they'll stick up for their player, just as Ted Nolan stuck up for Chris Simon after his indefensible whack to the face of Ryan Hollweg.

Unfortunately, their reaction to the five-game suspension meted out to Jordin Tootoo yesterday is simply utter garbage.
"In my opinion they both threw punches and Jordin’s landed."
Really? And was Robidas's phantom punch throw before or after he was knocked unconscious?
"Robidas wasn’t coming over there to give him a kiss."
No — but I also doubt he was looking knock Tootoo into next season with a full-force gloved punch to the chin.
"You don’t want anybody to get hurt, but the fact he got injured really contributed to the situation."
Honestly, how on earth you can watch that play unfold and be surprised an injury resulted from such a reckless and, frankly, stupid display is beyond me.

Did Robidas approach Tootoo looking for a confrontation? Undoubtedly. But isn't there a world of difference between doing that, in going after an opponent looking to have a legitimate drop-your-gloves-and-let's-go match-up, and what Tootoo did?

Tootoo could have simply met Robidas by dropping his gloves and squaring off, but instead we saw the barbarism unfold the way it did, with the veteran Dallas Stars defenceman dropped unconscious on the ice while his stunned teammates looked on.

That's a joke — and I would have sat Tootoo for 15 games, at a minimum, on principle. His actions could have resulted in far worse than an injury contributing "to the situation" — Robidas, a clean player in his own right, could have been killed by the impact of a roundhouse punch to the face — and I don't have any time for that.

And the NHL shouldn't either.

Labels: , ,

34 Comments:

At 2:51 AM, March 20, 2007, Blogger mike w said...

Agreed.

Nevermind Tootoo leaving his skates to hit Modano, Robidas is being judged by a punch he didn't throw (unless skating fast at a player is somehow fighting).

There was nothing clean or even borderline about that sucker punch.

 
At 4:35 AM, March 20, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Yeah. Tootoo needs to drop the gloves and fight bare-knuckled, just as civilized men do.

I agree with the suspension, but do folks realize how stupid this sounds? The point of fighting is to punch someone in the face hard enough that they can't continue. In stead of doing that, Jordin Tootoo ... punched someone in the face hard enough that he couldn't continue. I guess I just don't see the huge difference here.

 
At 6:53 AM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of fighting in BOXING is to punch someone hard enough that he can't fight anymore. The point of fighting in HOCKEY is apparently to flail around and put on a big show for the fans without actually hurting anyone...or even landing punches that much.

And could someone explain this so-called "code" to me one more time? I've heard Modano criticised for not sticking up for himself because he is a star player, but I thought that the point of having enforcers was so star players didn't have to stick up for themselves in a fight because they are more valuable to their teams with hands undamaged and outside of the penalty box? Which is it--are enforcers there to fight with stars after they run them over, or protect them from the other team's enforcers? Maybe someone should write down all these unwritten rules so they are less confusing.

 
At 7:53 AM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

I hoped Tootoo would get 10 and that Modano would get 5 (the latter being more hopeful than realistic, but I really thought the recent Simon suspension for using his stick as a weapon would come into consideration - alas).

Five for Tootoo and no mention of Modano's slash - unacceptable.

 
At 11:36 AM, March 20, 2007, Blogger danielao said...

"That's a joke — and I would have sat Tootoo for 15 games, at a minimum, on principle. His actions could have resulted in far worse than an injury contributing "to the situation" — Robidas, a clean player in his own right, could have been killed by the impact of a roundhouse punch to the face — and I don't have any time for that."

It's one thing to think the suspension could have been longer, but stick to the facts instead of ifs and buts, especially when you mention possible death from what happened.

Clean player? Dude was coming with evil intentions at Tootoo. What's clean about that?

 
At 11:38 AM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tootoo should have been suspended longer! what a Sally!!

There's been some good discussion about this all over at
http://www.fireBettman.com

 
At 11:55 AM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

You're 100% right James. Preach it, brother.

I have no time for thuggery. Robidas hadn't even dropped his gloves, so, although his intentions weren't to give Jordin a kiss, it wasn't to kill him either.

I mean, it's Stephane Robidas, not Todd Bertuzzi.

 
At 11:56 AM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens in Bettman's new NHL.
Expand into non-traditional markets and employ a sideshow clown to entertain "the fans".
And don't forget, punish the teams in the successful markets and ensure they have to subsidize these clowns to the tune of $10 million per year.
Wonderful.

 
At 12:37 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Pinder said...

guys in visors don't drop the gloves. just ask Matt Cooke

 
At 1:25 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger mike w said...

>Clean player? Dude was coming with evil intentions at Tootoo.

That's like the old "she was asking for it" defence. It doesn't wash.

 
At 1:30 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Bobby Knight says that if you can't stop it you might as well enjoy it.

 
At 3:42 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

That's like the old "she was asking for it" defence.

Uh, no it isn't. The "she was asking for it" defense is a case of saying that a woman had implied intentions based solely upon how she was dressed, rather than any actual actions. Robidas very clearly was coming in to either elbow Tootoo or to start a fight. There is no possible interpretation to Robidas' actions other than an intent to create a physical confrontation with Tootoo. That Robidas never landed any actual blows is a matter of timing, rather than of intent.

I'm appalled by the sucker punch, but I'm appalled by hockey fights in general. If you approve of fighting in hockey, I just can't see how you get that worked up over this. Robidas wanted to fight Tootoo, and forgot the first rule of boxing: protect yourself at all times. Keep your guard up, Stephane, and try not to lead with your face.

 
At 4:19 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

I don't understand at all how some of you cannot tell the difference between tootoo's punch and a "normal" fight.

Maybe you'd rather not see it for what it really is so that you can use it for your anti-violence-in-hockey agenda.

Maybe basketball is more your sport... Or figure skating

 
At 4:33 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

The point I'd disagree with is the "legitimate drop-your-gloves-and-let's-go match-up" characterization. Robidas was coming at Tootoo with stick in both hands, ready to cross check him up high. This wasn't a Georges Laraque "wanna do this?" type of meeting.

 
At 4:36 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I don't think we can accurately determine the nature of Robidas's intentions given he was preempted, but given his history, I think it's fair to say Robidas wasn't going to do anything beyond what would be considered a two-minute minor.

 
At 5:17 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Bethany said...

I am sure I will take a lot of heat by saying this but it needs to be said...forget the suspension forget Tootoo's hit on Robidas...Modano slashing the back of Tootoo should never have happened and he should have been fined...or suspended. No Tootoo was not hurt but that had potential to seriously hurt him. But will the NHL punish a golden boy?! Nope. Now as far as Tootoo's suspension I think it fits...and is fine...and I am not a Predators fan nor am I a Tootoo fan in fact I have a hatred for him that runs back a couple of years.

 
At 6:19 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I don't understand at all how some of you cannot tell the difference between tootoo's punch and a "normal" fight.

Please enlighten me as to how a guy punching someone in the face is different than two guys punching each other in the face, beyond the fact that an actual fight has twice as many guys throwing punches.

 
At 7:33 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous epinonymous said...

Tootoo was suspeneded. Good.

What about Modano for the slash?..that gets curiously little mention.

As for Robidas, dude got faced.

Also interesting that when Torres was getting the heat last playoffs some of the same guys condemning Tootoo were defending Raffi

 
At 8:49 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

This reaction reminds me of the uproar over the Neil-Drury hit. Totally different situations of course, comparing Neil's violent (but legal) hit and Tootoo's obviously illegal punch. I think there's a parallel in the coverage of the incidents and how viewers perceived them.

Here's the thing: in super-slow motion, repeated over and over from several angles, these things really do look horrible. In frame-by-painful-frame of ultra-slo-mo, it takes maybe ten seconds for Tootoo to regain his balance from the Modano hit, slowly turn around, and then spend some time pondering how he's going to pound Robidas into next week. As if he had time to weigh all the possible targets for the perfect punch.

Likewise, many fans characterized Neil's hit on Drury as a "late hit", when it seems that the consensus favours just less than half a second between the time the puck left his stick and the impact. It only looked late in super-slo-mo.

But back to Tootoo. In real time, as he spins around after the Modano hit, he probably has less than half a second to register the approach of an opposition sweater rushing toward him. His reaction in that fraction of a second is instinctual -- he doesn't know or care who the oncoming player is. He only knows he's just smacked his opponent's star player, the puck is long gone and anyone coming over is seeking retribution -- also, given his size, odds are that the whoever is coming at him is bigger than he is (and carrying speed).

 
At 9:22 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Kevin said...

This comment is more directed to the author of this post, as opposed to the comments that have been made this afternoon.

Sure, Robidas is going to say that he was coming in to warn him about the hit on Modano. But is that really what his intentions were considering that (before he was deposited to dreamland) his hands were three feet away from Tootoo's neck and clutching his stick? And wouldn't it make more sense for him to start slowing down if his intentions were to start into a traditional "hockey fight?" If you watch the footage, you will see that he's still moving full-steam when he got dropped. Also, Tootoo had a split-second to react. He sensed an assault coming, and he defended himself. Would you not have done the same thing? I'd be willing to bet that you would have. And if you wouldn't, you probably would be missing the next 5 games or more due to a serious inury, as opposed to suspension.

And I've noticed that not only in your article, but those of your colleagues, there is absolutely no mention of the fact that Modano should be out for the same number of games (if not more) for what he did with his stick right after the punch?

Jordin Tootoo is not the blood-thirsty barbarian that you are trying to portray him as. Yes, he is a hard hitter. But face it, he made a WISE split-second decision that he needed to defend himself from an oncoming attack. Unfortunately, Robidas' jaw was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 
At 9:51 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Short and Fat said...

Robidas was charging a man down on the ice, with his stick up.

It's on video.

Indisputible

http://shortandfat.blogspot.com/2007/03/tootoo-
has-been-called-
dirty-player-all.html

If Robidas wants to deliver cheap shots, he should do it better.

 
At 9:53 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Why on earth haven't we heard from all of these Predators fans earlier?

Of course, I disagree with a lot of what's in the comments here — but it's good to have the forum for discussion.

 
At 10:30 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please enlighten me as to how a guy punching someone in the face is different than two guys punching each other in the face, beyond the fact that an actual fight has twice as many guys throwing punches."

What is so difficult to understand? There is a BIG difference between two people AGREEING to drop their gloves and face off one-on-one and one guy delivering a haymaker SUCKER PUNCH to another guy's head.

 
At 11:04 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just by looking into an issue, it brings attention to it" Dr. Johnson, neurologist
What kind of professional advice is that. The problem with these so called "Concussion experts", is the only players they ever see are in post concussion. They have no clue how to prevent a concussion.
The TooToo hit was clearly a blow to the jaw. Marvin Hagler endured thousands of blows to the jaw of similar force and was never knocked down. A medical device he helped develop creates a class three fulcrum on the back molars, rocking the mandible away from the skull.( get out the physics 101 book). Preventing a concussion from a blow to the jaw is not the work of a neurologist. The NFL and Riddell have determined 70% originate from blows to the jaw and 30% from blows to the crown of the head. Both having different symptoms and severity, you are more likely to be knocked unconcious by a blow to the jaw (boxing). Even more serious, Parkinsons, Alzeimers and brain desease are found to be linked to blows to the jaw (pugilistica demetia, boxing).
You only have to see the neurologist to find out how bad your concussion is. The most unbelievable thing about the Shanahan situation is, his hometown of Duxbury MA is where we certified one of our first dentists to make this retainer like mouth guard. The world will soon wake up to this ground breaking medical discovery. Until then the "concussion experts " will vasilate on and on about how bad the injury is, it 's absolutley disgusting governing bodies aren't open to new ideas. www.mahercor

 
At 12:18 AM, March 21, 2007, Anonymous A different Nick said...

Can we stop this nonsense about how he "could've been killed." Please. Anyone coluld be killed anytime they get into a car and drive. In fact, I would hazzard that there is a better chance of that than dying from a punch to the jaw. Stop the freakin' madness.

Also, if Robidas wanted to fight, wouldn't he have slowed down a bit before hand to, you know, challenge him? Isn't that how it is generally done? Plus, why should Tootoo be challenged for something that wasn't even an illegal or even close to cheap shot?

Finally, does anyone remember how many games Domi was suspended for when he suckered Ulf Samuelson? That was certainly as ugly as this. That wasn't even caused by a hit, but by Ulf just being annoying.

 
At 12:42 AM, March 21, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

What is so difficult to understand? There is a BIG difference between two people AGREEING to drop their gloves and face off one-on-one and one guy delivering a haymaker SUCKER PUNCH to another guy's head.

Tootoo didn't initiate the action; Robidas did. If Robidas isn't skating at him at full tilt, adding to the impact of the blow, he isn't knocked unconscious. If you are racing towards someone with the intent of causing a physical incident, then you damned well shouldn't be surprised when the other guy preempts you.

If Stephane Robidas had just been skating around, without any intention to illegally pound Tootoo, I'd be in full agreement with you. That's not the situation at hand. I suppose I should restate my point a bit. I see no difference between punching someone in the face when that other person is coming at you with ill intent, and punching someone in the face after you have both dropped the gloves. Both are despicable. Both are about intent to injure. Neither has a place in a game where the goal is not to injure someone. And if you are skating at someone with bad intentions, defend yourself.

 
At 1:14 AM, March 21, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Robidas should be suspended for recklessly throwing his face at Tootoo's glove, which could have resulted in a career-ending injury to Tootoo's hand.

 
At 1:26 PM, March 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I wasnt watching the same game you guys were. I think it is pretty bad that Robidas was going to the bench and had to turn around to come back.. Last time I checked Madano was a big boy. Not saying that he fights but I am pretty sure that he can stick up for himself if he needed to.

 
At 8:56 PM, March 22, 2007, Anonymous epinonymous said...

Art, we already know how you feel about Injuns.

 
At 2:34 AM, March 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mirtle, I think this incident has been blown out of proportion! 5 games is a little harsh based on other incidents this season, most noteably Nicol (9 games for a true sucker-punch), and Emery (3 games for a one-handed chop with his paddle to an opponents face).

I've watched the video more than a few times, and from Tootoo hitting Modano, to Modano unsuccesfully trying to slash Tootoo in the back (lucky his stick got caught up in the glass eh!) the whole thing was over in like 12 seconds.

Yes Tootoo had other options. He could have just turned around and let Robidas eat some stick, like many players do. He could have also possibly tried to side-step Robidas, although Modano is after him at the same time so...

Why has no one mentioned it was 2 on 1? At around the moment Tootoo connects with Robidas, Modano's trying to elbow him in the back of the head, and seconds later proceeds to try a one-handed roundhouse slash to Tootoo's back. Luckily Modano "let up" as he claims. Actually the glass was the only reason he didn't fully connect.

Oh yeah, and Tootoo threw a clean hit, not late at all unless you're a Sabres fan. The play was still going on and Robidas skated from across the ice to "talk" to Tootoo? Robidas wasn't going full speed, but he takes 2 clear strides and starts to raise his hands...to talk?

Robidas put himself in that situation. "Star" players take hits all the time without retribution. How stupid would it be if every time a star like Modano, Lecavalier, Smyth, Iginla, etc. took a clean hit and the nearest guy felt they had to come to the aid of a grown man!?!?

Robidas continues play (as he should have) and we're not even discussing this. Although I think Modano would have thrown his hissy fit (stick-swing) irregardless.

Fight or flight, its part of every human beings "natural instincts".

Did Tootoo make the right choice? Probably not, but its not like he meant to knock him out, it was a lucky shot, IMO.

If Nicol, Emery, Janssen, or Simon "let up" they weren't in a position to be hit or cross-checked, they were unprovoked.

-ChrissyT

 
At 12:48 AM, March 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tootoo is not an "injun", he's first nations inuit. He was defending himself, where's modano's suspension for his cowardly act? Don't be hatin Tootoo for being able to kick the big boys' butts, clearly, robidas wasn't planning on skating delicately up to Tootoo with very loving thoughts.

 
At 2:32 PM, March 27, 2007, Anonymous epinonymous said...

I know that. Art posted what could be interpreted as a racist comment about Native Americans on another blog a few weeks ago.

 
At 12:38 AM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mirtle, I think this incident has been blown out of proportion! 5 games is a little harsh based on other incidents this season, most noteably Nicol (9 games for a true sucker-punch), and Emery (3 games for a one-handed chop with his paddle to an opponents face).

I've watched the video more than a few times, and from Tootoo hitting Modano, to Modano unsuccesfully trying to slash Tootoo in the back (lucky his stick got caught up in the glass eh!) the whole thing was over in like 12 seconds.

Yes Tootoo had other options. He could have just turned around and let Robidas eat some stick, like many players do. He could have also possibly tried to side-step Robidas, although Modano is after him at the same time so...

Why has no one mentioned it was 2 on 1? At around the moment Tootoo connects with Robidas, Modano's trying to elbow him in the back of the head, and seconds later proceeds to try a one-handed roundhouse slash to Tootoo's back. Luckily Modano "let up" as he claims. Actually the glass was the only reason he didn't fully connect.

Oh yeah, and Tootoo threw a clean hit, not late at all unless you're a Sabres fan. The play was still going on and Robidas skated from across the ice to "talk" to Tootoo? Robidas wasn't going full speed, but he takes 2 clear strides and starts to raise his hands...to talk?

Robidas put himself in that situation. "Star" players take hits all the time without retribution. How stupid would it be if every time a star like Modano, Lecavalier, Smyth, Iginla, etc. took a clean hit and the nearest guy felt they had to come to the aid of a grown man!?!?

Robidas continues play (as he should have) and we're not even discussing this. Although I think Modano would have thrown his hissy fit (stick-swing) irregardless.

Fight or flight, its part of every human beings "natural instincts".

Did Tootoo make the right choice? Probably not, but its not like he meant to knock him out, it was a lucky shot, IMO.

If Nicol, Emery, Janssen, or Simon "let up" they weren't in a position to be hit or cross-checked, they were unprovoked.

-ChrissyT




This is the most reasonable comment on here so far.

#1. Sucker Punch? Last time I checked that meant you hit someone when completely unaware. Like from behind. (Modano w/ his stick maybe?)

#2. It is factual that had Robidas kept on skating back to the bench, Tootoo would have never touched him.

#3.Tootoo's hit on Modano was clean! "Star" players get their pride wounded more than anything when they get pounded by someone Tootoos size....fact is, it was clean!

#4.If you are going to look at Robidas history to base his "intent" you should also look at Tootoos. He does not have a history of giving concusions.

#5. I'M DISGUSTED THAT THERE IS ANY TALK OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION ABOUT THIS PLAY FROM A LEAGUE THAT ALLOWS TODD BERTUZZI TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SPORT PERIOD!!!! HE PARALYZED SOMEONE FOR LIFE AFTER CHASING HIM FROM BEHIND!!! AND PETE ROSE CANT PLAY BBALL FOR GAMBLING???? ITS KIND OF EMBARRASSING FOR THE SPORT REALLY. GET OVER YOURSELVES NHL. YOU ALLOW FIGHTING. AND YOU ALLOW CRIMINALS TO BE ON THE ICE TO HURT OTHERS AGAIN POSSIBLY! YOU ARE BEING HYPOCRITES!

 
At 7:48 PM, February 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job on poppin robidas what he deserved maybe next time he will get off the tracks when the train is coming through

 

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