Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The hockey media is up in arms over the Wisniewski gesture

thus they continue to direct attention to the Wisniewski gesture

It's not a throat slash. It's not anything violent. It didn't put anybody in physical harm. It didn't involve anybody except for James Wisniewski and Sean Avery, and shouldn't really offend anybody.

Sunday's hockey games offered a lot for the hockey media to pontificate on. New Jersey dressed 15 players due to salary cap contraints (there's a legal issue here), there was a big brawl in the St. Louis/Anaheim game that was out of reach (there's an unnecessary violence issue here), there have been nine head injuries so far this season (there's a player safety issue here).

So James Wisniewski told Sean Avery to blow him. I'm sure that nobody has ever done that. I'm sure no fan has ever done that. I'm sure that Sean Avery has a squeaky-clean track record and sensitive personality that would make him feel totally uncomfortable by a gesture like that.

Or completely the opposite. Preach, brothers.

Larry Brooks compares what Wisniewski did to what Sean Avery said about Elisha Cuthbert a few years back that led to a six-game Avery suspension.

"But I'm sure nothing is going to happen to him because nothing ever happens.

"It's interesting you get a warning [from the officials] for something like that. Imagine if I did that. I'd be sent to rehab."

I thought what happened on the ice stayed on the ice, or something. (Somebody needs to re-write the unwritten code) Sean Avery displayed his inability to let go of Elisha Cuthbert to the media the way a crying failed contestant on American Idol yells to the judges that "ya'll haven't heard the last of me! Ya'll missed your chance!" James Wiesniewski didn't. He told Sean Avery to blow him. The only way this is a controversy is if Graham James is involved.

Damien Cox decided to compare the Wisniewski action to the Niklas Hjalmarsson hit, also from yesterday, which sent Pominville off the ice in a stretcher.

Ugly hit, yes. Suspension-worthy, yes. Malicious, no. Hjalmarsson is a guy who had 20 PIMs last year, all minors. Like Pominville, he got caught out of position and had a momentary lapse of judgment. This is the type of hit that puts somebody into the 'repeat offender' category and nothing more.
Does the NHL value class or safety more? Does is despise vulgarity more, or actions which put other players in unnecessary physical danger?
Class or safety? The only player who isn't safe when Hjalmarsson is on the ice is Marty Turco (Hjalmarsson is a -4 already this year)
After 20 years of seeing various nefarious misdeeds on the rink, I can't tell you with any honesty what will transpire in either case.
Nefarious misdeed? Is that a synonym for "isolated incident" which is what both of these cases are?

If Damien Cox is so concerned about class and protecting the children, maybe him and the rest of the hockey media who are so concerned should stop talking about it. TSN ran the video in their highlight package, except they blurred the gesture. Again, if TSN is concerned about the children, then don't show it.

It reminds of when Paul McCartney was asked by an interviewer whether he did drugs. McCartney said yes. The interviewer asked whether he was going to be seen as a bad influence, to which McCartney replied "I'm not the one publishing it."
Will one action deserve only a slap on the wrist, or both? Will Colin Campbell decide enough is enough and hammer both Wisnewski and Hjalmarsson?

Only Campbell knows, and as he awakes this morning, he probably doesn't know, either.

Well that makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for clarifying it for me.

For what it's worth, Hjalmarsson deserves two or three games and a target on his back for the next time he does something like this, which may be never. Wisniewski deserves nothing until he starts slandering ex-girlfriends in the press or acting like a pest for being a pest on the ice reccurently and actually becomes a threat to the 'class' of the game.

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