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News Report: Rutherford Speaking out

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2 thumbs up for Guy Carbonneau

"I hear people say (Sutter's) head was down; he didn't have the puck," Carbonneau said. "I don't know if you guys play hockey, but it's very hard to play hockey without putting your head down at one point, because usually the puck is on the ice.

Yesterday listening to XM and hearing everyone call in and say Sutter put himself in a vulnerable position b/c he had his head down. Need to really think what they are saying and watch the replay. If Sutter skated through the neutral zone with his head down for 5 seconds, sure, he put himself in a vulnerable position. But if you watch, his head is up, he loses control of the puck, like any other player would do, he glances down to see where the puck is. Its at that split second, Doug hits him. Unforutnate situation for sure, but Sutter did not put himself in a vulnerable position, nor did he deserve the hit like some have said.

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I think what the NHL has to ask it self is "Would the game of hockey be hurt if we banned open ice hits like this?" The excitement of big hits like this are not worth the risk. As fans we love when our players do the hitting, but not when they get hit. These types of hits are avoidable!

While it will take some adjustment by players to not do it. Many promising careers cut short by head trama will be saved by doing the right thing for the sake of protecting the well being of the players in the NHL.

Though as someone stated earlier it will take soemthing like this happening to a player like Ovechkin or Crosby for the NHL to open its eyes. It's no different than what happened with Dale Earnhardt and NASCAR, it took their biggest star being killed before they did anything about it. Will it take Sid Crosby not being able to play ever again because of a head injury to take action?

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I am amazed that the NHLPA does not take the lead on this item. I would think if I belonged to a union they would be in the forefront of protecting me and my liveilhood. After all I am the one who pays them.

Where are their comments. The owner has to take the lead? Makes you wonder about the union.

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2 thumbs up for Guy Carbonneau

Yesterday listening to XM and hearing everyone call in and say Sutter put himself in a vulnerable position b/c he had his head down. Need to really think what they are saying and watch the replay. If Sutter skated through the neutral zone with his head down for 5 seconds, sure, he put himself in a vulnerable position. But if you watch, his head is up, he loses control of the puck, like any other player would do, he glances down to see where the puck is. Its at that split second, Doug hits him. Unforutnate situation for sure, but Sutter did not put himself in a vulnerable position, nor did he deserve the hit like some have said.

Watch it again, Sutter lost control of the puck well before Weight was in the picture and on purpose he didnt accidentally lose the puck because Sutter used the boards to get around a whole other player but never regained control because he put it off the boards to hard and was trying to catch up to the loose puck. He knew Weight was coming put his head down literally microseconds before impact to poke the puck. Unless you think Weight should read minds I dont see what you want done differently besides Weight letting him go and Sutter goes to score a breakaway goal which would just lame up hockey even more then it already is. If Weight elbowed Sutter then I would be upset...

I must say that for everyone you can quote saying thought it was cheap you got an entire Canes team saying it was clean minus JR.

If you play smart you'll last a long time in the NHL you do dumb stuff your going to be the next Eric Lindross.

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Watch it again, Sutter lost control of the puck well before Weight was in the picture and on purpose he didnt accidentally lose the puck because Sutter used the boards to get around a whole other player but never regained control because he put it off the boards to hard and was trying to catch up to the loose puck. He knew Weight was coming put his head down literally microseconds before impact to poke the puck. Unless you think Weight should read minds I dont see what you want done differently besides Weight letting him go and Sutter goes to score a breakaway goal which would just lame up hockey even more then it already is. If Weight elbowed Sutter then I would be upset...

I must say that for everyone you can quote saying thought it was cheap you got an entire Canes team saying it was clean minus JR.

If you play smart you'll last a long time in the NHL you do dumb stuff your going to be the next Eric Lindross.

Please re-read my post. No where in there did I say Weight was at fault and could have let up. I was simply posting to that fact that I'm so sick of everyone saying "Sutter put himself in a vulnerable position". I know the hit was clean and if you read, I said Sutter put his head down a second and at that second is when Weight hit him. Its pretty clear, Weight didn't have time to stop going for the hit. Maybe Sutter is guilty for not timing Weight's speed correctly, but in no way shape or form did Sutter put himself in a vulnerable position or asked to be knocked unconcisous.

Putting oneself in a vulnerable position would be skating through the neutral zone with your head down for 5 or more seconds. Putting your head down for a mere second to see where the puck is is not putting yourself in a vulnerable position.

And for the record, Tim Gleason was on XM and he said the room is split 50/50 on clean hit and not clean hit. So no, the entire team doesn't think its a clean hit.

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Watch it again, Sutter lost control of the puck well before Weight was in the picture and on purpose he didnt accidentally lose the puck because Sutter used the boards to get around a whole other player but never regained control because he put it off the boards to hard and was trying to catch up to the loose puck. He knew Weight was coming put his head down literally microseconds before impact to poke the puck. Unless you think Weight should read minds I dont see what you want done differently besides Weight letting him go and Sutter goes to score a breakaway goal which would just lame up hockey even more then it already is. If Weight elbowed Sutter then I would be upset...

I must say that for everyone you can quote saying thought it was cheap you got an entire Canes team saying it was clean minus JR.

If you play smart you'll last a long time in the NHL you do dumb stuff your going to be the next Eric Lindross.

Aparantly you can reads minds. How do you know he knew Weight was coming?

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Watch it again, Sutter lost control of the puck well before Weight was in the picture and on purpose he didnt accidentally lose the puck because Sutter used the boards to get around a whole other player but never regained control because he put it off the boards to hard and was trying to catch up to the loose puck

I must say that for everyone you can quote saying thought it was cheap you got an entire Canes team saying it was clean minus JR.

I agree, Sutter was chasing the puck full bore down the ice. He reached out, stretched to regain control as it was leaving the end of his stick. Look at his body in relation to the ice. His hip, shoulders are parallel to the ice surface. His arm is stretched out the puck is at the tip of the stick at impact.

Doug is closing in straight down the center ice line from center ice to close him off. He adjust his course when the are about five feet apart. At that point the puck is coming off of Sutter's stick and he leans forward to regain control. At about two feet from the hit he has the puck back on the stick but he is still extended. Weight has no time to react to the change in body position at that point.

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Im not sure what that answer is either because I can understand both sides here. Sutter did put his head down for a split second but thats all it takes in a game thats played this fast. I dont think Weight had time to lay off the hit and I dont blame him for playing the hit vs the puck, but I think there does need to be a set rule put into print by the league to remove any of this gray area.

IMO, if a player takes a shot to the head, it should be a penalty. If a player gets high sticked, its a penalty regardless of whether or not he put himself in a vulnerable position. I hear coaches yelling in youth hockey all the time for kids to keep their sticks down, but when it comes to hitting, you only hear finish your checks. If the league wants these head shots to stop, they're going to have to make it a written rule and stop leaving it up to the judgement of the on ice officials. And the coaches of the kids are going to have to teach kids that finishing your check doesnt mean ripping your opponents head off.

I really doubt that making the rule clear would remove anymore physicality from the game than already is right now. STH's will still buy their tickets, promising all star players wouldnt be head hunted and we'd see less stretchers taking players off the ice.

Would you still buy your Season Tickets if there was a rule?

Interesting comment from Tim Gleason in his interview yesterday. He said he asked Weight if it was clean and Doug said yes, but felt he shouldnt have made the hit. Gleason replied to him that he absolutely should have made the hit because it was the right play to make and he would have done the same if it was him. He also said that the equipment they wear today is rediculous and hard as a rock. Even moderate hits at high speeds can cause damage to the player taking the hit. The point of the hit is to take the player out of the play, not knock him out of the game...unless of course your Sean Avery ;).

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Aparantly you can reads minds. How do you know he knew Weight was coming?

Thats preety dag on easy to figure out...

Sutter is poke checking the puck for the heck of it? No because he knew Weight was incoming.

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Honestly, I don't see how anyone sees that as a dirty hit, worthy of a penalty, worthy of a suspension, etc. It was a clean hit and no one would be saying anything if Sutter didn't drop his head at the last minute. It was an unfortunate situation that is the result of hockey just being a rough game played at high speeds.

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I really doubt that making the rule clear would remove anymore physicality from the game than already is right now. STH's will still buy their tickets, promising all star players wouldnt be head hunted and we'd see less stretchers taking players off the ice.

I dont know, if that hit would be ruled a head shot then your preety much risking head shots on any hits based on if the hitee decides to do something random that you aren't expecting.

I say start suspending players for Elbows and Boarding like they should be suspended, but until Colin Campbell either develops his manhood or gets fired it wont happen.

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I dont know, if that hit would be ruled a head shot then your preety much risking head shots on any hits based on if the hitee decides to do something random that you aren't expecting.

I say start suspending players for Elbows and Boarding like they should be suspended, but until Colin Campbell either develops his manhood or gets fired it wont happen.

Maybe so but the end result was a shot to the head, was it not?

I'll go one step further saying that any hit that results in a player being taken off the ice and out of the game injured should be reviewable for intent. If there is and elbow or boarding involved, it should have a mandatory suspension regardless of who that player was that gave the hit. In Weight's case, I agree there would be no suspension because Weight didnt leave his feet or raise up an elbow, but it was still a shot to the head that knocked out a player and should get a penalty.

And could they please remove the instigator rule! Let the players settle these issues on the ice the way the game was intended. That alone would make a player think twice before laying out the big hit.

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And could they please remove the instigator rule! Let the players settle these issues on the ice the way the game was intended. That alone would make a player think twice before laying out the big hit.

That was the exact thought I had this morning. Yesterday, we saw the statement by Brandon's dad where he said that 20 years ago, that kind of hit wouldn't happened. I think that is exaclty what he was talking about.

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If the league is serious about head shots, then as one of the posters here suggested in some thread, make a blow delivered to the head just like a high stick. An interesting suggestion, that. I believe the rationale is, in a high stick call, the player is responsible for controlling his stick, and if it strikes the head of an opponent, whether intentional or not, it is a penalty. The same premise would apply to a blow to the head. It does not matter if it is intentional or not, a player is responsible for controlling his body in the 'hit' so if a player initiates contact directly to another player's head then it's a penalty.

I think that's an interesting proposal for at least the league to consider. It is similar, I think, to the NFL's 'blows to the head' rule. The only problem I have is physical differences, could they be accounted for or accomodated by the rule (i.e., big Charra versus lil' St. Louis)?

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Honestly, I don't see how anyone sees that as a dirty hit, worthy of a penalty, worthy of a suspension, etc. It was a clean hit and no one would be saying anything if Sutter didn't drop his head at the last minute. It was an unfortunate situation that is the result of hockey just being a rough game played at high speeds.

your right, the hit was legal, but weight didnt go after the puck, he went soley for the hit. its those plays that lead to injuries. if weight had also gone for the puck, i would be fine with the play.

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TSN put out a fan vote on headshots and whether or not the league should ban head shots:

http://forum.canadiens.com/index.php?showtopic=21513

yes=75%

no=25%

Ive been looking around at other boards to see what the general consesnsus was about the hit and the issue of headshots, and I'd like to commend the fans on the Habs board. It was one of the few boards that didnt pass judgement on either Weight or Sutter and kept the discussion to the issue at hand, head shots.

http://forum.canadiens.com/index.php?showtopic=21513

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I agree Weight's hit was a "clean" hit in the strictest sense and Sutter made a costly mistake by not having his head up. But, just because it was a "clean" hit does not make it right. Weight had to know Sutter was in a vulnerable position and should and could have eased up. Weight's hit on Sutter was similar to many of Scott Steven's "geatest hits". If you watch many of Stevens' hits, he obviously hunted for players in a vulberable position then made a devastating hit. The hit on Cullen was similar. If the NHL is serious about protecting players, it has to stop glorifying the Stevensesque hits and institute a no head check, no excuses rule. I doubt that will happen though, since Stevens is in the HOF in large part due to his ability to make those highlight reel hits.

Given the sorry state of officiating I have seen so far this season, too, I doubt a no head check rule woudl have much effect anyway.

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Personally speaking, I find it difficult to believe that Weight would have the nutz to go after a member of a team he won a Cup with....therein lies no respect. I'd like to petition to have his named removed from our '06 Cup, as he was, and is now, and rent-a-player.

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Personally speaking, I find it difficult to believe that Weight would have the nutz to go after a member of a team he won a Cup with....therein lies no respect. I'd like to petition to have his named removed from our '06 Cup, as he was, and is now, and rent-a-player.

I can guarantee you that NO ONE with the Hurricanes organization or other former players would ever think that.

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I didn't read the entire thread, so forgive me if I'm repeating what others have said, but the most lucid comment I've heard on this incident came from Sutter's dad, who was quoted as saying, "That hit would not have happened in the NHL 20 years ago, because players had respect for each other."

He is absolutely right, and helmets make the issue worse. Not suggesting they aren't necessary, but I do think guys are more willing to land checks like that (it was absolutely legal, BTW) because they think the player is better protected. That's no excuse for the lack of respect Sutter mentions, just saying it's a contributing factor.

JR's right -- the league clearly has given the issue lip service only. I don't care what you do for a living, you should expect to leave work in essentially the same shape that you arrived. Accidents happen, and hockey will always be a dangerous occupation -- but the league needs to put up or shut up on this issue. Meaningless statements of "concern" just open the NHL to justified claims that it's being run by idiots.

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Some interesting thoughts from Brandon's uncle, Flames GM Darryl Sutter, about 'the lack of respect'.

"My brothers' boys are like our boys," said Darryl Sutter, who texted Brandon three times on the night he went down. "He's got a concussion, so he's a little foggy. But you know what? He'll go through the protocol, and he'll be fine.

"That's the profession we chose."

To be fair, Sutter said, Brandon made a rookie mistake that left him vulnerable.

"I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that hit," said Sutter who has no idea how many concussions he suffered through his eight-year NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Brandon's head, when he gets hit, is three feet from the ice, not six feet from the ice. He had his head down.

"It's part of a young player learning that you never have your head down. If you think you're in a position, put your stick up and knock some teeth out. Because you'll get penalized for it, but at least you're not going to get hurt."

In simpler times, Darryl, 50, figures Weight would have held up for fear of the inevitable retribution coming his way.

Maybe not on the same shift. Maybe not in the same period. But, at some point, retribution would arrive.

"The game has changed a little bit," he said. "That's a legal hit. The player had his head down and he got hit. But would it have happened when we were all playing? Probably not.

"Because that player knew if he was going to do that, it was going to be a long night for him. That's the difference."

But why the difference?

"The shields have created it," he said. "The European influence has created it. The changes of the rules -- some are good, not all good. The speed of the game. The size of the players. All of those things affect it.

'Lack of respect'

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I know the hit was clean according to nhl rules but someone should have made him pay a price. Example: Ruutu's hit was clean but the Oilers captain went right after him sending a message. I'm not saying we had to fight him but a message could still have been sent. I think Sutters uncle hit the nail on the head about lack of respect.

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I know the hit was clean according to nhl rules but someone should have made him pay a price. Example: Ruutu's hit was clean but the Oilers captain went right after him sending a message. I'm not saying we had to fight him but a message could still have been sent. I think Sutters uncle hit the nail on the head about lack of respect.

Bayda did go after him.. but not in a drop of the gloves that woulda pulled Bayda and Weight off the ice for 5.. it was a stupid crosscheck to the back that sent Bayda to the box and left Weight on the ice.

Oh yeah.. and we were on the PK and that gave them a 5 on 3... so not only a stupid move, but a stupid time to go after him.

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I know the hit was clean according to nhl rules but someone should have made him pay a price. Example: Ruutu's hit was clean but the Oilers captain went right after him sending a message. I'm not saying we had to fight him but a message could still have been sent. I think Sutters uncle hit the nail on the head about lack of respect.

Great observation re. yesterday's game. Ruutu's hit was clean and legal yet it was delivered w/ an intention to make the Oilers player pay the price

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