Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated took an in-depth look at New York Islanders forward Chris Simon. The premise is simple, yet reflects the complex nature of Simon’s role: how can so many players, including those not on the Islanders, have so much respect for Simon when he’s been suspended as many times as he has.
A series of quotes and a timeline of incidents later, Simon comes off exactly as he did before: a good teammate who’s made his share of mistakes on the ice.
Just as interesting as Farber’s piece might be Chris Botta’s reaction. Botta, VP of Media Relations for the Islanders, didn’t think Simon got a fair shake, that a few incidents have overshadowed what seems to be a stellar reputation. While I didn’t read it as harshly as Botta has, Farber was quite critical at times, especially when dimissing any concussion Simon may have sustained after the hit from Ryan Hollweg. After a year on the Island, perhaps Simon’s reputation as a good teammate has extended into the front office and Botta’s only doing what anyone would do for a good teammate.
Thorburn wants your vote
He also admits exploring hockeyfights.com, which is not so much a guilty pleasure as it is a scouting mission.
“I’ve checked it out a couple of times,” said the winger, who earned 333 PIMs in 253 games in the Ontario Hockey League. “If you’re playing against a guy and you want to see what he’s all about, if you haven’t seen him, then you check him out. I know guys talk about it in the dressing room, ‘Did you see that fight last night?’ So it’s just somewhere I can go back and check some recaps of what happened the nights before as far as the physical parts are concerned.”
He does, however, take issue with their scoring system.
“They don’t give me too good scores. So I might have to complain about that,” he said with a laugh. “But they do a great job. It draws a lot of fans and that’s helped sell our game.”
...and thank you. Hey, if there’s a way to win over this crowd…
A break for Koci
David Koci was bloodied last night by Zdeno Chara. While it appeared Koci might have been cut in the forehead, it’s hard to forget his nose was just banged up by Wade Belak. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Koci left with a cut on the bridge of his nose. Koci’s a warrior, no doubt, but he might want to let that heal a little before testing it again so soon.
Show that again
William Houston of the Globe and Mail highlights some of Ralph Mellanby’s new book, Walking With Legends. Specifically he covers the television rules for showing fights on Hockey Night in Canada, and some policy changes. A worthwhile read.
Riley Cote vs Andre Roy Oct 25, 2007
Scott Hartnell vs Vincent Lecavalier Oct 25, 2007
David Koci vs Zdeno Chara Oct 25, 2007
Matt Foy vs Mark Smith Oct 24, 2007
Stephane Veilleux vs Dion Phaneuf Oct 24, 2007
Vincent Lecavalier vs Shaone Morrisonn Oct 24, 2007
Pregame peril in the NHL
CSN hires Clement as color analyst
Hope at last for Chicago
Lindros ready to move on
Amber’s 10 Degrees: NHL’s dirtiest plays
Americans could be looking at another strong draft
Veilleux rethinks ill-timed fight
The Ducks and Blues played a game with a little bit of everything last night. A close game, hits, three fights with six different players involved, and even the goal posts even got a workout, teasing fans a few times. Francois Beauchemin was a work-horse, on the ice more than half the game. Beauchemin and Chris Pronger are currently the top two in average ice time per game.
Keeping up with the Jonesy
Alanah over at Kukla’s Korner had a chat with Keith Jones (player page: Keith Jones), discussing various parts of his career. Definitely a recommended listen. Jones recently wrote Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate: The Improbable Career of Keith Jones (Amazon) with ESPN’s John Buccigross.
Vernon Fiddler vs John Zeiler Oct 23, 2007
Ian Laperriere vs Mathieu Roy Oct 23, 2007
Brad May vs Barret Jackman Oct 23, 2007
Travis Moen vs Matt Walker Oct 23, 2007
George Parros vs D.J. King Oct 23, 2007
Panthers’ Booth shrugs off scary hit, says it was clean
Blues, Blackhawks and more Podes than you can handle
Tanenbaum a host with the most
Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari
Stars and Rangers travel in style
Garden’s Gloves Are Off in Digital Fight
Shaking a Reputation as Losers and Bullies
Agent Meehan sends notices of libel to Chelios, media
The wait will have no affect on Boulerice’s NHL suspension.
Doug Murray vs Eric Godard Oct 22, 2007
Alexei Semenov vs Eric Godard Oct 22, 2007
Brad Isbister vs Tim Gleason Oct 22, 2007
Rick Rypien vs Mike Commodore Oct 22, 2007
Kevin Bieksa vs Craig Adams Oct 22, 2007
Mike Commodore vs Ryan Malone Oct 19, 2007
David Koci vs Wade Belak Oct 20, 2007
Nathan Horton vs Hal Gill Oct 18, 2007
Georges Laraque played his first game since Oct 10th and came back with a bang against the Capitals and Donald Brashear. The Penguins forward dominated the first part of the fight, sending Brash to the ice with lefts, only to have Brashear get up and return the favor.
The bout will no doubt fan the flames of the heavyweight champ debate.
Raffi Torres vs Rhett Warrener Oct 20, 2007
Zack Stortini vs Owen Nolan Oct 20, 2007
George Parros vs Todd Fedoruk Oct 20, 2007
Jordan Staal vs Matt Pettinger Oct 20, 2007
Georges Laraque vs Donald Brashear Oct 20, 2007
Raitis Ivanans vs Taylor Pyatt Oct 19, 2007
Ian Laperriere vs James Wisniewski Oct 19, 2007
I’m working on getting the last two Leafs clips up.
TSN’s hockey panel: Analysis with an edge
Chat transcript with Freep writer George Sipple on Red Wings and fantasy football
Wild finish sinks Panthers | Panthers answer ‘no call’ at end
Surprising Lucic may be in for extended stay
Stars’ checking line answers challenge
Drake sent home, Rafalski is fine
Roenick-Chelios friendship remains as strong as ever
Cullen did not return to the game. Luke DeCock of The News & Observer reports that Cullen has a broken nose, and possible concussion.
Orr received an interference major and game misconduct to go along with the fighting major. While the penalty doesn’t require a review from the league, it’s likely they’ll take a look at the hit. Normally I’d assume no suspension would be given, but with Orr’s reputation you never know.
Boogaard still out
Derek Boogaard missed last night’s game against the Stars due to his back. He last played Dec 14th against the Ducks.
Jordin Tootoo vs James Wisniewski Dec 26, 2007
Johan Franzen vs Matt Walker Dec 26, 2007
Eric Boulton vs Jared Boll Dec 26, 2007
Mike Commodore vs Colton Orr Dec 26, 2007
Wade Belak vs Eric Boulton Nov 29, 2007
Darcy Hordichuk vs Jody Shelley Dec 23, 2007
Zack Stortini vs Ben Eager Dec 23, 2007
Zack Stortini vs Martin Lapointe Dec 23, 2007
Sheldon Brookbank vs Eric Nystrom Dec 23, 2007
Francis Bouillon vs Steve Ott Dec 23, 2007
Avery’s Return to Ice Lifts Spirits of Fans
The rule change isn’t what it seems
Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari
A Simon appeal would be unappealing
Blood stains of Bertuzzi-Moore persist
McCormick fits in just fine with goal for Colorado
Unfortunately Souray separated his shoulder when he hit the ice after the bout and will be out 3-4 weeks.
Ivanans, the Los Angeles Kings tough guy, had 14 fights last season and outweighed the 19-year-old Lucic by 43 pounds. But with a drop of his gloves, Lucic accepted and stood toe-to-toe with the 28-year-old Ivanans.
By the end of the night, Lucic bore a strawberry-sized welt on his left cheek, the product of a straight right by Ivanans. But Lucic also had the puck from his first NHL goal, the satisfaction from his team’s 8-6 win, and the admiration of watchers around the league.
The 19-year old juniors-eligible Lucic is quickly earning respect in Boston and will likely become a fan favorite very fast.
“We need flexibility with our roster right now, because we have some injury issues to deal with,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said yesterday. “Waiving Jesse doesn’t necessarily mean we want to lose him.”
The Flyers cannot afford to carry two suspended players on the roster, and it is possible they will activate Steve Downie so he can serve another game of his 20-game suspension.
Holmgren might just be sugar-coating it at this point. Boulerice will be a Phantom again, and it will be very difficult for him to return to the Flyers, especially with the parent club wanting to get Steve Downie‘s suspension completed and not wanting to carry both on the roster.
PR-wise? It’s Philly. They only flinch so much at attention over violence. But Boulerice was never in the most set of roster spots and the Flyers still have plenty of toughness in that lineup.
Some other Boulerice-related items:
Giving you what you want
Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard believed Sunday’s game in Anaheim was full of everything a fan would want for entertainment—fights, hard hits, scoring chances.
“That’s the way every game should be played,” Boogaard said. “I’m not kidding. The fans were excited.”
Boogaard fought twice and had two more of the league’s new brittle jerseys rip.
“I’m going to start selling them on eBay,” he said, laughing.
For a Wild game he’s probably right, although I don’t think fans of other teams will tune into Minnesota games just yet.
As for the jerseys, I think we’ll hear about the ripping over and over. Maybe the NHL Store can dedicate a stand for game-worn jerseys with real “wear and tear”.
Laraque still out
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Laraque (groin) was kept out of the team’s regular workout for the second straight day and, though he did take the ice briefly with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar before practice, he stayed out for only a few minutes and was not in full pads.
Following the announcement of Jesse Boulerice‘s 25-game suspension, the Islanders’ Chris Simon returned from his 25-gamer Saturday night against the Flyers. He logged 6:19 of ice time and tried to shake off some rust, and show his teammates he’s back by squaring off with Riley Cote.
Simon spoke candidly to Greg Logan of Newsday about the incident last year:
He has seen the image of himself rising on wobbly legs and turning to face Hollweg, who circled back toward him. As horrifying as the visual of Simon’s swinging the stick toward Hollweg’s chin might have been, he noted that his hands remained well apart on the stick, not together.
“I didn’t swing my stick at him,” Simon said. “I chopped him. I know it’s wrong, but it wasn’t a golf swing or a baseball swing like everybody else says. I don’t want to do that again. But I’m still going to play the same way I always have. It was a reaction thing, not an action.
Simon added that he’ll continue to play the same type of game he always has.
Sim out for season
According to a club official, Sim blew out the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in the home opener against Buffalo. The recovery period is considered six to nine months, but there’s virtually no chance Sim could make it back for the playoffs if the Islanders qualify. His return is expected for training camp next September.
In April, it was May who suckered non-pugilist Kim Johnsson at the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
“Brad, he answered the bell,” Wild forward Brian Rolston said. “He did something he knew wasn’t probably right. It was a cheap shot. Tonight, when Boogey lined up with him, he fought him and the drama with that ended quick.”
Derek Boogaard vs George Parros Oct 14, 2007
Nick Schultz vs Ryan Getzlaf Oct 14, 2007
Derek Boogaard vs Brad May Oct 14, 2007
Krys Barch vs David Koci Oct 13, 2007
Trevor Daley vs Kevyn Adams Oct 13, 2007
Shane O’Brien vs Gregory Campbell Oct 13, 2007
Zack Stortini vs Jeff Cowan Oct 13, 2007
Chris Simon vs Riley Cote Oct 13, 2007
Luke Richardson vs Brandon Dubinsky Oct 13, 2007
Brian McGrattan vs Colton Orr Oct 13, 2007
Milan Lucic vs Raitis Ivanans Oct 12, 2007
Byron Ritchie vs Matt Greene Oct 12, 2007
Adam Burish vs Dallas Drake Oct 12, 2007
Moms gone Wild: Minnesota players have maternal presence on trip
Some of the largest suspensions for violent acts in the NHL
Avery Injury Gives Scatchard a Shot
New travel on schedule
Boston lawyer may take over as head of NHL union
The Jesse Boulerice hit on Ryan Kesler was the biggest news of Thursday, but unlike other nasty incidents over the past few years, there was little debate. Hockey circles looked like a one-sided coin: a lengthy suspension was coming.
The Flyers cannot be happy about another hefty suspension to one of their players, and Boulerice, who didn’t play in the NHL at all last season, might already be looking past his suspension and just hoping the organization gives him another shot at top-level play.
I somehow added Ilya Kovalchuk to the fight log again. The Thrashers are now 0-4, and at the tail end of the game Kovalchuk took matters into his own hands when he didn’t like the hitting going on. It wasn’t a lengthy fight by any means, but I’m sure the organization was split between loving seeing some heart from him, and almost having their own hearts stop when he shed the gloves.
Daniel Carcillo vs Scott Nichol Oct 11, 2007
David Clarkson vs Bryan Allen Oct 11, 2007
Andy Sutton vs Wade Belak Oct 11, 2007
Eric Boulton vs Paul Gaustad Oct 11, 2007
Ilya Kovalchuk vs Drew Stafford Oct 11, 2007
Pens’ Laraque misses practice, Scuderi’s foot OK
New-look Flyers search for Brotherly Love
Sharks scratch inconsistent Murray
Isles’ Berard grateful for chance to just play
Senators send Emery to minors
Clement misses national limelight
Both Boulerice and Flyers coach John Stevens expect one.
“It’s unacceptable, it’s something that we can’t have, Flyers coach John Stevens said. “We didn’t need to get involved in anything really, we had the hockey game in hand and that was the message on the bench, so that kind of stuff can’t happen.”
Kesler spoke with the media after the game. His jaw is not broken, and he will undergo an MRI today to see if there’s a fracture. The AP thoughts from Boulerice were succinct:
Boulerice said he was sorry for the hit.
“I reacted in a bad way the wrong way,” he said.
Here’s a clip of the incident from the Comcast broadcast, then the NHL Network, then back to Comcast for a scrum at the end of the game involving Ben Eager:
The number of games Boulerice’s suspension hits will probably be in the double digits, with 15-20 games being likely based upon other 2007 suspensions.
Intent is always a hard thing to determine. After one view it looks obvious, Boulerice hit him high and hard. The two battled back and forth, and perhaps Boulerice just popped. However, it’s also unlikely he’d purposely hit Kesler in the head and then drop his gloves expecting a fight.
Boulerice signed a one-year, $475,000 (US) deal with the Flyers last week.
The Flyers won last night’s game 8-2.
There were twelve games last night. While five were one-goal games, none went into overtime.