No Suspension for Marc Staal

Kent Wilson
November 23 2010 02:06PM

I have nothing really to add to the issue, frankly. Upon first viewing, I thought the hit targeted the head. Upon second viewing, Im not certain whether he hits Stajan in the shoulder/chest, causing his head to snap back, or whether he really did make contact with the head. I also don't know what the NHL considers a true "blind side hit".

Anyways, feel free to discuss things in the comments.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 Bucknut
November 23 2010, 02:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Can't understand what the issue is. This was a good hit. Next time he will keep his head up.

Avatar
#2
November 23 2010, 02:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I agree.

It was a hard, clean hit.

Avatar
#3 ian11
November 23 2010, 02:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Marc Staal's shoulder is heading staight for the center of Stajan's chest. Whether or not he ended up landing it to Stajan's head, its tough to call that his blind side.

Avatar
#4 Bucknut
November 23 2010, 02:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think the people that are pissed are defelecting for the actual Flames performance. It in so many ways is a mirror of the season. Crashing to the ice laying limp needing aide.

Avatar
#5 John F
November 23 2010, 03:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Bucknut wrote:

I think the people that are pissed are defelecting for the actual Flames performance. It in so many ways is a mirror of the season. Crashing to the ice laying limp needing aide.

Depends upon the view I guess- If you watch him he originally appears to be targeting the chest then raises up and on the follow through appears to leave his feet and contact the head. If you look at some of the calls that received suspensions it is identical or worse.

Avatar
#6 icedawg_42
November 23 2010, 03:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

From what I've heard and read today, the consensus seems to be 1. Clean hit 2. Stajan should know better, and keep his head up 3. Staal could have let up a bit, but really has no responsibility to do so.

In any case, hope he's ok to play soon.

Lots of hits out there where the hitter seems to leave his feet after contact...not sure if this is an issue or not.

Avatar
#7 Typical Fan 960 Listener
November 23 2010, 04:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

By not suspending Staal for a minimum 8 games, it just makes it obvious the NHL and Bettman have it in for The Flames. As I was saying to my colleagues in the McDonald's deep fryer area last night, there is still hope. Iggy is due for 45-50 at this pace and as long as guys like Bourque and Moss keep buying into the system we have a good chance of winning the Cup. The boys need to keep their feet moving and stay positive. Jokinen will be back soon and he is the big body down the middle we have been lacking. I have quite a good math background (math 10 applied) and I did some calculations. The Flames just need like 4 goals a game to win the Cup because Kipper is the man and the physical D will probably injure the SEdins.

Avatar
#8 Typical Fan 960 Listener
November 23 2010, 04:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

By not suspending Staal for a minimum 8 games, it just makes it obvious the NHL and Bettman have it in for The Flames. As I was saying to my colleagues in the McDonald's deep fryer area last night, there is still hope. Iggy is due for 45-50 at this pace and as long as guys like Bourque and Moss keep buying into the system we have a good chance of winning the Cup. The boys need to keep their feet moving and stay positive. Jokinen will be back soon and he is the big body down the middle we have been lacking. I have quite a good math background (math 10 applied) and I did some calculations. The Flames just need like 4 goals a game to win the Cup because Kipper is the man and the physical D will probably injure the SEdins.

Avatar
#9 The Calgary Puck
November 23 2010, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The Flames need to start working harder like back in 2004 when we were the hardest working team in the league. We were young back then too, fast with lots of heart.

All we have to do is trade moss and glencross (neither work hard and Moss is slow like Penner) to bring Bertuzzi back for some secondary scoring which is what we lack this year. I don't know if the Red Wings would do that though.

You don't need good players to win, just guys with heart who are willing to put it all out on the ice.

If we can Iggy a center like Lecalvier to play with, I think he can score 50 this year. To those who say hes declining, I say "Are you Kidding? Prove it!"

Avatar
#10 Rain Dogs
November 23 2010, 07:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Textbook. Perfect hit.

Avatar
#11 JF
November 23 2010, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Okey, here's my problem with it, I don't see the difference between this hit and the one Thornton leveled on Perron... so why did Thornton get 5min and a game misconduct while Staal got nothing?

Avatar
#12 SmellOfVictory
November 23 2010, 08:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Thornton shouldn't have gotten a misconduct.

Avatar
#13 Mike
November 23 2010, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Rain Dogs wrote:

Textbook. Perfect hit.

True but the textbook you are referring to is from 2008. The 2010 version includes protection against head injuries. Did the hit target the head (nope). Did the hit come from a blindside (east-west on a north-south forward) (yup). Was the player vulnerable (yup). Repeat offender (nope). A fineable offense in my opinion.

Avatar
#14 Flipnip
November 23 2010, 10:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Mike wrote:

True but the textbook you are referring to is from 2008. The 2010 version includes protection against head injuries. Did the hit target the head (nope). Did the hit come from a blindside (east-west on a north-south forward) (yup). Was the player vulnerable (yup). Repeat offender (nope). A fineable offense in my opinion.

I agree that it was a textbook hit by league rules and shouldn't be suspendable as a result but what I don't get is why it is legal. Hitting was originally in the game to separate a player from the puck. It was not intended to knock someone senseless. Anytime you hit a player when he isn't looking there is a danger of injury and potentially of a serious nature. It is one thing to hit a player with the puck but the puck, in this case, was clearly passed which makes me feel that Staal should have let up somewhat. They are all part of the same union and yet they are willing to risk seriously injuring each other to get on the highlights of the night. This hit served no purpose other than to cause pain. That said, Stajan should keep his head on a swivel and be ready for it as is it in the rules.

Avatar
#15 JF
November 23 2010, 11:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
SmellOfVictory wrote:

Thornton shouldn't have gotten a misconduct.

But he did get one (and a two game suspension to go along with the 5 minute man advantage).

I don't care about the debate about hitting so much as I care about consistency of rulings... in my mind those two plays were functionally identical and should have had an identical call on the ice and identical result via the disciplinarian. The NHL is sending a very poor/confusing message with the seemingly random enforcement of the new headshot rule. Consistency isn't too much to ask for.

Avatar
#16 Vanderneuf
November 24 2010, 07:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@The Calgary Puck

Glencross and Moss are bright spots I don't know what you're talking about.

Glencross is a plus player on a team where that's getting rare. He's tough to play against but doesn't take dumb penalties. He also has great finish on the breakaway. Moss can do that as well but is better at going Holmstrom on the goalie with the odd supplemental snipe. He did score 20 goals not too long ago.

Bertuzzi can get bent.

Avatar
#17 Monaertchi
November 24 2010, 08:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If Stajan's head touches Staal's shoulder, it is only because his body was stopped so suddenly that his head nearly came off. His head was not targeted.

It is only blindside because Stajan was looking the wrong way. Players need to be responsible for themselves first and others second, just like life. I would have thought that injuries (brain and other) would be enough of a deterent to not protecting yourself in a violent game. Some people also prefer to not wear seatbelts or wear motorcycle helmets. Darwinism in action.

I think the ref's and the league made the right call, by not making a call.

Avatar
#18 Domebeers.com
November 24 2010, 09:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Stajan got train wrecked early this season too, I cant remember which game, but it was at the boards.

Trade Matt Stajan. If this kid thinks he is playing in a soft league where you can play with the puck through the middle of the neutral zone...get him the hell off the team.

This team, Stajan included, is suppose to be veteran, which means they are suppose to know how to play hockey. They are suppose to know things like 'be aware' when you enter the zone. It's insane Stajan put himself in that position. This team, for better or worst, is counting on him for minutes.

I still think Jarome had to fight Staal after. You see these guys once a year, fight had to occur right after the play, even if it was a legal and clean play.

Avatar
#19 Rain Dogs
November 24 2010, 09:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I get that every sees things slightly different, but this one I have a hard time seeing the debate.

Look at the frame that's captured in the video still before you press play.

It's perfect.

1.Stall is low, but not too low. 2. He's RIGHT in front of Stajan. There is no pursuit from the side or behind. He's IN FRONT of him. Stajan runs into Stall as much as Stall hits Stajan. 3. The arm is down and tucked in. 4. The traget is the logo (you can actually see where Stall is aiming)

When I was taught to hit (an open ice hit) in minor hockey. It was establish a "T". It's all there. Look at their feet. If that doesn't make as near perfect a "T" as possible, then I dunno what does. You can't get a "T" in an East-West hit.

The problem is with hits that come from the side. Like Thortons. I dunno. To me it's really straight forward. East-West hits are a problem because guys coming from the side, are trying to get in front, but instead are coming across and when someone skates what's furthest forward? Their Head, and the foot location at contact is barely an "L". Thorton on Perron was head contact first, from the side, feet in "L" and barely even that. The NHL guys know it too. They were told when they were 12, if you can't make a "T" your chasing and you may end up behind him.

This is a perfect hit for 2010. You want debatable hits, go back and watch Stevens hits, especially the Lindros one. At the time, I thought that was textbook. Now, to me, it looks not only suspendable, but with intent to injure.

Avatar
#20 Gange
November 24 2010, 09:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The debate isn't Staal's intent. I'm sure he didn't intend to hit Stajan in the head. Yet he did.

The debate only is, was it a blindside hit? The reality of this rule is that it's hard to pin down.

This is exactly the type of hit that can cause concussions, whether it is legal or not. If the NHL wants to take these hits out of the game, as is it's stated goal, then it has to address hits like this.

Should Stajan have been paying attention? Sure he should have. Should Staal have put effort into not getting up in the check? Yes.

The truly interesting question is, if this had been Sean Avery delivering the hit would there be supplementary discipline?

Avatar
#21 PrairieStew
November 24 2010, 09:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Vanderneuf wrote:

Glencross and Moss are bright spots I don't know what you're talking about.

Glencross is a plus player on a team where that's getting rare. He's tough to play against but doesn't take dumb penalties. He also has great finish on the breakaway. Moss can do that as well but is better at going Holmstrom on the goalie with the odd supplemental snipe. He did score 20 goals not too long ago.

Bertuzzi can get bent.

I agree with most of what you say, except for the part about dumb penalties for Glencross. My opinion is that he does take bad penalties -both lazy ones and selfish ones .

Moss and Glencross provide good value for their salary, but their career ceiling is the 3rd line. Both are in their late 20's so further improvement is unlikely. Both might make 20 goals this year if only for the fact that they may take ice time away from those above them in the depth and salary chart and become in actuality second line players.

Avatar
#22 Rain Dogs
November 24 2010, 09:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Gange

The rule isn't that you cannot hit the head, that's the OHL. The rule is you cannot target the head. Like I said, this is a "T" hit, the target is the chest.

Besides, Staal couldn't have been targeting the head, as Stajan's head has to be firmly up his ass to put himself in that vulnerable a position.

And no, there would be no difference on a clean hit if it was Avery.

Avatar
#23 PrairieStew
November 24 2010, 10:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Gange wrote:

The debate isn't Staal's intent. I'm sure he didn't intend to hit Stajan in the head. Yet he did.

The debate only is, was it a blindside hit? The reality of this rule is that it's hard to pin down.

This is exactly the type of hit that can cause concussions, whether it is legal or not. If the NHL wants to take these hits out of the game, as is it's stated goal, then it has to address hits like this.

Should Stajan have been paying attention? Sure he should have. Should Staal have put effort into not getting up in the check? Yes.

The truly interesting question is, if this had been Sean Avery delivering the hit would there be supplementary discipline?

I have less and less confidence in the league's ability to deal with issues - there are so many knee jerk reactions.

Think back to the Brett Hull Stanley Cup goal of 10 years ago - it was clearly in violation of the rule that they were enforcing at the time which was zero tolerance for crease presence by the attacking player. They BS'ed their way out of it by saying Hull had control of the puck. The problem was that the rule was so stupid, but it was the only thing that they could think of to prevent guys from running the goalie. The rule was bad, the enforcement of it frustrating and ultimately it was egg on the face.

This headshot rule reeks of the same incompetence. Its convoluted conditions, all of which are open to interpretation results in a complete lack of consensus on almost every hit. Thornton was baffled by his suspension. Lots of people saw it a perfect example of the new rule. Many see Staal 's hit on Stajan as a good hockey play, and others see it as another textbook example of the new rule. What happens when 2 much higher profile players become the principals in this Shakespearan tragedy ? Ovie or Sid blindside a guy or end up on the short end of that exchange ?

I have little faith in the team GM's solving anything. The GM's spout and steam whenever their team is etiher penalized or the others not, and they have a pretty short term view of everything - they are not the answer when it comes to rule revision or anything of the like. I would like to see the NHL create a discipline and rule review panels composed of unaffilated former GM's and players. I would like to see standardized minimum penalties for players who cause head injuries. Good grief guys get called for hooking now when they use one hand to try and lift another guys stick, surely to goodness we can suspend for one game for knocking a guy silly, regardless of intent.

Comments are closed for this article.