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Pronger Suspended for Game 4

Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger has been suspended for one game after leveling Ottawa's Dean McAmmond with an forearm to the head Saturday night. One of the game's most dominant players, Pronger was also suspended for a game last round after nailing Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom from behind.

Thoughts?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 3, 2007; 2:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

They must be saving the other 3 games for when he lips off and says that it was a clean hit and that the league and the officials should be blamed for the poor job they do, and how they are caving in to the media uproar.

Posted by: Chris | June 3, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the hit, so I'm not going to comment on it.

However, my 2007 NHL playoffs watching experience started and ended with the goal off the skate in the 2nd period that was allowed after replay. That was obviously a kicking motion and should not have been a goal. Methinks the NHL wants a Canadian team to finally win the Stanley Cup. Most of the goals that were disallowed in this year's playoffs have benefited Canadian teams, namely Ottawa. Colin Campbell, who overruled the on-ice official, said in a previous ruling that he made in this year's playoffs that a kicking motion didn't need to be evident in order to disallow a goal.

Stuff like that isn't going to win over the casual fan.

Posted by: Jeff | June 3, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

What happened to increasing penalties for repeat offenders?

And, it hardly seems fair that Pronger won't miss more games than his victim will. -JW

Posted by: JWJr | June 3, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Such whusps you are. As Terry Bradshaw once said, "Why don't you just put skirts on em." Suspension? Please. This isn't golf. This is A MAN'S SPORT. It's called Ice Hockey. Let them play. Trust me. If the Senator's felt that retribution was deemed to be appropriate, then it would, most definitely, be forthcoming. Bettman has fostered an attitude which I can only describe as being "Sissyfied."

Posted by: puckguru | June 3, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

It shouldn't be lost on anyone that McAmmond's goal in the second went off Pronger's skate. Practically speaking, the NHL has taken retribution out of the equation, so whether the Senators feel it would be justified (and in a prior day, it clearly would have been not only justified but required) is irrelevant. The league has no choice but to police head shots, and that Pronger's most recent was flagrant. Frankly, more than one game would have been appropriate; two would take away any advantage Pronger gives the Ducks on home ice, more would have sent a real message.

And yes, I thought there was no way that Alfredsson's goal should have counted basec on the call made disallowing Racunek's goal in the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by: Fred | June 3, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

One game is not enough. It should have been at least two if not three. The main reason being that he is a repeat offender. It was an incredibly dirty and unnecessary play. If there was any justice at all Pronger would be suspended for as long as McAmmond is unable to play.

Posted by: Capital Fanatic | June 3, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I would have given him two for having been in trouble so recently. I still don't think he did it with intent to injure, but it was a terrible decision. Big hard hits and the occasional fight are the sorta toughness hockey needs. Cheapshots and elbows to the head are properly punished. Running a league where flagrantly dangerous actions are only punished by retribution is how you lose players to career ending injuries. Further, there's nothing manly about a cheapshot.

Posted by: false_cause | June 3, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Pronger blows. Plain and simple. He makes up for his lack of talent with crappy cheap hits. Chris Simon got the wrong guy when he hit Hollweg... he needed to take Pronger down.

Posted by: dan | June 3, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Did you people even see the hit??? All he did was try and step up to him. Its simply a case of a guy that is 6'6 hitting someone much smaller its not like he close lined the guy or anything. He used a normal posture to check someone.. Just happens the guy ran into his arm face first. He was more shaken up from his head hitting the ice than the check.

Posted by: Comebackkono3 | June 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Pronger has talent, I don't believe one can realistically say anything less. However, he is a skating anachronism in today's game of hockey.

Intent to injure, for whatever the reason, is the only reason for Pronger's cheap hit. Sure hockey is a physical sport and you'll never remove toughness - even fighting - from the game. But if we follow puckguru's logic, I guess we can say that a good old fashioned mugging is a man's sport. But you don't build a sport or a television audience with Pronger's style of Hockey.

Posted by: Harry | June 3, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a clean hit, it should have been a 2 min elbowing penalty on the ice, not sure how the refs missed that one.

But I don't get why it's a suspension - Pronger was following through with his check and just happened to hit Macammond up high.

The bigger deal is the obviously wrong call on Alfredsson's goal. How is the league going to explain that one??? I don't buy conspiracy theories, but who is responsible for that? On what basis was that call reversal made?

Posted by: katzistan | June 3, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Go back and look at the clip again and watch as Pronger's feet leave the ice, just as the hit occurs. Sorry but I can't buy the "I was just finishing my check" arguement.

It's obvious that the Ducks have played this series with the body, and there is nothing wrong with that. Pronger is aggressive with the body, his size makes him ideal for that type of play, skill or no skill. To blame the heat of the game is one thing, but the players still need to keep it under control.

This hit crossed the line,and is especially an issue because of the previous incident. But the officiating in both incidents needs to be addressed as well. I agree that there should have been a penalty called in both cases. Also, in the previous incident, nailing Neidermeyer with a minor and an ejection when it was Pronger's hit that was the problem makes me shake my head.

Has the fourth offical helped? I'm thinking that it has slowed the game up somewhat, and they seem to still be missing just as many calls.

Posted by: Chris | June 3, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

At least he isn't lipping off like last time.

http://thehockeynews.com/en/news/news.asp?idNews=25043

Posted by: Chris | June 3, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Well said...a very balanced post, imho.

Posted by: Harry | June 3, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's where I formed my opinion about conspiracies since it was a league official, Colin Campbell, who was involved in this and prior rulings:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2007/news/story?id=2891742

Posted by: Jeff | June 3, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a minor for Elbowing. I'm not a big Chris Pronger guy, but he's being penalized for being "the tall guy" here. He didn't bring his arms up, when he clearly could have, to hit McAmmond with even more force. He didn't jump into McAmmond, and he has ample opportunity to do so, no matter what the video shows of his footwork. It's a high hit, but the ice did more damage than the initial impact. It's not even in the same class as the hit in the Detroit series, which was clearly a Attempt to Injure.

Posted by: NHL Observer | June 4, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Harry,
You say you'd like to "Build a sport or a television audience."? Well, these few words most assuredly will aid you in that pursuit. GET RID OF BETTMAN!

Posted by: puckguru | June 4, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Being the tall guy is no excuse. He has a big advantage in many situations, especially physical ones, being tall. He shouldn't get a pass in a situation where his height is a disadvantage. AFAIC, an elbow is just like a stick, you have to keep control of it. Just because you can't control it and accidentally hit someone in the face with it doesn't mean it's not worthy of a major penalty and/or a suspension.

Even though Pronger is one of the players I loathe the most in the NHL (of course I think there's real close to 29 other teams that would love to have him on their roster because of the presence he provides--he is no way the anacronism that Derian Hatcher is), I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. To me it does look like he's trying to make a clean hit. But he did hit him in the face in a brutal manner and to me it warrants a 1 game suspension by itself. Because it's his second offense of the playoffs, he should have gotten a second game.

Posted by: Bubba | June 4, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Just as you have to always be responsible and aware of where your stick is - you need to be held responsible of WHERE you place hits on players. Any shot to the head, no matter how hard/soft should call attention from the league. It is more of an issue with Pronger because he is a big guy, but it shouldn't be an excuse. The league cant take the stance of "Well.. he's a tall guy - so its ok that he got him in the head". That is a dangerous road to go down. It stinks for Pronger to be suspended twice - for the most part I think that is just how he plays not intending to knock a player out, but he's got to learn.

Posted by: cs | June 4, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

One game suspension and that's appropriate. It was not a malicious hit, just a misplaced hit. At some point, McAmmond also has to be more aware of the circumstances after his shot on goal. He should have been trying to get around Pronger to go after his rebound, but instead, he spent a little too much time checking out the shot.

Posted by: Blueline | June 4, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

If Pronger was really trying to finish his check, then he really need to learn how to control his body let alone work on his technique. But what about Chris Neil and that dirty hit on Andy McDonald? He too about 6 strides at full speed and left his skates. I think the refs really are going to tighten up from here on out.....DOWN WITH BETTMAN!!!

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | June 4, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

puckguru/kono, you guys are pretty brave when it's not your head being hit. i saw the hit, he stuck his elbow into his head. a "normal hitting posture" doesn't include sticking out your elbow. he could have tucked his elbow and got a clean hit on him, but he extended the elbow to his head. he didn't just wake up being 6'6", he knows he's tall and take responsibility for his hits. all of the nhl players need to take this upon themselves to be more respectful of other players or they really will be nothing more than ufc on ice. too many head hits. and where were the ottawa guys to come to their teammates aid? pronger skated cleanly to the bench...

Posted by: Cap Fan | June 4, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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