When I received the news that Dallas Drake was being suspended for a legal hit on Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda the first thing I did was call Eklund so the news could quickly be posted on hockeybuzz.com.
After that I scratched my head wondering how a suspension was necessary on a play that wasn’t even penalized. ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose called it a clean hit as the play was showcased on Barry’s Best plays of the night.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how the NHL operates. It’s all about a player’s reputation. This is the second time Drake has been suspended in less than a year for body checking. He was also suspended last season when he leveled Anaheim’s Corey Perry on a hit that wasn’t penalized either. Drake is considered a repeat offender by the league.
If you look at the replay you will see that Drake never left his feet, his hands and elbows were down. Lebda was falling away on the play anyway.
I understand they want to eliminate head injuries, if you look at the score sheet you can see Lebda played 20 minutes in the game. He didn’t suffer a head injury. He got his bell rung. I have never seen a hockey player that didn’t get hit. It happens.
The league continues to say they want big hits in the game, but every time a big hit occurs they’re handing out fines and suspensions.
It’s an absolute joke how the league is running this ship right now.
The players who play an aggressive style of play might as well carry pompoms on the ice.
There is no reason for Drake to appeal the suspension. What’s the point of even having a hearing? In my opinion the decision was already made before Drake, his agent Tom Laidlaw, and John Davidson met with Colin Campbell over the phone. A member from the NHLPA also took part in the hearing. He was suspended because he is Dallas Drake plain and simple.
Why was Alexander Ovechkin only handed a fine after he gave Daniel Briere the cheap shot of the year? Is it because the NHL wouldn’t want the their golden boy to have a black eye on his resume? It’s all about consistency here. Ovechkin was fined 1,000 dollars.
The Detroit Red Wings have to be the biggest whiners in the NHL today. Head Coach Mike Babcock is constantly hollering at officials after another one of his player’s gets drilled.
Here’s an idea, keep your head up!
During the game Detroit Owner Mike Ilitch ran downstairs to address the Drake hit with referee Kerry Fraser.
Is Ilitch now the Commissioner of the NHL?
Last time I checked his suite was located upstairs. Please explain to me how an Owner can think it’s ok to address an issue with an on or off ice official during a hockey game. It’s embarrassing! There is no way a league should tolerate something like this.
It doesn’t matter if Ilitch screamed at or even threatened the officials. The bottom line is, in no circumstance should a Owner or General Manager be allowed to have any contact whatsoever with an referee or video booth official during the game period! I don't care if he wanted to invite the ref's over to his house for dinner. Understand your place and wait until after the game is finished.
I think it’s fair to point out that following Ilitch’s conversation with Fraser Detroit was handed a 5 on 3 power play right off the bat to begin the third period. The Red Wings had four straight PP opportunities to begin the period and at one point had a 10-3 advantage in PP chances.
The St. Louis Blues filed a complaint with the league Thursday night asking them to look into the matter. Actions like these deserve immediate attention from the league, Ilitich and company should be handed a stiff fine.
Detroit is too soft of a team to think they will be able to succeed come playoff time. I don’t remember hearing about Ilitch talking to the officials when he had Bob Probert Or Joe Kocur on his roster.
This organization got upset when Jason Williams got pasted twice this season. Teams know they can take advantage of Detroit because they have no one the opposition fears on their bench.
Drake will be fined two game checks.
Stop by the ESPN Sports Lounge at Chesterfield Mall on Sunday between 2-3 pm where I will be broadcasting live with a special edition of the Blues Breakfast. Defenseman Dennis Wideman and goaltender Manny Legace will be on hand signing autographs. The ESPN Sports lounge is located on the upper level across from Houlihan’s restaurant.
More to come,