Free washer |  A black eye for the NHL

Free washer | A black eye for the NHL

If the Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson hadn’t savagely attacked Artemi Panarin last year, Jeff Gorton might still be the New York Rangers’ general manager.

Posted yesterday at 11:08 a.m.

Mathias Brunet

Mathias Brunet
The Press

Blues Shirts owner James Dolan publicly lambasted the NHL, Gorton and its president John Davidson tried to calm things down behind the scenes, which only further angered Dolan.

The boss fired the two men on the spot, Gorton was therefore available in the fall after the departure of Marc Bergevin.

Gorton may have had a sense of deja vu if he watched the endgame between the Anaheim Ducks and the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

The incidents that occurred there sparked a debate that is still raging this week. The owner of the Ducks did not react like that of the Rangers, the new GM Pat Verbeek is not threatened, but he is now blamed for having exchanged the vindicator of Quebec Nicolas Deslauriers for a third round choice in 2023.

But this excess of violence has also revived the discussion on the importance of letting talented young players exercise their creativity and protecting them from savage attacks.

It was a game largely dominated by the Ducks late in the third period. The fabulous 21-year-old and great pal of Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, had another of his typical first-period lacrosse-style goals by sticking the puck to his paddle from behind the net.

With a few minutes to go in the game, Zegras nevertheless insisted a little too much in front of the opposing net to get his second goal of the evening. “The puck was still free,” claimed the young man after the game. But you don’t impale the goalkeeper’s pad when you are already crushing an opponent 5-0 and there are less than five minutes left in the game.

36-year-old veteran Jay Beagle let him know by sending him head over heels with a cross-check to the back. Zegras deserved a call to order for his excess of enthusiasm. Nor does one humiliate an opponent with a five-goal lead and the outcome of the match already sealed. Zegras was uninjured on the streak and the case should have ended that way.

Zegras’ teammate, Troy Terry, didn’t like it and told Beagle, without throwing the gloves off. The Coyotes veteran then spat out all his frustration of the evening.

Standing 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Beagle strafed the Ducks’ leading shot-counter. Terry suffered a knockout and left the ice with a bloody face. We were still unable to gauge the extent of Troy Terry’s injuries four days later due to the swelling still present.

Terry is 6ft tall, weighs 180lbs, has never fought before and has never thrown his gloves off in front of Beagle.

The case took on another dimension when Coyotes network analyst Tyson Nash, a former National League support player known for his pugnacity before his individual skills, attributed Beagle’s intentions and connected his attack on Terry. to the spectacular goal of Zegras.

“That’s the problem, sometimes, with these young players. You want to embarrass the players, you want to show off your skills, you have to be ready to get punched in the face…”

With Terry still lying on the ice with a bloody face, the Ducks’ top defenseman, Cam Fowler, tries to come to his teammate’s defense, but is held back by a linesman. “I would like to see him in action, let him go, continues Nash. I love that. I’m happy for Jay Beagle. He is a veteran who has seen snow, he sees these young people twirling around him, with their fanciful feints…”

Tyson Nash, who was between the two benches during Friday’s game, tried to tone down his remarks Sunday in a Coyotes podcast. He said he appreciates individual skill in NHL hockey, and should have used the phrase “too much mustard” when talking about Zegras instead of blaming him for showing off his talent. “What people didn’t see on screen were their excessive celebrations after their goals after they had just lost 11 in a row, their smiles at the Coyotes players on the bench, and the slash to the goalie’s pads, he explained. Using the phrase “flaunting your talent” suggests that I don’t value individual skill in hockey, which I don’t. I still don’t understand why Zegras hit the goalie’s pad to get the puck at this point in the game. »

Critics of Terry, 57 points, including 31 goals, in 64 games this season, reminded us that you have to face the consequences of your actions when trying to call an opponent to order.

Former NHL defenseman turned analyst Kevin Bieksa, 58 career fights, for his part underlined on Saturday during an intermission segment of Hockey Night in Canada that he would have liked the unwritten law of hockey stipulating that one does not destroy the face of an opponent weaker and less threatening than oneself.

Beagle defended himself this weekend for attacking a vulnerable opponent. “At first I didn’t know it was Terry, but he came aggressively in front of me and it’s a fight. He attacked me. You have to be responsible for your actions. You prick the goalkeeper with your stick at 5-0, regardless of your status, you will receive a blow. It is an unwritten law. It’s like when you enter a scrum. There’s a way to get in there by showing that you don’t want to fight and wait for the linesmen to show up. I reviewed the sequence several times and the linesman could not have done anything about it. »

No one can be proud of what happened Friday in Arizona. Hoping that everyone learns a lesson from this sad episode.

“Costly” victory for the Flames… for Montreal

The Calgary Flames further extended their lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division by beating them 3-2 on Monday night. Calgary now holds a five-point lead over Los Angeles with three more games to play. This is not good news for the Canadian who holds the first round choice of the Flames.

Contrary to what was written the day before in this column, the division title counts to determine the classification in anticipation of the repechage.

So even though it’s only tenth overall, Calgary is 29and in draft order behind Carolina, Florida and Colorado. If it maintains its first rank in the Pacific Division and nevertheless loses in the first round, Montreal will not be able to draft before the 25and rank out of 32 with this choice.

Do not miss

  1. In a long string of tweets, former NHL defenseman Chris Pronger explains how quickly the fortunes of young athletes can become a poisoned gift. Nicholas Richard summarizes.
  2. Carey Price is approaching a return to play. This week, wonders Richard Labbé?
  3. Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie is optimistic about the future of Canadian football. A text by Miguel Bujold.

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