Gross Misconduct Hockey Thoughts from a drifter on the hockey landscape

01/09/2008

The Saga Continues…. Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!

Filed under: Bobby Clarke,Gary Bettman,Jason Blake,Steve Downie — Joe Yerdon @ 11:19 PM

Pardon my love of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

No, not this old dirty bastard – I mean the now dead rapper from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Let’s just get on with it already.

“When he went after [Jason] Blake, I loved it,” Clarke told The Sports Network of Canada.

Clarke said Blake deserved Downie’s punch for saying Downie should have been suspended for more than 20 games.

“Blake was a guy who had no problem going out and saying [Downie] should be suspended for life or suspended for the year,” Clarke said. “When you say something that stupid, why shouldn’t this kid go after him for it?

“The kid did what every hockey player should do. If a player like Blake who’s been around as long as he has wants to criticize a player, then he has to go on the ice with him and suffer the consequences.”

Clarke, in this case, is of course Philadelphia Flyers vice president and former Broad Street Bully Bobby Clarke. Now, it could be very easy for me to get apopleptic about this and start screeching fire and brimstone. I’m not going to do that because not even Leafs coach Paul Maurice is all that upset.

This, however, leaves the door wide open for me to criticize the NHL. Yeah, I know, beating that drum is starting to get old around here, I’m sure but when you’ve got a league run by gutless morons…these things happen.

How is it that the Commissioner declared that any further goonish actions out of the Flyers would be subject to punishment of the team – meaning that all of these questionable hits and actions are viewed as OK by the higher-ups in Philadelphia. Maybe not all the way up to the owner, Ed Snider, but certainly to the VP’s office with Clarke. Paul Holmgren clearly has no problem with it – that or he’s been rendered silent by Clarke.

It’s a shame, this situation provided the league with the perfect opportunity to punish these cementheads and make an example out of them and to say that respect at its most basic level will be maintained in the league. Instead, we continue to get the same blind-eye routine out of Bettman and Campbell and when something truly egregious occurs, they’ll wring their hands and talk about how they never expected something like that to happen and they’ll overreact with how they handle it.

This is how Bettman handles things – he’s a procrastinator. The NHL’s plan is to keep putting things off until it hits the ultimate breaking point and everyone is fed up and sick of things and then everything has to be changed drastically. Gradual implementation is never the answer and neither is fixing things when they’re very obviously already broken. Disrepair is Bettman’s M.O. and sadly for the rest of us, coming up with the right answers isn’t his strong suit.

01/07/2008

Beating Them To The Punch

Filed under: Jason Blake,Philadelphia Flyers,Steve Downie — Joe Yerdon @ 9:01 AM

Right when you thought it was safe to go back on the ice….the Flyers strike again.

If you check out the video, you’ll see Flyers rookie and now notorious cheap-shot artist Steve Downie being restrained by one of the linesmen in the Flyers game with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Saturday night. Downie had gotten into a scrap with Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake.

Blake is known in Flyers circles for speaking out about Steve Downie’s elbow attack on Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond in a pre-season game that knocked McAmmond out of action for a while and earned Downie a 20-game suspension:

“I’ve got one thought: This (Downie) should not be (allowed) to play in the
league again,” Blake told a Toronto radio station.

“One day a player is not going to get up, so something needs to be done
about hits of that nature.”

Well, thank goodness Steve Downie got recalled from the AHL because now in his fifth NHL game, he’s shown the mettle that he’s made of….by thumbing another player in the eye!

Unreal – I know all of this reflects poorly on the Flyers, after all, they’re the dopes employing these morons, however Downie has shown nothing that says he should stay employed in the NHL. Tack on another ten games to the 20 he got earlier this year and send the message.

We’ll see what Herr Bettman has to say when he finally rolls out of bed after a long, tough weekend.

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