Ference Gets 3 Games; NHL Gets “Serious”

Saturday’s game with the Bruins, to me, was one of the best of the season.  It’s a real shame that it had to be ruined with that absolutely disgraceful cheap shot in OT.

I heard a Bruins fan somewhere say that he “wasn’t hit from behind” and then proceeded to spew some nonsense about looking at the angle.   Um, huh?  No, McD wasn’t exactly parallel to the boards when he was hit, but watch the video.  Ference dumps the puck, then chases it in. McD goes to play the puck, turns his back to the boards.  Ference takes a minute, measures him up, has a cup of coffee, and then levels him from behind.  I mean, you don’t get more time to make those decisions.  This wasn’t heat of the moment.  He made a conscious decision to hit him AND he went right behind him to do it, whether McD was 100% parallel to the boards or not.  He was completely defenseless.  And Ference didn’t care.

Now, let’s talk about the NHL and Brendan Shanahan, a guy that I’ve always admired for the way he played and his great talent.  From Shanahan, he takes great length to go through an explanation of the play.  It’s a slightly wordier version of what I posted above.  He says (as Ference did) that there was no malicious intent, which I believe is true also.  He didn’t want to hurt him badly, I’m sure.  But he did want to take him out of the play.  Well within the rules, of course, but Ference had options here, regardless of the speed of the play.  Shanahan then levies the 3 game suspension.  At that point, my vision went white hot and I missed the rest of the explanation.  I’m sure it was the same nonsense that Shanny says every time one of these videos come out.

I’ve obviously put the word serious in quotes up there in the title.  Not because Shanahan said it, necessarily, but because I’m attempting sarcasm.  There is absolutely no place for that kind of crap in the NHL.  This isn’t Ference’s first time at the rodeo either.  How do you not give a repeat offender that took his time to absolutely level a defenseless player more than 3 games?  How?  Brendan Shanahan was as ballsy as it got when he played.  He’s practically toothless as the NHL’s Top Cop.

If the NHL wants to get serious about potential head injuries, I’m all for it.  But the only way to do that is to get some real punitive measure behind it.  If there’s no deterrent, it’s going to keep happening.



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