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:

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

    This is utter nonsense. He didn't intentionally do it. When those guys are tossing haymakers that fast, there's no way that they can control exactly where they land.

    Plus isn't it a rule that the NHL can't suspend a player after he's played the next game?

    It has to be effective immediately and before the next game as far as I know.

  • Hippy

    Interesting timing given that Edm and Min are both fighting over the same playoff spot. If Min could get Souray out for a few games chances go up for Edm missing a few points minus their #1D.

  • Hippy

    FMNF – I find this curious at best that the Wild discover this additional Souray video within days of the Oil losing two of their top four defensemen to longterm injury. The fact too that it is the OIL that they are in a playoff battle with… hmm, who kenw?

    Hopefully Souray will use his right hand the next time he has to fight a WILD player as it is obvious that they prefer their lunch minced before it being fed to them…

    Should make for a good WILD rematch.

  • Hippy

    @ Jason Gregor:

    Ignore comment #11, I wrote it before you explained. And yes, if Campbell has already told Souray he won't be punished, I very much doubt the league goes back on its word.

    As for the Wild, according to Russo's story, the close-up footage was discovered accidentally by the Wild's TV producer while he was putting together a highlight package in preparation for the last Oilers/Wild game. Russo says in his blog that the new video is "damning" and that the Wild were unaware of it until just a couple of days ago.

  • Hippy

    Why is this even a discussion? We know the league is gutless in regards to handing out disipline. You get the same suspension for paralysing someone as you do for slew footing them. BUT those suspensions are less than if you insult some chick on TV.

    Nothing will happen here.

  • Hippy

    I'm quite certain the rule Campbell wanted to discuss with Souray was the following:

    47.15 Any player or goalkeeper wearing tape or any other material on his hands (below the wrist) who cuts or injures an opponent during an altercation will receive a match penalty in addition to any other penalties imposed including for fighting under this rule.

    From your description, I think Souray's wrist guard would qualify.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I can’t. If, however the close-up video the Wild sent in shows it conclusively, that I would be in favour of a suspension.

    If they had conclusive evidence don't you think they would have sent it in by now? The Wild are really searching for something in my opinion. They had ample time to look over the tape.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I couldn’t find any post-meeting stuff, but the pre-meeting stories seemed to indicate it was illegal. I take it you have more recent information?

    We spoke with Souray the minute he returned from the All-star break. He has been using a guard for five seasons, and every year it gets smaller and more compact. The reason Campbell didn't deem it a weapon was due to where it sits on his thumb/wrist.

    The angle would be almost impossible to use it as a weapon without Souray, exposing himself his hand in a vulnerable position.

    I will search through my archives for Souray's exact quote. But paraphrasing Souray, Campbell said he wanted to see it first hand what the guard looked like so he could make a better judgement in the future if a complaint came in. Souray said he would not be punished due to this, and there is no chance the league goes back on their word, especially since so much time has past since the incident. It would look ridiculous.

  • Hippy

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    He won’t be suspended, nor should he. From the video you watched you can’t even see where the guard sits, so how can you say confidently that he should be suspended?

    I can't. If, however the close-up video the Wild sent in shows it conclusively, that I would be in favour of a suspension.

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    And the fact he has met with Campbell over two weeks ago now, there is zero chance he will be suspended by the league. Campbell didn’t tell him that he can’t fight with it on in the future either.

    I couldn't find any post-meeting stuff, but the pre-meeting stories seemed to indicate it was illegal. I take it you have more recent information?

  • Hippy

    JW,

    Souray already had a meeting with Campbell regarding this at the All-Star break. Campbell wanted to see the thumb/wrist guard to see if was that dangerous.

    Campbell concluded it wasn't and Souray said that Campbell wanted to see it himself so he could make a better judgement on it in the future.

    As for Souray intentionally hitting Weller with this, I'm not sure the evidence is conclusive enough to state that.

    However, I'm not sure how many fights you've been in, but guys don't want to try and hit a guy purposely with their thumb. You don't generate much leverage, plus the chance of hurting yourself is increased greatly.

    Souray said ideally he doesn't like punching with his left because he is still a bit concerned about re-injuring it. He did in this case because Weller had his right tied up he said.

    I've seen the guard up close and when on his wrist/thumb it rests right on the thumb knuckle. He would have to turn his fist to the side to have a direct hit with the guard, and that would be awkward and more dangerous to him than actually hitting his opponent with the guard.

    He won't be suspended, nor should he. From the video you watched you can't even see where the guard sits, so how can you say confidently that he should be suspended?

    And the fact he has met with Campbell over two weeks ago now, there is zero chance he will be suspended by the league. Campbell didn't tell him that he can't fight with it on in the future either.

  • Hippy

    If there is conclusive proof that he intentionally caused injury to an opposing player, then yes, he absolutely deserves a suspension. That said, I don't think anything will come of this since it looked pretty inconclusive, although it's definitely something Souray needs to be mindful of when he drops the gloves in the future.

  • Hippy

    Looks like Souray was giving him the forearm to the head. I agree with your position that punishment is deserved for that.

    As for the Plekanec slew foot on Grebeshkov, I have a couple of concerns. It looked like a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent. The on ice officials did not see it that way. Plekanec should have been dealt with physically after that play. Hemsky has been hit dirty and no one has stepped up to that either.

    Need some character on the Oilers to stand up for their teammates.

  • Hippy

    Minny's nuckin futz. Just want a playoff spot. Someone should tell them the trap is dead,and nobody but stupid minny fans want to watch bottled up neutral zone traps. Snore