The Scott Stevens effect | Sports | Indy Week
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Scott Stevens effect

Posted by on Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Clearly, the Weight hit has elicited a strong response from hockey fans. Although it has been all but cleared by the league because it was an open-ice hit and Doug Weight was admittedly sorry afterwards, this unfortunate event raises the same old questions: should hits like this be allowed? If a hit is not completed when a player’s back is turned, accompanied by a direct blow to the head, or with noticeable intent to injure, (how one gauges that is anybody’s guess) it gets a stamp of approval. Players such as Scott Stevens thrived on this rule, circling the neutral zone and looking for their next victim.

Of course, everyone remembers this one.

 

Scott Stevens is now a hall-of-famer, and players continue to be hurt by these legal hits. Many, perhaps even most, around the league believe that when a player is vulnerable – is not looking or has their head down – their opponent should let up, and those who don’t should be punished. Players have suffered serious injuries as a result of these “entertaining” hits, a relic of another NHL era. Last season, Patrice Bergeron was hit by Philadelphia’s Randy Jones and missed the rest of the season due to concussion symptoms. The league suspended Jones for only two games, and Bergeron was criticized for leaving himself in a vulnerable position. The Hurricanes’ own Matt Cullen missed a large chunk of last year’s season with vision problems after receiving an open-ice hit from Colton Orr, who received no backlash from the league. If a player is facing the boards or is watching the puck, he should not have to worry about eating out of a straw for the next two weeks.

 

Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette agrees. He had this to say after the Islanders game:

 

"(Sutter) was in a vulnerable position, and those kind of hits have to be removed from the game,” Laviolette said. “He may not have had his arm up, but those kind of hits are dangerous."

 

There is no word on Sutter as of yet, but you can watch the hit here. Ignore the commentary and judge for yourself.

 

Weight is not trying to push Sutter off the puck; he doesn’t even come close to the rubber disk. He is trying to knock Sutter silly, and even if he didn’t mean to injure the rookie, he was tempting fate by attempting that kind of hit. It’s good to see that he was sorry afterwards; he should be. Hits on a player whose head is down should be banned from the league before another player is severely injured. Hockey purists don’t want to lose this aspect of the game, but this predatory style of play has been mostly phased out with rule changes and this one, scary part has been left behind. For those who wonder why casual observers think hockey is a violent and brutal sport, this could be part of it.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports

More by Kate Shefte

  • “At peace” Brind’Amour hangs ‘em up after 20 NHL seasons

    “Get ready for the obvious,” Brind’Amour said wryly. “I will no longer be playing hockey, for the Hurricanes or anyone else.”
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Staal gets a [hundreds of hats] trick in 'Canes' home finale

    Odd couple Chad LaRose and Eric Staal connected for nine points and the Hurricanes kept the Montreal Canadiens from clinching a playoff spot, 5-2. The Canadiens only needed one point to secure a berth.
    • Apr 8, 2010
  • Marty's party kicks 'Canes out of playoff contention

    RBC CENTER/RALEIGH — Martin Brodeur showed that, in spite of a few playoff hiccups, he still remembers how to school Carolina. He posted shutout No. 109 Saturday night and his team connected for four goals at Cam Ward's expense. Carolina went scoreless for the seventh time this year after being shut out once in the entirety of last season. It also dropped its third 4-0 contest of the last month. More importantly, the team is now officially out of playoff contention. Though Carolina would have lost a tie in the standings with Philadelphia, it had a chance with Boston. But Boston pulled away with a 2-1 overtime win over Toronto, putting the final nail in Carolina’s postseason coffin months after it was taken off life support when half the team was lost to injury or trade. Carolina has a bright future with NHL-ready players like Zach Boychuk and a potential top-three pick if the team blows the remaining three games on the schedule. Boychuk said he was taking notes during New Jersey’s convincing win tonight. “We’re a young team,” Boychuk said. “We can definitely learn from [the Devils] and use it for next year.” Maybe it was the weather, but walking into the building, you could close your eyes and swear it was a playoff game. However, with this performance, Carolina couldn’t have won the couch potato Olympics. An early goal took the energy out of the ‘Canes and Cam Ward wasn’t as solid as he’s been in his three games since returning from injury. Dainius Zubrus went in completely alone on a power play seven minutes into the first period and had an Old West-style gun draw with Cam Ward. Ward did his best rock wall impression but the puck found its way through his pads. The Carolina goalie looked genuinely pissed off after that one.
    • Apr 4, 2010
  • More »

Twitter Activity

Comments

I find myself not caring about any of this. Amazing how such a "strong, proud, powerful people" could lose the …

by 10yearwalk on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Latest videos from the INDY

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation