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01-09-2004, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Dar
As for your remarks sensens, of course Sundin only got 1 game because of who he is, of course Domi would have got more because he'd be a repeat offender. Colin Campbell didn't want to suspend Sundin at all and called him "an ambassador of the game and a class act". He knows it was uncharactaristic of Sundin and even claimed that he gave Mats an out and had Sundin told him that he meant to hit the glass and it slipped over then he would have handed him a $1K fine and that's it, but Sundin decided to face the music and say that it was a brain cramp and nothing more, leaving Campbell with no option but to suspend him. If someone got injured then sure, there would have been a more severe penalty, but there wasn't (luckily), and yes that does have and should have an effect on the punishment. The intent wasn't there, the results weren't damaging but it was done. I'll agree that one game was surprisingly light though, I thought he was gone for three.
While I agree that this is quite possibly what happened (and what would have happened in the more speculative parts), in my opinion this is the kind of incident that should be addressed differently than standard on-ice infractions. While some players have a history of suspendable offences, nobody has a history of throwing their stick into the crowd. I don't think that past infractions should have anything to do with it whatsoever, because there are essentially no relevant precedents to call upon.

IMO it should be treated much like leaving the bench - it's simply an automatic 10 game suspension. Why? As in the case with leaving the bench, to make it perfectly and objectively clear that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is it acceptable to do certain things in hockey. When you leave the bench it doesn't matter who you are - you're gone for 10 games. Period. Domi, Sundin, and anyone in between. Throwing a stick (broken or otherwise) should be right up there with that - especially if you throw it into the crowd. This concept that somehow Sundin would be suspended longer if the person in the crowd has been hurt is completely laughable - though sadly it's probably not inaccurate.

Think about it - why would that be the case? It's a stupid enough policy when it comes to suspensions for violations against other players - what possible place does it have when dealing with spectators in the audience? So if the seats had been empty, would there have been no suspension at all? What kind of message does that send to the players? Don't throw your stick into the crowd in cities with good attendance just in case? What's the message it sends to the fans? If you're a fan of the idiot who threw the stick over the glass at you, try to take it in a non-damaging part of your body so that we don't have to suspend them for longer?

These are the games' paying patrons. Can you imagine what would happen in baseball if a player specifically threw a broken bat into the crowd? I don't mean that a bat shatters and part of it flies into the crowd (which is an accident), I mean someone throwing it into the crowd out of frustration. There's a big difference, and I think you could believe that baseball would take that more seriously than the NHL seems to have.

Typical of the NHL to be reactionary with this kind of thing, though. They waited until a girl died before putting up netting to protect the fans, and now they're treating this like it's nothing. So we won't see anything serious happen about this until it comes to a serious injury for a spectator of the game? Frankly, that's just about as stupid a reaction as there could possibly be to such a situation. And it certainly doesn't carry the paying fan's best interest at heart.

From my chair, what's the harm in laying down the law? You make people seriously think twice about what they're doing on the ice, and make it clear that moments of emotional outbursts that negatively impact or even endanger the league's paying patrons will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Gee... what a terrible detriment to the game that would be.

Last edited by sensens: 01-12-2004 at 12:32 PM.
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