Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Pronger Stomp?

With poor quality video as evidence, Anaheim Ducks captain Chris Pronger originally escaped punishment from the NHL after apparently stomping on the leg of Vancouver Canucks' centre Ryan Kesler Wednesday night.

But a clearer version of the video revealed late Thursday - with a better look at the incident - has the NHL is looking into it again. A phone hearing is scheduled for Saturday and a suspension will likely result.

Pronger waived his right to an in-person hearing in favor of a phone hearing.

Traditionally, the type of hearing usually speaks to the number of games a player can be suspended. The phone hearing normally means four games or less, while an in-person hearing means five or more.

By waiving his right to an in-person hearing, Pronger acknowledges his suspension could be more severe than the phone treatment usually determines.

"There's a review process going on right now," Pronger said Friday. "Obviously, we'll have to wait to see what happens."

He said he would not comment further because of the league's new review.

While the original game footage showed the incident from a distance as the puck was being cleared out of Anaheim's zone, the second version zeroes in on Kesler and Pronger as they got tangled along the back boards.

The incident happened in the opening minute of the second period in Anaheim's zone after a dump in from the blue line by Canucks defenceman Sami Salo.

Kesler - one of two Canuck forwards who chased down the puck behind the goal line - collided with Pronger along the boards and fell, and it looked as though Kesler wrapped his legs around Pronger's feet.

It looked like the Ducks captain appeared to disengage from Kesler, but there was also a form of a stomp or a push with some downard motion from his foot.

"He stomped on me," Kesler told the Vancouver Sun after the game. "He got me on the calf."

It isn't the first time the former Norris and Hart Trophy winner has been involved in such incidents.

Pronger has been suspended seven times in his career, with the most recent ones handed down during the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. He received a one-game suspension from the NHL last May for his hit on Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, and was suspended for a game in June for hitting Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in the head with his forearm during the third period of the Senators' 5-3 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"(Pronger's) a tough player and an aggressive player," Ottawa Senators defenceman Luke Richardson told TSN on Friday.

"(There's) probably a double standard, I think sometimes if you are a superstar you might get a little bit of a benefit of the doubt, but also works against you that if he plays and he's a repeat offender, sometimes that might work against you too. I think if you had two seconds to think about it, nobody in the game really intends to injure someone in that way. Sometimes you make careless decisions and it costs you, but it's hard to know what's on someone's mind when you see something that's little deceiving when you see it."

It also marks the second time this season that a player has stepped on an opponent while he was laying prone.

In December, New York Islanders forward Chris Simon received a 30-game suspension for trying to step on Pittsburgh forward Jarkko Ruutu's foot.

Simon, who now plays for the Minnesota Wild, was not impressed with the league's lack of action.

"I can get the amount of games I get and other players can hurt players?" he told reporters Friday.

"You look at Holmstrom and McAmmond - those two guys getting knocked out of the playoffs and the player misses one game and the same thing, if not twice, happens in the Vancouver-Anaheim game and there's not even a review."


This is ridiculous. Watch tho video and decide. To me it looks like he was pumping his leg to get is loose and when his leg was released, he was still trying to pull his leg free.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger grimjack said...

Looks to me like a stomp. It appears that he looked down to see what he was doing. I don't agree with Simon though. He has a much worse history that added to his punishments.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger RT said...

It looked like he was kicking free and started to stomp as he turned to face the play in action.

I was wondering if he started to stomp and realized what he was doing and stopped? With it in slow motion, the severity of his actions are harder to judge.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Steph said...

Every time I hear about these incidents I become more convinced that I need to get my ex to play hockey.


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