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The Pronger Hit: Dirty or Not?

The NHL thought so. As did respected hockey columnist Al Strachan, who just posted this piece on Fox Sports. Strachan doesn't think the one game suspension levied against the Anaheim defenseman is nearly enough for the hit he laid on Tomas Holmstrom.

I completely agree. There's no place in the game for two-handed cross checks to the back of a player's head.

What's your opinion?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 17, 2007; 2:59 PM ET
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That was an intentional attemp to injure. Pronger went head hunting and he nailed his target. I dont want to hear that had Holstrom's helmet didnt come off he would have walked away.Pronger wanted to hurt the opposing player....The league loses credibility when it suspends a head hunting goon for only one game.

As much as i hate the NBA, I did respect their decision to suspend the Pheonix foward one game foro taking two steps away from the bench during an altercation.

I wonder if Brasher had done this in game 36 of the regular season how many games would he get??????

That hit was worth 10 games minimum.

Posted by: Genotype 55 | May 17, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

That hit was sick. Def an attack resulting from frustration. No excuse for it. It deserves at least a 5 game suspension.

Posted by: cbstoner | May 17, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

One game was plenty. Niedermayer stopped Holmstrom's momentum and Pronger hit him harder than he would have without Niedermayer's involvement. Yeah, he hit him with his elbow and it was in the back of the head...but it wasn't nearly as vicious as Simon's hit or others. The one-game suspension is consistent with Radulov's actions and suspension.

Posted by: Blueline | May 17, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

1st, it's the playoffs. Nuff said.
2nd, the only reason we're talking about this is because Holmstrom cut his head.
He was back in the same game, and seemingly has no ill-effects from the hit.
This is a "dog and pony show" suspension to supress further retaliation from happening.

Posted by: Mark Tucker | May 17, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah that deserved a multi game suspension and a very heavy fine. But I believe you don't suspend someone in the playoffs for more then 1 game a series.... so he should get 2 more during the regular season. Odd way of thinking, but that's what I think.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 17, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

That should be at least a 10,000 dollar fine and 5 games. And that shoudl be the first 5 regular season games this year. He should have to ride a chair in the media suite for the rest of whatever they have left of the playoffs. No excuse for a hit like that. You NEVER aim for the head.

Posted by: EricS | May 17, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is that's the first time I've ever seen "respected hockey columnist" and "Al Strachan" in the same sentence. What's next? Bruce Garrioch and Scott Burnside are "revered hockey reporters?"

Posted by: Joe Bob | May 17, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

ugly hit! Not only getting elbows high, but getting the stick in there to. Looks very deliberate and with intent to injure to me. Even though he came back I'm sure he's affected some way by that hit. That said, one playoff game equals about 5 regular season games right? So one or two games would be fair to me considering he's not in the hospital.

Posted by: ugly | May 17, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I saw the same hit ten times in the regular season, and no one ever did anything about it. Why is it suddenly a suspension now? There wasn't even a penalty on Pronger on the play.

Posted by: FS | May 17, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

So I'm not going to comment on the suspension, nor judge either side of the argument. What I am going to say is that as much as the NHL needs to crack down on hits to the head, they need to factor in that players who do not secure their helmet put themselves at potential risk in a physical contact sport. Had Holmstrom's chin strap been secure and his helmet not come off I'm not sure the hit looks as bad as it did. That's not a judgment on intent or saying whether it was right or wrong, but players wear helmets for a reason.

Posted by: Jay | May 17, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

At first sight I agreed with Blueline. Upon repeated viewings, the impact by Niedermayer had no affect on Pronger's impact. Pronger's hands were already up and close to impact. The helmet plays no role in my impression of what happened. I don't notice it until he's on the ice after the fact.

The Radulov hit on Bernier was in the upper back not in the back of the head. This hit is clearly worse than that.

4 games is the right amount for me. That would mean minimally, the rest of the series against Detroit.

Posted by: Bubba | May 17, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I've seen worse, way worse. The hit was high and from behind, but Pronger is taller than Holmstrom. Give him 5 and a game for checking from behind, but leave it at that. If Neidermayer hand't been coming from the other direction, Holmstrom probably would have turned and it would have been a hard shoulder check.

Let's not micro-manage these games from Toronto. I sit near the glass at the Caps and I see faces on the glass almost every game. A clean hit can look dirty simply if the target doesn't turn (or does turn) a certain way. Let's let it go.

Posted by: old time hockey | May 18, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

When you consider how much a game in the playoffs is, its probably worth a 5 to 7 game suspension in the regular season. Admit it, you all would have loved to see Witt do that to St. Louis back in 2003 in the playoffs.

Posted by: Graham | May 18, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I thinks it was a combo effort, without the two ducks coming in at the same time, its just another hit,

And Pronger didnt cross check him in the back of the order to CROSS CHECK one must have two hands on the stick...his left clearly isnt on the stick.

Posted by: Zjackson | May 18, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Jay.
Beyond a fight, 'clean hit' and head don't mix.
Pronger's hands had no business going up to his head.

Posted by: slappy | May 18, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought a 5 min major and an early exit to the showers but no need for a suspension.

Posted by: usiel | May 18, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'd expect that to be a multi-game suspension. Rules are rules, btw - this bunk people are spouting about exceptions for the playoffs is ridiculous. No rationality to that line of thinking whatsoever.

Posted by: Shmoo | May 18, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Playoff games are worth more than a single regular season game in an 82 game season. One game could be as costly as 5 regular season games. Its a fair suspension given that the hit wasn't even that abd in the first place.

Posted by: Graham | May 21, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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