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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Steve Ott Suspended for Three Games

This is indirectly related to the Avalanche and it bothers me a bit so before I go to bed...Steve Ott just got suspended for 3 games for a hit in which he left his feet slightly. The hit violated the letter of the rulebook and caused a player to sit out with a head injury. So fair enough, you need to teach the players to be accountable, especially when it comes to head hits. But what about all the other game where a player leaves his feet to finish a check or drives an elbow into an opponents grill? I've seen worse hits this year that ended up being the highlight of the night rather than a suspendable offense.

I'm all for cracking down on head hits. Intentional or unintentional, they need to be severely limited. If unintentional high-sticks are called, why not unintentional concussion-makers? The whole "He's 6'7 while he's 5'9" arguments are about all most people can come up with when defending the idea of not implementing new rules to protect players brains. And that's what any new rule targeting head hits would do. It would protect players brains. Is there really need to debate whether a rule preventing people's brains from being scrambled is a good idea?

But of course there's the macho-tough guy-warrior mentality that pervades all sports - and which I have a partial subscription to. I've played plenty of sports with various injuries ranging from torn tendons to twisted ribs and probably a hangnail or two. But if I ever took a wallop to the head, I made damn sure to give my brain ample time to recover. Surgeons can fix almost anything but if you scramble your brain, it's very tough to fix the signal.

So I'm fine with suspending Ott although 3 games for a first-timer is a bit excessive. But why can't the NHL implement consistent standards on disciplinary action? It can't be as hard as they make it seem. Is each incident viewed in a vacuum and not as part of a grander picture? Does Campbell really have a rotating dartboard that he blindly tosses darts at to determine suspension length?


Jibblescribbits said...

Completely agree Shane. I think the hit was suspendable, but you're right had Leoprone not been hurt (how many times does that phrase get uttered BTW?) the league wouldn't have suspended him at all.

It's another frustrating thing for the league.

Jen said...

It's nice to see an Avalanche view on this (being a Stars fan myself) You put it very nicely, and while I can see why a suspension is warrented because he did leave his feet, I agree 3 games might be a little much; especially considering this is his first.

I also hope Leopold recovers swiftly, I hate seeing players get hurt.

Shane Giroux said...

jib, it's kind of the same thing with the justice system. Why does attempted murder equal a lesser sentence than murder? Just b/c you failed at killing the person doesn't make it any less wrong.

jen, thanks for the comment. It sounds like Leopold wasn't too shook up but you never know with head injuries.

It's amusing today as well since Chris Pronger stomped on someone's foot last night but it appears he won't be punished. Nothing like double standards.

I wonder what, if anything, would have happened if the Ott hit was delivered by Mr. Dion. We all know he never jumps into his hits, right? Right?

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