Should Souray Be Suspended?

Jonathan Willis
February 13 2009 12:37PM

Souray fights Weller

By now, we’ve likely all heard about the suspension to Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec for slewfooting Denis Grebeshkov on Wednesday night. As Jason Gregor reported yesterday, Grebeshkov is going to be out for a minimum of two weeks, and likely longer with a high ankle sprain. Plekanec will be ineligible to play for two games, in accordance with the Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice.

With both Grebeshkov and Visnovsky injured, the blueline corps has been transformed from a strength to a weakness; Jason Strudwick and the recently recalled Theo Peckham are simply not of the same calibre as those two players.

Things could be worse, though. Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild sent a new video of Sheldon Souray’s fight with Craig Weller to the NHL, based on a close-up angle from FSN’s coverage of the game. According to the Wild, it’s conclusive evidence:

The replay shows Souray throwing four "punches." Each time, Souray, instead of leading with his fist, turned his left wrist and forearmed Weller in the face. Weller sustained a serious concussion and hasn't played since.

Souray already met with Colin Campbell, who warned him that fighting while wearing the wrist guard is illegal. This video is hardly conclusive (Note: this isn't the close-up the Wild sent in), but it certainly seems possible that Souray was hitting Weller with his wrist guard. The Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune, who reported this story, says it’s “hard to imagine” Souray being disciplined, given that the incident occurred a month ago. Souray

Maybe it’s just me, but if the video is conclusive in showing that Souray intentionally hit Weller with his wrist guard, I’d like to see a suspension. Russo’s likely right that the league will chose to do nothing, especially given their rather lax disciplinary policy (exceptions: if you insult your ex-girlfriend on TV) and the length of time that has passed. Even so, it’s impossible to justify Souray using his wrist guard as a weapon, and if that is what indeed took place here, he deserves punishment.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 R-DAWG
February 13 2009, 08:22PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

Every time Boogard goes after Hemsky hes intending to injure him.

Oilersordeath wrote:

Its pricks like Phanuf, Burrows, Tootoo who are the ones always looking to injure opposing players.

If anything comes of the Souray KO of Weller,then we need to CLOSELY REVIEW the hit put on Hemmer by Tootoo. That hit was clearly a charge...not because he came from the other side of the ice but because he jumped up so he would hit his head PERIOD. It sucks cause it was Hemsky and you can't deny the intent. Souray's already had a visit with Campell and it would have been fun to be a fly on the wall...in my mind the conversation would have went something like this. Campbell-"Holy crap you totally kicked the shit out of Weller...that was awesome"...but maybe next time don't use your wrist protector" Souray-"O.K"..."waitress another round here please"

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#52 Bruno
February 13 2009, 08:43PM
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@ Jason: How could it ever be obvious that Souray did that? Its a wrist guard!! not knuckle dusters.. And if during the fight the guard connected so be it! there is no rule saying no wrist guards.So Should they investigate Dion's hit that he laid the other night cause he definitly lead with his elbow.. Cheap head shot by Phanuf..Peiceof equipment to the head..And you see that he even had to adjust the elbow pad after he laid him out..

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#53 RBK
February 13 2009, 11:09PM
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raged wrote:

This is oilers nation, not wilisnation.

Can you imagine WillisNation? I would totally go over there and read whatever he wrote. Then I would go to RagedNation.com where you write and of course it would be awful because you of course know absolutely nothing.

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#54 Antony Ta
February 13 2009, 11:37PM
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FMNF

In fights: shit happens. If Campbell deemed it safe, it doesn't matter if he used it or not, deliberately or otherwise, because the safety of it is not an issue to anyone but Souray himself.

Deliberately: he would be stupid to do this because he's putting himself at risk more than Craig Weller, for example. Accidentally: well, accidents happen.

Deliberation only matters if it hurts the other player or puts them at risk. Tripping, eye-gouging, headbutitng, biting, etc. these are things that are suspendable, in my opinion. When you're in a fight in hockey anything below the shoulder goes except the elbows, IMO.

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#55 Sing A Song For SingSing
February 14 2009, 12:35AM
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Robin, don't waste your time on these teenage shmucks.

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#56 MattN
February 14 2009, 02:25AM
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Souray pushing Moreau out of the way and laying a beat down on Weller is probably the coolest thing I have seen all season. It is the one thing I will remember about this year, so far. If what he did was wrong............I don't want to be right.

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#57 99thOilfan
February 14 2009, 05:59AM
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rOILty wrote:

In all fairness, i can see how this should have been considered an infraction and punished appropriatly, but looking back at that game i remember Weller was being a big pest, and, in this sport if you talk the talk you have to be prepared to face the consequences. He had it coming. You can’t expect men to fight on skates and never get injured. Its part of the game and part of the sacrifice one makes to be an NHL’er.

As Per Above

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#58 B-rad
February 14 2009, 09:26AM
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GDB! I REPEAT GDB!

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#59 TonyT
February 14 2009, 11:12AM
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We all talk about how this team definitely needs some sandpaper. While Stortini has shown improvements in his game, and the Oilers have added a true heavyweight in Macintyre, the Oilers still don't have that jacka-- that drive teams crazy and can put us over the edge ala Steve Ott, Ruttu, Vandermeer, or anyone drafted by the Vancouver Canucks (Kesler, Cooke, Burrows, Ruttu again, Hordichuk (though not drafted a Canuck)). My question is (although this would never happen) would the Oilers benefit from picking up Sean Avery? I know most people will answer that while we need a player like Avery, Avery himself is not the answer because "insert answer here". However, truth is there are not many players (if any) of his skillset that are available. If the Oilers were to pick up his salary at half the price due to ren-entry waivers, would you do it?

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#60 Robin B
February 14 2009, 01:07PM
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@ TonyT: Avery has a lot of on-ice qualities that can help a lot of teams, so there's no question that, from a skillset point of view, he's intriguing -- especially at a discount rate.

That said, and the only caveat being there is a chance he's changed his ways after his latest scrape -- I don't buy it that he's a new man in a couple months -- he is such a divisive and polarizing force it's not worth it.

I've talked to Avery's teammates and he is the epitome of cancer in the dressing room. I had players who normally wouldn't say sh*t if there mouth was full of it tell me he's absolutely the biggest waste of skin as far as a human being they have ever met. Take that for what it's worth.

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#61 Harlie Chuddy
February 14 2009, 02:40PM
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I love being able to rewind and watch that fight over and over again. Gags got one good shot in. Not bad.

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#62 Harlie Chuddy
February 14 2009, 02:42PM
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You suck storts. Big Mac woulda destroyed that guy.

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#63 TonyT
February 14 2009, 03:52PM
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@ Robin B

Thanks for the comments Robin. I think we can agree that Avery presents the Oilers with a specific skillset, one that I believe the Oilers have been missing for quite sometime, especially given the importance the Oilers put on leadership qualities on draft day making these types of "unsavoury" characters absent in the organization. My question then becomes (with the lack players like Avery) available to the Oilers, would it be more beneficial to the Oilers to stand pat in terms of organizational template or to add Avery in light of the risks (Dallas Stars) and possible rewards (NY Rangers)? Also, if the Oilers were to do this my understanding is that if they were to pickup Avery on re-entry waivers that they would only be responsible for half his salary (1) what happens to the other half? and (2) if the Oilers then sent him down and called him up and he was again picked up on re-entry waivers by another team what would happen to his salary?

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#64 Jason Gregor
February 14 2009, 06:55PM
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B-rad wrote:

Would you have sent a tape Gregor, if it was Brent Burns wearing the wrist gaurd?

I wouldn't since I don't work for the Oilers...haha.

I never said sending a tape was bad, I reported the FACTS. Souray had a meeting with Campbell because Campbell wanted to see the guard. He saw and made a decison that it wasn't a weapon in this case. Will Souray be monitored more closely now because of it, yes.

It has nothing to do with which team sent the tape from my opinion. I've stated many times that due to my job I am not a FAN of the Oilers. I want them to win because it benefits the city, but really whether they win or lose doesn't change my job. That's why I love being a Dolphins fan. It allows me to still cheer for a team, and since I don't cover them, my cheering for them doesn't influence how I do my job.

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#65 OilDude
February 15 2009, 09:06AM
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BooHoo already,get over it Wild.Plain and simple Weller is a wimp and he messed with the wrong guy and Souray kicked his ass.

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#66 Jaime
February 16 2009, 12:37AM
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Robin B wrote:

OilFan in Calgary wrote: BOOOO. Home town reporting only. Who are you to tell Willis what to write? If his take on this doesn’t hold up, it’s because he didn’t have all the information — which he’s already acknowledged. It’s a legit topic, given the follow-up from Russo. Dennis wrote: This WIll be a major story if the new video makes the Weller thrashing a suspendable offense At least you snuck in 17 words on the actual topic before treating us to, surprise, more of your insight on how the MSM won’t tell the real story and is putting the “spin” on Smid.

If the bloggers can express an opinion on this site, the people who read these blogs can definitely express their opinions in the comment fields. I believe that's what they're for(!) Have a little bit of respect for the people who come on here out of boredom to read your truly exclusive insights. Just a thought, maybe you should listen to input from YOUR readers instead of immediately dismissing us. Maybe you just don't care if anybody reads your blog, I don't know. I know if I were you I would care because a blog that nobody reads is hardly worth writing.

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#67 Jaime
February 16 2009, 12:40AM
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That goes for both of you, by the way. I know this is not your blog, Robin B, but you seem very offended that OilFan had the nerve to express his dissenting opinion.

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#68 Jaime
February 16 2009, 12:46AM
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I'm getting pretty disgusted by the misplaced sense of 'righteousness' and 'self-importance' that you 'writers' seem to have. I'm a 'writer' too. Honestly, your opinion is just an opinion. It is not more worthy than any other opinion than anybody might express. Sure, you might know hockey better than alot of people. But you need to have some respect. Just because you express your opinions on some website does not make it more or less valid.

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#69 Robin B
February 16 2009, 09:02AM
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Jaime wrote:

That goes for both of you, by the way. I know this is not your blog, Robin B, but you seem very offended that OilFan had the nerve to express his dissenting opinion.

Grow up. Dissenting opinion? Like I already said, argue the merits of what's written until you're blue in the face, but don't chastise Willis or anybody else for choosing to write about a given topic. "BOOO, hometown reporting only?" That's deep. What does that add to debate?

And you'd best step back into the real world. Everybody has the right to an opinion, but if you think all opinions are created equal, well, keep thinking it if you must.

By the way, three straight posts qualifies as just wanting to hear yourself talk. Here's a thought, as you put it: the vast majority of people who comment here offer insights that are worth debate, even if they run contrary to what the "writers" think. Some do not.

And before you offer your "opinion" based on citing my response to Dennis, you'd best do your homework on the history behind that one.

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#70 Jaime
February 16 2009, 02:22PM
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Thanks for putting me in my place! I'm sorry for suggesting that people had the right to say what they think, regardless of if it's on topic or not!

Maybe I just want to tell you what I think?

'debate'. Right, this is all pure intellectual conversation right here. There's alot to debate about, hockey is so complex. I can hardly wrap my mind around this entire discussion. Should he be suspended, or not?? God, that's a ring-dinger.

Sure, some people write stupid comments. I'm sure you know the internet isn't limited to people looking for an intelligent debate. If you have a problem with that, maybe you shouldn't be blogging.

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#71 Robin B
February 16 2009, 02:39PM
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@ Jaime: If you have a problem with grasping the concept that there's a difference in debating the issue and taking shots at the person who raised the issue, then maybe you need to bugger off and find a place where it's really dumbed down.

Oilers rule! Flames suck! No they don't. Yes they do. No they don't. Yes they do. No they don't. You suck. No I don't. Yes you do . . .

Interesting you don't like my take that the person commenting should debate the issue and not take shots at the writer for raising it -- that's some sort of censorship and denying the basic right to say whatever the hell you want -- but you're apparently OK with the poster telling Willis what to write with his "BOOO hometown news only" comment. Hmm. Do tell.

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