Should Souray Be Suspended?

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:

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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.


  • Hippy

    In fairness, Russo's a very respected hockey journalist with better than a decade as a beat writer, most of that spent following the Panthers. His opinion that the video is "damning", while not conclusive, is significant.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Youve definitely earned thatt right but

    1. The two players willingly engaged in a FIGHT, nothing like the slewfoot on grebs which ocurred during a normal play.

    2. The Wild obviously have ulterior motives than pure justice.

    3. Where was this article when the fight happened, the fact that the wild player got hit with the wrist guard isnt recent news.

    4. Home town reporting only. We just lost two of our three best dmen and you write a post about losing the other one for the next couple games, just because minnesotta whined. stupid.

    This is oilers nation, not wilisnation.

  • Hippy

    @ Jack "FMNF" Bauer:

    What I meant was that there should only be hometown reporting allowed after a 7-2 win. Let the knives come out after a terrible effort in LA tomorrow.

  • Hippy

    This WIll be a major story if the new video makes the Weller thrashing a suspendable offense but my new favourite story is how Smid is a blossoming defensive dman.

    Is that for real or is just how you spin a guy who was supposed to be a two-way guy when he was acquired for Pronger?:)

    The kid's playing better than he did last year but he's still only 17/21 in terms of GF/GA and 'all of this;)' while playing the softest minutes on the blueline.

    Now, it isn't a sexy or selling story to write that the Oilers are basically shagged if they are depending on him to handle top four min but I found it odd that today was the day we found out that the kid might be close to arriving!!

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I’ll say whatever the hell I want, and I’m not going to slant it in favour of this team just because I happen to follow them. “My country right or wrong” is intellectually dishonest.

    I seem to remember their biggest player running our best players and knocking them out for a number of games. I hate to see a guy get hurt, but he was playing for the wrong team…

  • Hippy

    I hope this video is made public, I'd like to see it.

    If it is blatantly obvious that he did something like that then he should absolutely be punished, regardless of how long ago it was. That won't actually happen, but it should.

    I've seen a few people mention that the Wild are doing this to attempt to screw of a NW rival. I don't think that's necessarily the case; if they actually have a tape that shows Souray using his wrist-guard as they allege, then they absolutely should be pushing for some sort of penalization. I would expect the Oilers organization to do the same.

    But until we see their tape we don't really know anything. Maybe it's a legit complaint, maybe it's BS. Who knows.

  • Hippy

    For everyone who is ready to throw this story in the trash out of hand, in fairness ask yourself this question first;

    If the Oilers had just last week come up with 'damning evidence' that Andrew Brunette had deliberately attempted to injure one of our players last month, would you be just as adamant that the Oilers throw the tape in the trash and let the whole thing go, or would you suggest that the Oilers send the tape in to the Commish and see if anything came of it? Most of us, if we're honest, will admit that the Wild only did what we would have expected any team in their position to do.

  • Hippy

    If the wild were really that upset about the "wrist guard incident" henceforth refered to as WGI, they would have found that angle within hours of the game. Its very odd it was found accidentally weeks later They have people who are paid to review footage on staff and if they were worth the salary they are paid they would have found it within minutes of WGI. I don't believe for a second that this is them merely trying to see justice served, they are angleing to sink the Oil and its a bunch of BS IMO…. FMNF

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    In fairness, Russo’s a very respected hockey journalist with better than a decade as a beat writer, most of that spent following the Panthers. His opinion that the video is “damning”, while not conclusive, is significant.

    JW,

    All though his accusation is significant, it is wrong. When it has been deemed safe by the discipline czar, before his "damning" comment, you have to agree…it is wrong. Or mis-guided, I would have to say, that these people seeing it in person, rather than what it looks like on tape, would be as conclusive as it needs to be. Send him a link to the Gregor comment above.

    Tell him to print that in his paper.

    I think maybe if it was the other way around, we would do the same thing though. Would you have sent a tape Gregor, if it was Brent Burns wearing the wrist gaurd?

  • Hippy

    @ Ender the Dragon:

    There is damming evidence every game where is an intent to injure. Every time Boogard goes after Hemsky hes intending to injure him. The league does not care about stuff like this. They dont care to deal with it, they dont care to enforce it, they just dont care.

  • Hippy

    Come on! Anyone who's been watching hockey the last 10 or so years know's that Souray is not that type of player. He's a tough hard nosed in your face Canadian who happens to knock mutha fu__as out when he has to fight. Its pricks like Phanuf, Burrows, Tootoo who are the ones always looking to injure opposing players. Those assholes are the ones the league should keep an eye on not Souray!

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    Look closely when they show it in slow motion before the fight, you can clearly see that the plastic guard on Souray's forearm only covers the TOP. If he is indeed hitting him with his forearm, he'd be making contact with the bottom, which is 100% exposed.

    That having been said forearms in fighting is just an occupational hazard, and having been hit with both I can tell you that a forearm doesn't hurt any more than a fist, but in fact it increases the likelihood of a wrist injury to Souray. Which might explain something…

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    OilFan in Calgary wrote:
    BOOOO. Home town reporting only.
    I’ll say whatever the hell I want, and I’m not going to slant it in favour of this team just because I happen to follow them. “My country right or wrong” is intellectually dishonest.

    -BEEP BEEP-

    What's that sound? Is it? Yes, I think it is…

    My sarcasm detector is going off!

  • Hippy

    I think the suggestion that Russo's characterization of video footage as 'significant' suggests it may have a bearing on the outcome of this process and that is laughable as well as being a testament to the culture of entitlement that permeates the blogosphere. The NHL could give a rats ass about what bloggers or journalists think and I doubt they would allow anyone outside the boys club to sway their opinion.

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    @ Robin B:

    Well, Robin B, I happen to be an Oilers fan who realizes that two of our best D-men are out of action for a period of time whilst the Oil are in deep trying to make a playoff spot. Are you saying that I can't write to tell someone what he shouldn't write?

  • Hippy

    @ OilFan in Calgary:
    No, I'm telling you to argue the merits of what is written when the question of a suspension to Souray is raised instead of making like a Fan Boy and chastising Willis for giving his take on the issue. Writing: that's what writers do.

  • Hippy

    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"

  • Hippy

    @ 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..

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    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

  • Hippy

    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?

  • Hippy

    @ 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.