SHOULD RICHIE GET SUSPENDED?
I've watched the hit a dozen times. I think it was late. I think he left his feet upon impact.
I think it's suspension-worthy.
But, it doesn't matter what I think. It only matters what the NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell thinks and he won't look at it until late tonight.
There were some vast opinions about the hit after the game.
Here are some of the quotes. You decide for yourself. First Florida then the Flyers:
Panthers G.M. Randy Sexton said ''there is no place'' in hockey for hits like Richards put on and he could be suspended as early as tomorrow morning. The Flyers play here Sunday.
''I didn't see the hit,'' Sexton said, noting he was writing in his game report as the hit went down. ''When they didn't show the replay, I knew it was bad. Then they showed it. I'm sure the league will do a full review.
''The league wants to get rid of these shots to the head.''
Defenseman Keith Ballard
“He was in a vulnerable position, and Richards knows he’s in a bad spot and he goes after him,” Ballard said. “He’s done it before. That’s the same stuff (the NHL wants to) put an end to. He tried to hurt him.
“The thing with Mike Richards is he’s a good, honest player. He plays hard, but he does (stuff) like that. He’s done it before. I love a lot about his game. He does a lot of things well, but then he does that stuff. (You lose respect) It’s a split-second decision, but it’s a decision that’s been made several times now.”
What do expect from the league on this hit?
"I don't expect anything. I thought it was a good hit."
The league is trying to get rid of blows to the head, is that a concern if
they look at it?
"No. I don't see how they can view it like that. Mike was doing hs job. He
was back-tracking to catch up to the play and went to finish his check on
the player who had just passed the puck and his feet never left the ice. It
was a shoulder hit. Young David Booth turned his head. It looks like he saw
him at the last second, but he turned his head and his head took the blow.
It would have been shoulder on shoulder if not. It's a physical game and
sometimes these things happen. I feel bad for David Booth. He's a good young
player. Hopefully everything is going to be all right."
The fact that Richards doesn't have a reputation for this, do you think
that'll work in his favor with the league?
"The league knows Mike isn't a dirty player. He's a hard-nosed, gritty
player who any team in the league would covet and does covet."
But, when there's a head injury on a hit like this, don't you almost expect
"No. No. No I don't. I think you have to look at each case as it is and
sometimes unfortunately injuries happen. There was nothing dirty about that
hit. It was a physical play that sometimes happens in a hockey game."
You said you didn't think he left his feet, is there room for interpretation
"Most hits it looks like they leave their feet after the hit. Certainly his
feet were on the ice when the hit was made."
How does this process work, will you get a call tomorrow?
"Usually a call or an email, but usually it would have happened by now. It
Randy Sexton has said....
(interrupting) "Randy should watch more hockey games."
No, he said there's been a lot of debate over the summer...
(interrupting again) "No, I agree with that. But even if you slow this one
down frame by frame, I don't see how you can say that's a dirty play or a
suspendable hit. I just don't see it."
Take us through the hit
"I saw him with the puck and I was going up the middle and trying to
eliminate him from having the puck and he dished it off and everything
happened so quickly it was hard to explain. I just wanted to separate him
from the puck."
Was it a legal hit?
"I don't know. I wasn't trying to hurt him I just wanted to separate him
from the puck. He just kind of moved and turned and it happened so quickly,
it's hard for me to explain. I haven't seen a replay. I don't have a history
of head shots and I don't even know if it was a head shot."
Will your reputation help you?
"I don't know. I don't know what to expect. I'm not a player who has done
this before or been in thi scenario before. It's up to Colin Campbell to
look at it and do his job, but I'm not the type of player who does that.
Were you shaken by it?
"I'm never out there to hurt anyone. I have respect for the game and respect
for the players. My concern is with him. Hopefully he's fine and gets
My three stars in case you care:
1. Danny Briere - two goals and an assist. The entire line (Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk) was all over the ice.
2. van Riemsdyk - First NHL goal, pretty pass to Briere. Probably the best game he's played yet.
3. Jeff Carter - He had 11 scoring chances and won more faceoffs than he lost for the second game in a row.