Suspensions - a different take

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Neecic. Show Neecic's posts

    Suspensions - a different take

    Ever since the Scott on Eriksson hit there has been a big debate regarding how you punish a "goon" more harshly then an actual hockey player without the nhlpa stepping in.  I find it a little confusing that it seems the nhlpa looks out for the culprit more then the victim but i digress.

    My thought is that it can be quantified by equating ice time to a suspension:

    -  league equates "1 game" to a baseline ice time, maybe its 8 mins, 10, 15, avg across the league etc.

    - for example, if this baseline is 10 mins/game, then a 7 game suspension is equivalent to 70 mins ice time

    -  if a player is called to the carpet and deemed to serve a 7 game suspension, and his avg ice time is equal to or above the baseline, he serves 7 games.

    -  if a player is under this baseline, his suspension is based on serving enough games at his avg ice time to equal this 70 mins.  in other words, Scott would get closer to 14 games.

    There's many variables to this such as repeat offenders, call ups etc. but it seems to me like a quantifiable way to penalize teams willing to dress a 3 shift player, whether they risk the bigger suspension or put him on the ice longer to get over the baseline threshold.  At the end of the day Scott is losing about 35 minutes of playing time, Chara would lose more in 2 games.

    Thoughts?

     

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    It would mean twice as many game checks for Scott as for another player, which is why the PA would never go for it.  Nice try, though.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Neecic. Show Neecic's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take


    great point, hadn't thought of that, the injured player is paid by the league and the suspended player is paid by the nhlpa.  That also answers the first part of my post.

    I wonder how the dynamic would change if the team who employs the "plaintiff" had to float the bill while the "defendent" is out (only on plays deemed illegal)

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Neecic. Show Neecic's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take


    and yes, i realize i reversed my court terms.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    But Book, the tricky thing is that you have already gone down the road of pretty subjective reasoning with these decisions, so for the NHLPA to suddenly say "Hey, you're not treating everyone the same!" seems a little dubious to me to begin with.  The objection would be to more formalized subjectivity, I guess.  Subjectivity already exists.

    I was not one who opposed the Marchand on Salo suspension, but I sure had a problem with Shanny's stated rationale.  First, the particular hit was not actually a clip, although it sure looked bad to me.  What's worse, were Shanny's rationalizations that the hit was 'predatory' and stemmed from 'frustration'(?) as criteria for suspension.  

    I don't even know what 'predatory' means in the hockey sense - did Marchand try to eat the carcass after the hit?  Body checks aren't supposed to be greetings, and being frustrated seems like a very common reason to try to check somebody (legally).  I don't know how you get dinged for your frustration level by the league. (NHLPA...?)

    I don't see much difference between rationalizing that a player is a goon or rationalizing that a player hit from 'frustration', when looking at punishment.  Neither really have anything to do with the legality of the hit.  Both are subjective ways to evaluate the hitter and his motives.  As someone else mentioned, John Scott isn't out there to score goals, or to stop goals from being scored.  His whole job could be described as 'predatory', in the sense that Shanahan uses the term. 

    So, if we're going to be subjective, and penalize hits based on guesses at the player's motives and mentality (see Marchand), why not assume that John Scott chasing Eriksson, late and behind the play, is 'predatory'?

    I know you can't formalize this as much as the OP suggests, but I'm okay with Shanahan building in a 'goon multiplier' for punishments where one team's thug injures a rival team's star player.  I mean, those injuries are terrible for the game (Domi on Neidermeier comes to mind).  If Shanahan wants to subjectively throw the book at someone, why not the goons that get out of hand and injure actual skilled hockey players?

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from gord11. Show gord11's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    I've mentioned it in a few othe rthreads in the wake of the John Scott on Loui Eriksson hit

    First. I think that the suspended player's coach should be fined - and the amount should hurt.

    Second, I think that a team should not be able to replace that suspended player on their roster for the duration of that suspension.

    What this would mean for John Scott and the Buffalo Sabres is; the Sabres would only be able to dress 11 forwards for the 7 games he's suspeneded (along with Kaleta's 10 game suspension, this would mean the Sabres would be able to dress only 10 forwards for the duration of time that the suspensions overlap). This would go some distance to evening out the damage Scott inflicted on the Bruins long-term, with the loss of Loui Eriksson.

    Suspensions should hurt. And in this way, these types of players would be 'policed' not by the other team but by the wrath of their own coaches and team-mates.

    Your friends keep you honest. Not your opponents.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    In response to Fletcher1's comment:

    But Book, the tricky thing is that you have already gone down the road of pretty subjective reasoning with these decisions, so for the NHLPA to suddenly say "Hey, you're not treating everyone the same!" seems a little dubious to me to begin with.  The objection would be to more formalized subjectivity, I guess.  Subjectivity already exists. [snip]

    I know you can't formalize this as much as the OP suggests, but I'm okay with Shanahan building in a 'goon multiplier' for punishments where one team's thug injures a rival team's star player.  I mean, those injuries are terrible for the game (Domi on Neidermeier comes to mind).  If Shanahan wants to subjectively throw the book at someone, why not the goons that get out of hand and injure actual skilled hockey players?



    The "subjective" part of this is guessing at intent, and the pattern has been to assume that a goon has more intent to injure others than a star player.  Patently not true if you look at the way some stars have used some nasty tactics to make room for their skilled plays - Messier and Howe are 2 and 3 in all-time points and may be 1-2 all time for dirty shots to players attempting to check them.

    The PA likes the logic of what I've said here because a star player loses significantly more money for being suspended than a goon does.  If you suspend Ovechkin for 10 games, that's a $1.22M penalty.  The same suspension for Scott is in the neighbourhood of $80K.  It's not that the goons get more time off, it's that the stars get less because each game is a far more significant penalty when it's a star player.  If you coupled that with a minutes/game multiplier, any sense of consistency would be just gone, baby, gone.  You'd have Scott getting 30 games and losing nearly half his salary for the same play that would cost Ovechkin 3x the money in 1/3 the games.

    The whole suspension system is pointless. It really is.  I said on another thread that what really needs to happen is for people to stop thinking about how to make the whole suspension process fair, objective, and acceptable to all parties and think about how we get to the real goal, which is taking out that element of deliberate intent to injure or negligent play that results in significant injuries.

    Maybe it should cost teams points in the standings on top of the suspension?  Draft picks?  Days to the start of the UFA period, so that you can't communicate with top UFAs until after everyone else?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    While I disagree with gord's opinions on most of this, I like his suggestion above, that the suspended player can't be replaced on the roster.

    Part of the whole 'intent' discussion is not just about the immediate mental state of the player throwing the dirty hit, but all of the other issues surrounding it.  That's where the organization has to take some blame too.  If Buffalo wants to hire John Scott, send him out there when losing by two goals, against a rival, and then watch him go club Eriksson in the head with an elbow -- they can't just shrug their shoulders at what happens.  Maybe Scott intended to hurt him and maybe he didn't, but Buffalo definitely sets the table for that kind of thing, moreso than if Nathan Gerbe keeps that roster spot.  Repeat offenders like Kaleta put them in an even worse spot.

    In essencse, you start making players like Scott and Kaleta, and Torres, and Cooke become a liability to the franchise in a more direct way.  Having to play 7 games with 11 forwards (or 5 defensmen depending on what position you want to associate Scott's stumbling around the ice with).  I think you start to move away from the murky waters of intent in favor of more risk management at an organizational level.

    I'm just in favor of moving the punishment from more of an individual thing to a team punishment.  I think that starts to shape roster decisions and puts an incredible pressure on guys like Torres to avoid hurting the team when he tries to take someone out.

    Reminds me of an old hockey coach who never punished the individual for being late or getting in trouble or whatever.  The entire team gets punished for that.  Just like the Marines too.  People are never late when 25 guys are going to have to bag skate because of it.  Maybe there is a similar incentive on the dirty hit front.  Screw up, you screw your team.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from NeelyOrrBourque. Show NeelyOrrBourque's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    In response to Fletcher1's comment:

    While I disagree with gord's opinions on most of this, I like his suggestion above, that the suspended player can't be replaced on the roster.

    Part of the whole 'intent' discussion is not just about the immediate mental state of the player throwing the dirty hit, but all of the other issues surrounding it.  That's where the organization has to take some blame too.  If Buffalo wants to hire John Scott, send him out there when losing by two goals, against a rival, and then watch him go club Eriksson in the head with an elbow -- they can't just shrug their shoulders at what happens.  Maybe Scott intended to hurt him and maybe he didn't, but Buffalo definitely sets the table for that kind of thing, moreso than if Nathan Gerbe keeps that roster spot.  Repeat offenders like Kaleta put them in an even worse spot.

    In essencse, you start making players like Scott and Kaleta, and Torres, and Cooke become a liability to the franchise in a more direct way.  Having to play 7 games with 11 forwards (or 5 defensmen depending on what position you want to associate Scott's stumbling around the ice with).  I think you start to move away from the murky waters of intent in favor of more risk management at an organizational level.

    I'm just in favor of moving the punishment from more of an individual thing to a team punishment.  I think that starts to shape roster decisions and puts an incredible pressure on guys like Torres to avoid hurting the team when he tries to take someone out.

    Reminds me of an old hockey coach who never punished the individual for being late or getting in trouble or whatever.  The entire team gets punished for that.  Just like the Marines too.  People are never late when 25 guys are going to have to bag skate because of it.  Maybe there is a similar incentive on the dirty hit front.  Screw up, you screw your team.


    I too, do like the idea of a team being forced to play undermanned; but I can see the NHLPA balking at this for the mere fact of players playing too much & getting burned out, fatigued & therefore the "safety of the player" is now an issue. Not sure it'll hold water considering they play nonstop until there's a winner in an OT game during the play-offs, but, that's the card that would be played. 

    What I think they neeed to do as far as punishing a team is to hold the team more accountable by not allowing them to make any roster changes. For instance the Vanek for Moulson trade wouldn't be allowed to be made until the injured player comes back, or once a suspension has been served which ever is greater. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    Whatever approach works, I think we're on the right track with making it hurt the team when a player is suspended.  I think, right now, the assumption is that it weakens the team, so it hurts the team, but in practical terms, how many teams lose significantly more than they win because they don't have a particular suspended player?  How many games did it cost Phoenix when Torres was out?  Did it make the difference between the playoffs and no playoff gate revenue (in Phoenix!!!)?  I'm going to say the difference was neglible at best, and you often see the "rally around" effect where the team works to pick up the guy who got suspended.

    I'm not sure playing with a shorter bench hurts most teams for four or five games.  10+, maybe.  But it's not hard for the Sabres to pick up Scott's 5 minutes a night.  It's not hard to pick up most goons' minutes.  It would be harder to pick up Chara's minutes for a long stretch, or Ovechkin's, but a guy like that getting suspended is the anomaly (though Ovechkin has a record as a repeat offender).  I think, in an ideal world, the impact on the team is direct and not just through the loss of the player, which in almost every case can be covered.  If a player gets a match penalty for intent to injure, make the game a forfeit.  You have to play it out for the goals for/against tie-breaker and maybe for ROW or something so that the fans don't get cheated of a game - or maybe the decision to make the game a forfeit is tied to a suspension threshold of 5 games or something.  Has to be 5 games for the league to have the option.

    The goal is to take away the incentive to hire goons and players who can't seem to stop themselves from attempting to injure opponents.  They can't hurt anyone from the comfort of their sofas.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevegm. Show stevegm's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    In response to Bookboy007's comment:

    In response to Fletcher1's comment:

    But Book, the tricky thing is that you have already gone down the road of pretty subjective reasoning with these decisions, so for the NHLPA to suddenly say "Hey, you're not treating everyone the same!" seems a little dubious to me to begin with.  The objection would be to more formalized subjectivity, I guess.  Subjectivity already exists. [snip]

    I know you can't formalize this as much as the OP suggests, but I'm okay with Shanahan building in a 'goon multiplier' for punishments where one team's thug injures a rival team's star player.  I mean, those injuries are terrible for the game (Domi on Neidermeier comes to mind).  If Shanahan wants to subjectively throw the book at someone, why not the goons that get out of hand and injure actual skilled hockey players?



    The "subjective" part of this is guessing at intent, and the pattern has been to assume that a goon has more intent to injure others than a star player.  Patently not true if you look at the way some stars have used some nasty tactics to make room for their skilled plays - Messier and Howe are 2 and 3 in all-time points and may be 1-2 all time for dirty shots to players attempting to check them.

    The PA likes the logic of what I've said here because a star player loses significantly more money for being suspended than a goon does.  If you suspend Ovechkin for 10 games, that's a $1.22M penalty.  The same suspension for Scott is in the neighbourhood of $80K.  It's not that the goons get more time off, it's that the stars get less because each game is a far more significant penalty when it's a star player.  If you coupled that with a minutes/game multiplier, any sense of consistency would be just gone, baby, gone.  You'd have Scott getting 30 games and losing nearly half his salary for the same play that would cost Ovechkin 3x the money in 1/3 the games.

    The whole suspension system is pointless. It really is.  I said on another thread that really needs to happen is for people to stop thinking about how to makwhat e the whole suspension process fair, objective, and acceptable to all parties and think about how we get to the real goal, which is taking out that element of deliberate intent to injure or negligent play that results in significant injuries.

    Maybe it should cost teams points in the standings on top of the suspension?  Draft picks?  Days to the start of the UFA period, so that you can't communicate with top UFAs until after everyone else?




    That's it !  Fixing things is really easy.  It's trying to pander to every divergent group and opinion that makes it tough.  This whole "intent" thing being introduced by the league, validates the sheer lunacy of this process.

    Waiting for the perfect solution is not an option.  There has to be fundamental change, if this stuff is ever to be cleaned up.  Team penalties are a good place to start.  But then...gee, we already have that don't we.  If a guy takes a selfish penalty, what happens? The team is at a disadvantage.  The whole sport looks down on selfish penalties.  Players are routinely taken to the woodshed for that kind of conduct.  I don't believe that same type of cultural disdain is passed on to those who blindside and injur.  Obviously not, or the PA wouldn't go to such extents to protect them.  Anyway...suppose things would be different if competition type penalties supplanted suspensions(or on top of them).  You can bet your boots they would.  Nothing changes culture any quicker, than spreading out the pain.

    We have several "black and whites", in fact sport is generally meant to operate that way.  A tripping penalty isn't based on "intent', or some "predatory act".  Neither is a high stick to the chops(and the severity of the penalty is somewhat based on the seriousness of an injury).  A stupid  "puck over the glass", which has no real bearing on anything, would be quickly blown down in a 2-2 tie with 2 minutes remaining in the 7th game of the Cup finals.  Those rules are all the result of the league wanting to "do something" about something that annoyed them.  They all have a downside, but  it didn't matter.  Why can't the same thought process work any time someone leaves the ice on a stretcher?  Shouldn't that kind of hardline thinking be more appropriate here....than in a situation where somebody accidentally chips the puck over the glass, with the resulting horror being a faceoff?  Based on the above, there could be competitive based team penalties whenever a player is clinically injured while being physically taken out of play.  The intent of "taking out your man", was never to meant to "maim, bloody, knock-out, nor kill" the opponent anyway.

    If the industry gets serious, this stuff will slow down.  If it doesn't...someone will probably lose their life, then the game will be turned into hybrid figure skating overnight.

     Everybody knows suspensions aren't working, and the quantifiable solution of idiocy, is "making the same mistake over and over, and expecting a different outcome".   

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Suspensions - a different take

    I'd be a little loathe to go to the extent that any injury resulting from a guy being taken out of the play results in the same kind of supplementary consequences as shots to the head etc.  I'm thinking of Chara on Pacioretty as an example of a play where Chara didn't apply unnecessary force, and that play anywhere else on the rink doesn't result in anything more than an interference penalty.  I'm also not a fan of punishing the consequence rather than the act.  If Lucic hits a guy with a clean, shoulder to the sternum check and it breaks a few of the guy's ribs just because Lucic is a massive object, should there be additional discipline?  Maybe.  If that's where we want the game to go.

    Again, in an ideal world, you're punishing the action and not the intent.  Stick to the face is a stick to the face even if it's because you've been tripped and are trying to break your fall.  That's harder to do with hits to the head because you can do everything right - elbows down, no extra steps, take an angle for the shoulder not the numbers, both blades on the ice - and the guy being hit does something ill advised in a millisecond.  Then it's a hit to the head or from behind.  Now you're in the gray where the hitter can do exactly the same thing in two circumstances and depending on what the hittee chooses to do in that moment, the action can be dangerous or routine. And no one is happy because the only way to prevent these plays is for no one to hit.  And even then, are you creating a culture where players are so confident they won't get hit, they don't play with their head up and look after themselves so that an accidental collision has a greater chance of causing them real damage?  This is an on-going debate in the world of pee-wee, tyke and up.  If kids learn to play in a non-contact environment, are they at greater risk when they start playing contact?  Is it better for them to learn to take a hit and how not to put yourself at risk of a bad hit when they're mostly made of gumby rubber and marshmallow than when some early puberty monster is cruising around smearing them into the boards?

    I agree on the difference between pleasing everybody and getting serious.  Hard to do with so much cash involved.  I once got Pierre Maguire raging on the radio by suggesting that the PA is always on the side of the suspended player because of the money.  An injured player gets paid.  A suspended player doesn't.  The PA takes its primary mission to be ensuring as much money as possible flows to the players.  Therefore - they fight any suspension that takes money out of the players' pockets.  I don't think he said a single thing that convinced me the PA actually has the good of its members front and centre.  The good of their bank accounts, yes.

     

     
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