The Leafs played the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in a game that was dull until the very end when many things happened.
- Anthony Mantha jumped Jake Muzzin after a clean hit, punched him and had him in a headlock.
- Muzzin took Mantha down bodily, and Mantha hit his head on the ice. Muzzin was given the extra minor penalty for an unexplained unsportsmanlike conduct (that’s usually for something you say or do that the refs take offence to but isn’t covered under the rules specifically).
- Travis Dermott was ejected for banging his stick on the ice after the Red Wings scored on the resulting power play.
- Andreas Athanasiou took a run at Alexander Kerfoot and tried a knee-on-knee that failed only due to Kerfoot’s evasive manoeuvres.
- Justin Holl fought Athanasiou, and they both got the gate.
So naturally, the Wheel of Discipline fell on… Robby Fabbri for a really obvious spearing that was called a slash midway through the second period:
Kerfoot, who apparently the Red Wings don’t like (possibly the red haze of hatred for Colorado players that still infects Detroit after all these years), and Fabbri were given slashing minors at the time, which is odd, since the referee and the linesman say it up close.
Rule 62 – Spearing
62.1 Spearing – Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.
62.2 Double-minor Penalty – A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.
62.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).
62.4 Match Penalty – A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.
62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.
62.6 Fines and Suspensions – There are no specified fines or suspensions for spearing, however, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 28).
In a classic case of assigning penalties for the outcome they wanted, not according to the rules, the referee wanted two minors and four-on-four hockey, so he transformed the spearing into a slash to avoid having to hand out a major penalty and a game misconduct.
Technically the Commissioner does have the right to fine players as stated in the rule, and that right has been passed onto the Department of Player Safety. They’re fond of fines under the new regime run by George Parros. The criteria for the fine amount is capped at 50% of one day’s salary for the player, up to $10,000 on a first offence. Fines are not the same as the salary forfeited from a suspension.
Player Safety has issued nine fines so far this year and 10 suspensions for on-ice behaviour.
The NHL has created a system of on-ice referees enforcing a set rule book, while their supplementary discipline has near absolute discretion and exists outside the entire chain of authority of the on-ice officials. They all ultimately work for the NHL, but the streams don’t cross until you get to the very top. It’s inevitable, then, that the league will, with one arm, second guess or overrule the decisions of the on-ice officials.
Fabbri should have been assessed a major penalty under the rules. But penalties are used to manage gameflow, emotions and to appear to be impartial and fair in some way. All fans expect the contradiction of fairness (to their team) and even distribution of penalty minutes, which is impossible to achieve. The NHL has long held with the idea that penalties should be assessed in a traditional way that appears like they’ve achieved both competing goals of the fans, leaving all of us confused most of the time about why they do what they do, and opening the door to conspiracy theorists and the grievance-prone.
And now, after a game with several dangerous actions, several outrageous actions and a lot of penalties given in a flurry, this one choice of a referee from long before any of that boiled over gets special attention. Whether intentional or not, the message here is that the league doesn’t think the referees are doing their job correctly. This is an odd way to make that point.
If DoPS plans on spinning the wheel again for any of the other events of that game, we’ll let you know. I don’t try to guess anymore.
Thousands of tickets still available for world junior hockey tournament in Edmonton – CBC Sports
Odd summer timing and an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada could be the reason thousands of tickets to the world junior championship are still available on the eve of the tournament, says an Edmonton professor.
Prof. Dan Mason, who teaches in the faculty of kinesiology, sport, and recreation at the University of Alberta, said when Canada hosts, there are usually so many fans who want to see the home team take the ice that they are willing to buy Hockey Canada’s packaged games that include teams that are not Canadian.
“So Latvia vs. Slovakia, for example, those games will be sold out as well because in order to get the tickets to watch Canada play, you have to buy a package that includes some of the other games,” he said on Friday.
“The fact that there are still Team Canada tickets available, that tells you the demand is much lower than it usually is for this kind of event.”
WATCH l World junior tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy:
The tournament runs from Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The initial 2022 championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., was called off Dec. 29 after just four days because of rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials, which forced game forfeitures.
The 10-country tournament will be minus Russia, barred from participating by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Around 1,500 tickets are still available for purchase on Ticketmaster to the first game between Czech Republic and Slovakia on Tuesday. About 1,300 tickets are available for the next day when Canada takes on Latvia. About 1,500 seats for the final game are also available with hundreds of other tickets to watch the 11-day tournament.
This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake … or do something summer-related.— Edmonton professor Dan Mason on poor ticket sales for an August world juniors
Mason said the timing of the games could be why interest is so low. The tournament typically runs over the Christmas holidays.
“Over the past 30 years or so, TSN has built the world juniors into this holiday event that people partake in,” he said.
“I watch it with my family over the [Christmas] break though so it’s kind of become part of our holiday tradition.
“This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake, go to the mountains or do something summer-related. I don’t think we’re willing to give up those plans to watch hockey.”
Many people could also be waiting for a former judge on the Supreme Court of Canada to begin independently reviewing Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership.
The review comes after members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a gala event, and after Hockey Canada reached a settlement.
“I think there’s people who weren’t sure if they would go or not, and maybe deciding not to go because of that,” Mason said.
The CEO of Explore Edmonton, which promotes tourism in the Alberta capital, said in an email the marketing organization paused its promotion of the games in response to the allegations.
“As the host city for the upcoming tournament, we continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada officials about their plans to address the need for change,” said Traci Bednard.
Mason said inflation and less disposable income could be other factors working against the tournament.
“Canada may be more focused on that player development piece than trying to sort of make money off of a tournament being held in the summer,” he said.
Nets owner Tsai backs coach, GM amid reported Durant standoff – theScore
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks
Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”
Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.
The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.
The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.
The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.
The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.
Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.
Watch live for free: Leylah Fernandez vs. Storm Sanders at National Bank Open – Sportsnet.ca
Update: This stream has ended.
Canadian Leylah Fernandez begins her quest for her first National Bank Open title against qualifier Storm Sanders of Australia, under the lights in Toronto.
Fernandez, still only 19, is returning to action for the first time since suffering a fracture in her foot during the quarterfinals of the French Open on May 31.
The Laval native is the top-ranked Canadian on the WTA Tour after a headline-making run to the U.S. Open final last year.
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