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Everything posted by Grizzly

  1. There are certainly big problems with Italian soccer among them being rampant hooliganism and racist blocks of fans. Just the toleration of the openly fascist Lazio support is amazing. If thousands of German fans regularly gave the fascist salute after their team scores the images would be broadcast around the world and this would certainly not be tolerated in Germany but this seems to be seen as normal in Italy. Maybe the Italian police are rather similar to the hooligans themselves and thus tolerate this behaviour. The most shameful thing I have ever seen in football was the Champions's League game a few years ago between Roma and Galatsaray. I don't know if Canadians were able to see this game but it was broadcast live across Europe where I was living at the time. After a very heated game the players started fighting which led to the Italian riot police coming onto the field and basically kicking the **** out of the Turkish players and coaches. I was watching live and could not believe it, I certainly had never seen anything like that before. The police did not make any attempt to stop the fighting but basically joined in on the side of the Roma players. The Turkish coach is right below when he says they weren't acting like police and could have put on Roma uniforms. Despite the UEFA sanctions (too light in my opinion although maybe the club shouldn't be responsible for police actions) I never heard whether the Italian government took any action against the responsible police. Maybe someone can comment on whether any action was taken. This became an international incident and certainly damaged Italian-Turkish relations. Can you imagine if 100 Philly riot police in full gear came on to the ice during the last Sens-Flyers game and starting kicking the **** out of the Sens players? UEFA bans Roma for one home match after brawl AS Roma have been banned from playing their next European club match at home after failing to prevent a mass brawl following their Champions League game against Galatasaray last week, UEFA said on Friday. The Italian champions, who will have to play their next European home match at least 300 kilometres from the Olympic stadium, were fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($120,300), with Turkish super league club Galatasaray fined 40,000 francs. Roma coach Fabio Capello was given a one-game touchline ban, while their Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta was suspended for one game and both captain Francesco Totti and Brazilian midfielder Francisco Lima were banned for three matches. But Roma president Franco Sensi said he would appeal against the decision. "We will certainly appeal once we have examined the documentation with our lawyers," Sensi told Italian media. "The worst thing is not so much the bans for the players, because I am sure we can get them reduced by an appeal, but it is the ban from the Olympic stadium". Roma also issued a statement saying their appeal would be made in the "coming hours and in the terms set out by UEFA". All the suspensions apply to European games only. Any appeal against the decisions must be made by March 25. MASS BRAWL The punishments were handed down by UEFA after the mass brawl involving players, officials and riot police at the end of the group B match in Rome on March 13 that ended in a 1-1 draw. Neither team qualified for the quarter-finals. A UEFA statement said its disciplinary committee took the decisions based on the fact that Roma "showed a lack of action at halftime despite being made aware of the tension between the two teams on the pitch throughout the first half. "Also the home club did not act to prevent any possible incident until it was too late. There was a lack of organisation and security measures, particularly at the end of the match. Scuffling players and team officials were separated by riot police at the end of the game before being shepherded into the dressing rooms under a hail of objects thrown from the crowd. Thirteen police were injured during the brawl. But UEFA were critical of the policing of the match. "A lack of control by the state police was evident particularly through their excessive interventions. In addition, the interventions made by the private security officials, controlled by the home club, were deemed inappropriate," the ruling body said. TREATED FAIRLY Galatasaray foreign affairs spokesman Mete Razlikli welcomed the ruling, saying it showed that when the Turkish team was in the right it would be treated fairly. "The UEFA decision is absolutely in line," he said on NTV television. He added that the brawl had been exacerbated by the action of the Italian police, who he said had acted like Roma fans. "If the police hadn't entered unnecessarily into the affair, then maybe there wouldn't have been fighting on this level. They weren't acting like police. They should have just put on Roma uniforms, then we would have understood what was going on." But Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Franco Carraro was critical of the decision. Carraro said the UEFA verdict would "provoke perplexity in all those who watched the game either at the stadium or on television". The brawl sparked a diplomatic row between Italy and Turkey last week, with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem accusing Italian police of using pitiless brutality against Galatasaray players and adding that their behaviour recalled Fascist Italy. TURKISH INSULTS The fighting began when Lima, who used to play in Turkey, took offence at insults in Turkish about him and his parents and became caught up in a scuffle with Galatasaray players. Capello and Roma forward Vincenzo Montella pulled Lima away from the trouble, but the mass brawl continued. Eventually about 40 police lined up to form a tunnel to escort the players off. After the match Capello, who eventually helped usher Lima into the dressing room area, said he feared for his players. But while the Roma team escaped to the dressing rooms, the Galatasaray players had to wait on the pitch for another 10 minutes until police restored order before avoiding a hail of bottles and coins as they retreated down the steps. Galatasaray coach Mircea Lucescu believed the Italian police had incited his players. "One of my players tried to go through the police cordon and was pushed by the police," he said. The UEFA committee considered evidence from match officials, video recordings, club statements and a state police report.
  2. Grizzly

    Belak Attack

    I think Messier should be suspended too, possibly for the rest of the season but his attack was not as bad as Belak's. A spear to the groin is not likely to do as much damage as a two handed roundabout to the head. There was an Oliwa incident as well this weekend so it doesn't seem that the Bertuzzi incident has had much of a positive effect on the players tactics.
  3. Grizzly

    Belak Attack

    I've seen the replay quite a few times and he didn't accidentally hit the guy while slipping. He purposely wacked him two handed ala McSorley. If he was off balance it was due to the force of his swing. I don't think the book should be thrown at him because he is a tough guy and won't be missed although that factor might influence the league. I think the book should be thrown at him because he deliberately and viciously attempted to injure another player and as a warning to other players. I personally think the Leafs are a better team without him so I don't see any advantage to the Sens or another possible playoff opponent other than less possibility of having players intentionally injured.
  4. After seeing Belak's two hander in last night's game I think he should be gone for the rest of the season including playoffs. About the only thing separating this attack from the Bertuzzi and McSorley incidents is that the player was not injured. Some of the comments of Leafs players that it was accidental because he was slipping were total crap. The replay shows that it was a deliberate attempt to injure and the NHL has to start making examples of such players to prevent future such incidents. And before certain Leafs fans get on my case about being partisan, I don't think losing Belak would hurt the Leafs a bit. They have enough tough players and he wouldn't even make an AHL team based on skill level (1 goal 1 assist in 34 games). His fleeing of the arena before the game was over shows a lack of character and could't have made him very popular with his teammates who were left to answer the media questions he should have been man enough to face. What a disgrace Belak's slash to Vaananen's face mirrors NHL's sick culture By MIKE ULMER -- Toronto Sun Teemu Selanne said last night: "Maybe somebody has to die before we learn." And he may have a point. A helmet and visor saved Ossi Vaananen's eyesight and perhaps even his life. Vaananen, a 23-year-old defensive defenceman, was entangled with Maple Leafs winger Wade Belak midway through the second period of a game the Leafs had comfortably in hand. And then, for no reason other than he is paid to play the game with a stupid disregard for others, Belak delivered a two-handed slash across Vaananen's face. The storyline could have been Steve Moore one week, Ossi Vaananen the next. It wasn't just Vaananen who dodged a black eye. "I just felt a big bang to my face ... I didn't know what happened but it sure hurt," Vaananen said. What Todd Bertuzzi did to Steve Moore, a sucker punch and takedown from behind, in retrospect looked far less dangerous than what Belak did last night. Only Wade Belak was lucky, and Ossi Vaananen was luckier still. Vaananen returned to the game while Belak was tagged with a five-minute major for deliberate intent to injure. The Leafs 6-foot-5 enforcer was feeling his oats, having a few shifts before fared well in a first-period fight with Peter Worrell, another heavyweight, that delighted the Air Canada Centre crowd. But those same patrons let out a collective gasp when they saw the replay of Belak's slash. The Leafs run a special promotion on Saturday nights to encourage adults to bring more kids to the game, and you could just hear the parents admonishing the children never to do anything like what Wade Belak had just done. I'm sure many of them tried to explain the difference between what Belak did in his fight with Worrell -- the manly, assertive cleansing that comes with smashing your fists into an opponent's face -- and the repressible act that is driving a stick into a man's head. Many will tell you the game needs the Belaks because it has the Worrells, that the only cure for cancer is more cancer. They are wrong. Belak's job is to hurt people. Same as Marty McSorley's was. Same as Donald Brashear who, you might remember, McSorley clubbed with his stick in his last moment as an NHLer. People whose job it is to hurt people are going to do their job by whatever means at their disposal. The link between fighting and stick swinging is seen as an odious one by many. As my colleague at the National Post, Cam Cole, wrote for one and all about the Bertuzzi incident: "It wasn't a fight, stupid." But last night's blow was struck by a fighter, those necessary evils entrusted with keeping people accountable through random acts of violence. Belak is a goon, an undisciplined, reckless thug who, through divine good luck, has found an endeavour that not only tolerates him but spectacularly rewards him. You want a link between fighting and stick swinging? How's this for a link. A few minutes after participating in a fight, one roundly endorsed by the 19,000 at the ACC, Belak helicoptered Vaananen with his stick. SENSELESS It was a violent, senseless act. Kind of like the fight, but how can you expect Belak to understand the difference between pummeling a man face-to-face and attempting to crush his skull with your stick? Only in hockey's sick culture is there a difference. Selanne sees a difference. "At least in a fight, there's two guys face-to-face instead of sticks flying at your head," he said. "What has to happen before we learn? This is something we have to discuss, as players and as a union. It shouldn't be dangerous to go out there."
  5. Actually while this is obviously a lame sort of joke by the mayor, I think he should concentrate on trying to solve his budget deficit and mismanagement of the city. When I read about him doing stupid things like this it becomes clear how a city that has boomed in the last 10 years can have so many money problems. Too bad that he did not have a serious candidate running against him in the last election. If Sens fans don't buy all of the tickets than we certainly can't complain about Leafs fans buying the remaining tickets. In fact, it is actually good for the Sens that they are doing so and adds to the game atmosphere.
  6. Ottawa's Heritage brewery sells beer in stubbies. It seems to be only available in the Ottawa region though. Good beer too, much better than most of the crap that used to be sold in stubbies. The new sleek bottles can't mask the fact that this beer is brewed with the cheapest poor quality ingredients possible but apparently most Canadians are happy as long as their beer is associated with bikini models on tv commercials. Support the quality brewers in your area. Here is Heritage's website: http://www.heritagebrewing.com
  7. Well I knew if I said Italy this board would go crazy :-) I wouldn't say they are the worst offender but there a lot of Yugoslavian players in all of the divisions of Germany where I used to live and the majority of them are pretty shameless divers and ground rollers. Watching teams every week you start to notice who commits isolated incidents and who consistently dives.
  8. While this is generally a positive development. It may not have been a bad thing for our players to get a taste of the Central American playing conditions against a weak side from this region. Now their first experience of these conditions will be against much stronger opposition and in a much more hostile atmosphere.
  9. There is cheating in every sport (and steroid use in soccer as well) but this is mixing up two different issues. The issue is diving and faking injury in soccer. This year has seen a lot of cheating in hockey with the clutching and grabbing that the refs are not calling just as the soccer refs rarely call dives and often award a penalty to the diver. In both cases the authorities could remedy the situation by instructing referees to apply the rules but refrain from doing so. In the case of soccer authorities I think that FIFA would get a lot of heat from those countries, several of whom are very powerful soccer nations, that benefit the most from diving. In both cases one can also make the argument that if the players can get away with it then why not do it. However, somehow it bothers me a lot more to see a grown, male professional athlete rolling around on the ground and acting like my 4 year old nephew when he has had his favourite toy taken away from him than it does seeing a big hockey player grabbing on to another more skilled player. Both are unfair but one is far more shameful. And I don't recall regularly seeing this type of behaviour in baseball or basketball even though I do not like either sport. And as much as certain people on this forum argue against the idea that certain nations dive more than others I think this is true. Sure I have seen instances of German players diving in the Bundesliga but the Yugoslavian players in this league dive far more often, often falling over themselves to fall over and spending minutes rolling around. I don't know if this is accepted in Yugoslavia having never watched a match there but it certainly bugs the hell out of the German fans. Nor is it necessary because many of these players are highly skill and play on strong teams.
  10. There is cheating in every sport (and steroid use in soccer as well) but this is mixing up two different issues. The issue is diving and faking injury in soccer. This year has seen a lot of cheating in hockey with the clutching and grabbing that the refs are not calling just as the soccer refs rarely call dives and often award a penalty to the diver. In both cases the authorities could remedy the situation by instructing referees to apply the rules but refrain from doing so. In the case of soccer authorities I think that FIFA would get a lot of heat from those countries, several of whom are very powerful soccer nations, that benefit the most from diving. In both cases one can also make the argument that if the players can get away with it then why not do it. However, somehow it bothers me a lot more to see a grown, male professional athlete rolling around on the ground and acting like my 4 year old nephew when he has had his favourite toy taken away from him than it does seeing a big hockey player grabbing on to another more skilled player. Both are unfair but one is far more shameful. And I don't recall regularly seeing this type of behaviour in baseball or basketball even though I do not like either sport. And as much as certain people on this forum argue against the idea that certain nations dive more than others I think this is true. Sure I have seen instances of German players diving in the Bundesliga but the Yugoslavian players in this league dive far more often, often falling over themselves to fall over and spending minutes rolling around. I don't know if this is accepted in Yugoslavia having never watched a match there but it certainly bugs the hell out of the German fans. Nor is it necessary because many of these players are highly skill and play on strong teams.
  11. Diving and rolling around on the ground is the thing that I hate most about soccer as well. This bothers a lot of soccer fans in many countries as well. I remember fans in Germany and Russia constantly yelling at players for diving and faking injury and not just at the players on the other team. Generally the most popular players on the home team tended to be the tough ones who never dived nor rolled shamelessly on the ground. I can't think of any other sport that I have watched where this type of behaviour is so prevalent. Even in women's figure skating the skaters deal with injuries in a much more "manly" fashion than in soccer. My personal favourite is the ten second limp which players commonly use in order to convince the ref that they didn't make an ass out of him with the hope of receiving another call later. The limp lasts up until the ball gets near the player again. I think a big problem is that there are also many strong soccer playing nations where such behaviour is accepted and encouraged. I used to play pickup soccer in Germany and among the players of several countries were a group of Cypriots. They were pretty good players and guys but once we started playing they started falling all over themselves and rolling around on the ground. I couldn't fathom why anyone would play like this in a friendly pickup game without a ref but I guess that is how they play in their country. Certainly didn't make them popular with the other players though and I find it hard to understand why they were not embarrassed by such behaviour.
  12. Re: MC2, the varying last names stems from the Spanish tradition of the child taking the family names of both the father and the mother. Both names are used in identifying a person but are not hyphenated like in English. The confusion probably arose from some English people writing articles or programs and not seeing a hyphen and being unsure of which name was his actual name and just picking one or the other.
  13. This article makes it sounds like he will be joining Derby immediately. May not be a bad move if Derby can avoid relegation as he will be a starter for them instead of a sub and United's promotion bid is starting to look pretty shaky. Rams snap up Peschisolido Fri 12 Mar, 12:24 PM Paul Peschisolido has decided to join Derby rather than extend his Sheffield United contract, with Izale McLeod moving the other way on loan. Canadian striker Peschisolido, who was out of contract at Bramall Lane at the end of the season, has signed for the struggling Rams on a free transfer. The 32-year-old, who has scored nine goals in 12 starts for the Blades this season, has penned a deal which will keep him at Pride Park until June 2006. Meanwhile, McLeod has joined United on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent transfer - the terms of which have already been agreed. The clubs have agreed that neither player will feature when the two sides meet at Bramall Lane on Tuesday 23 March.
  14. Just like his previous loan spell he played very well. I had been following some of the commentary from the Gills fan message board and the general opinion was that he was an excellent shot stopper but his kicking was very poor for a keeper at this level. Wouldn't Spurs work on this in training? I seem to remember a few MNT games where a field player was doing his kicking.
  15. Lars just can't get a break. While obviously Spurs has every right to recall him when needed, the much needed playing time he was getting on loan has once been cut short by his own injury and now by a teammates injury. With Gillingham's signing of another keeper it is unlikely that he will return to that team. Steve Banks signs on the dotted line By Keith Pestell Date: 11/3/2004 Steve Banks has rejoined Gillingham on a free transfer from Wimbledon. The 32-year-old shot stopper, who made 67 appearances for the club between 1993 and 1995, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and will make his debut against Preston on Saturday. The signing of Steve, who won the GISC Player of the Year award for his performances during the 1994/1995 season, came as a surprise but it was somewhat forced on the club after loanee Lars Hirschfeld was recalled by Tottenham earlier today. Lars was recalled to White Hart Lane as reserve 'keeper Robert Burch injured his ankle yesterday playing for the second string. The Canadian international, who made 2 appearances during his week and a half at Priestfield, could now find himself on the Spurs bench to face Newcastle United on Saturday.
  16. Hirschfeld returns to Spurs Thu 11 Mar, 2:41 PM Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler is searching for another goalkeeper following the recall of loan signing Lars Hirschfeld to Tottenham. The Canada international has made two appearances for the Gills and was not due to report back to White Hart Lane until after the West Ham game on 27 March. But Hirschfeld must return early after Spurs reserve keeper Robert Burch injured an ankle and he may even make the Spurs bench for the visit of Newcastle. The loss is a bitter blow for Hessenthaler as he is now urgently seeking his sixth keeper of the season. Jason Brown (thigh) and Bertrand Bossu (broken finger) are both injured, while Vince Bartram has retired and Nico Vaesen's loan spell finished at the end of January. Youth product Danny Knowles may have been given a chance to impress but he too is out with a knee injury.
  17. Anyone see Burke's statement today? What a totally classless individual. Shows very little concern for Moore. As to his complaining about the $250 000 fine to the Canucks I think they got off very lightly, I would have suspended both Burke and Crawford for the rest of the season as well as Bertuzzi. Burke's latest comments show why the NHL currently has so many problems. I would like the league to punish him for today's statement. Such arrogant, idiotic and selfish statements made while a player is lying in hospital with a serious injury bring the team and the league into great disrepute. I guess I will be hoping for Calgary to win the West this year.
  18. I think this is a good move. The level of play is similar, there are less foreigner restrictions in the league, he will probably get more opportunity to become a starter, the training conditions are better, he will be in a soccer atmosphere with more pressure to succeed, transferring to another league is more simple, the initial salary is better with more chance of increases and this league is scouted by the major soccer leagues far more closely than the MLS. If he was favoured to be a starter for the Metro Stars there might be some debate about the move but he would probably only be fighting for a sub place despite his good showing in camp and would always have to worry about losing his spot to another foreigner if the team needed immediate help.
  19. A few of the comments by Clarke I agree with but some of them are pretty bad particularly the one about Neilson who was a good coach and person and not a nutcase. I guess if you are the type of person who favours a guy like Bobby Clarke over a guy like Roger Neilson your defence of OH should come as no surprise. And who is Clarke to criticize Yashin, Yashin is just greedy and selfish while Clarke is a real bastard. As I am unfortunately not 20 years old I did see Clarke play a lot of games with the Flyers on t.v. during the Broad Street Bullies days and don't have to rely on Hugh Adami for my info. He was a rough, dirty and vicious player who also was very skilled. I am not saying he would never stick up for himself and fight but the majority of the time his fighting was done by other players. Without guys like the Hammer he would never have been able to play his style of play. Sure every team would have liked to have him even though they all hated him just like Samuelsson a similar style of player although less talented. Doesn't mean you have to like him though and his behaviour as GM has confirmed his rather poor character.
  20. Just one example: Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson broke his stick midway through the third period and faked throwing it in the stands, obviously poking fun at Sundin. Toronto enforcer Tie Domi pointed at Alfredsson after he did it, and Alfredsson's actions enraged Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn. "If you're going to try and show somebody up you better be ready to pay the price down the line," Quinn said. Toronto's Nathan Perrott didn't like it, either. "It was not very professional," Perrott said. "They were winning so I guess they had the luxury to do that." Alfredsson regretted it. "I was trying to make a joke, but it was bad timing," he said. The following game the Leafs ran the Sens all night (the refs did call penalties though which the Sens did not take advantage of) and included Domi sucker punching (Domi has a habit of sucker punching players) Van Allen in his broken jaw. All because of a joke that offended the Leafs. With Quinn's many comments about Alfredsson this could easily lead to a situation like the Bertuzzi incident especially with an idiot like Domi on the team. This game inspired Muckler to pick up Ray, Simpson and de Vries and as was seen in the Flyers game I don't think anyone will be able to pick on the Sens anymore. However, this doesn't make Quinn's actions and commentary any less reprehensible and dangerous.
  21. Here are a couple of editorials about the issue, the one about Clarke being written shortly before the Bertuzzi incident which completely proved his point. And I am sure Ed will enjoy this great human being's comment that it wasn't the Flyers fault that Neilson got cancer. The animals are loose, get the cages Hugh Adami The Ottawa Citizen Wednesday, March 10, 2004 Avs' Andre Nikolishin (top) comes to the aid of Steve Moore, bottom, after his teammate was struck by Todd Bertuzzi (44). CREDIT: Chuck Stoody, The Canadian Press What happened in Vancouver the other night brings with it an ultimate irony in a game in which threats and violence have become so commonplace that those in charge don't even know how to react any more to show that they care, let alone know what to do to control it. By preying on Colorado Avalanche rookie Steve Moore and then attacking him from behind, Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi sent a message to the NHL -- and coaches like Marc Crawford and Ken Hitchcock, general managers like Bobby Clarke and Brian Burke, and players like himself -- that threatening, stalking and striking out at opponents is for animals who should be in cages. Video footage of the incident was replayed over and over on sports TV networks yesterday, and the affect was always the same. It was an all-out assault by a predator, whose human rage grows as his hockey reputation rises. It was sickening. In a game the Canucks would lose 9-2, Bertuzzi, 29, follows Moore, 25, from the neutral zone to the defensive zone, waits momentarily and then follows him back to the neutral zone again, where he decides it's time to strike. He grabs Moore's sweater from behind with his left hand, causes Moore's head to turn a bit so that it is in the path of a wild swing from Bertuzzi's right gloved hand. Bam. Moore lands head-first on the ice and the heavy Bertuzzi, now 245 pounds -- 21 more than when he broke into the league in 1995-96 -- crashes on top of his opponent's back. Moments later, a pool of blood begins to form around the head of the unconscious victim. Then comes the footage of Avalanche goon Peter Worrell mouthing off in the direction of the Canucks' bench, being ejected from the game, stomping off and then trying to get to a fan before he is finally restrained. Rollerball is back on reality TV. This disgusting attack by Bertuzzi, a star who now officially has goon status, was payback for a check by Moore that resulted in a concussion for Canucks star Markus Naslund on Feb. 16. No doubt, it will serve notice to the NHL that it must step in when angry coaches and general managers decide to declare war on opponents because of what they perceive as a dirty hit or what they see as the next installment of a bitter rivalry. Are you listening, Pat Quinn? Just as the league reacts with suspensions when Andre Roy charges the other team's dressing room to get even with somebody, the NHL must do the same when a team official like Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers charges the dressing room of the Ottawa Senators, demanding to see coach Jacques Martin, whom Clarke, in a rage, calls a "gutless puke" because he thinks Martin was getting his goons to go after his skill players. It's not good enough for the league to say that it will "monitor" future Ottawa-Philadelphia games -- coincidentally, a statement made just hours before the Bertuzzi-Moore incident -- in case Clarke says something in "the heat of the moment" again or a donnybrook breaks out on the ice. It was the NHL's laissez-faire approach that led to Bertuzzi's attack on Moore Monday night, just weeks after Burke, the Canucks' general manager, and Crawford, the Canucks' coach, reacted angrily to Moore's hit on Naslund. "I think it's a marginal player going after a superstar with a head-hunting hit," said Burke at the time. "I thought it was a cheap shot. ... This was a chance to take out a star player and he took it." Well, this "marginal player" now lies in a Vancouver hospital, with a broken neck, a concussion and his hockey career in question. How much more marginal can it get for Moore? Meanwhile, Bertuzzi, who apparently was too distraught to speak yesterday and wishes Moore a speedy recovery, will be suspended, hopefully for the rest of the season, and his attack will more than likely result in criminal charges as police are now investigating. It was Vancouver police who charged Marty McSorley with assault in 2000, after the then-Boston Bruins defenceman clubbed former Canucks player Donald Brashear with his stick. And some commentators were saying yesterday that the Bertuzzi attack was as bad, if not worse. This was worse. McSorley, a goon who was suspended for a year by the NHL, was convicted and given an 18-month conditional discharge. Bertuzzi's star status may help in terms of a shorter NHL suspension, but his high profile will hurt him in terms of the police investigation. In hindsight today, it's disgusting to recall what Hitchcock had to say about Senators winger Martin Havlat after the 22-year-old winger took a swipe with his stick at Flyers forward Mark Recchi during a Feb. 26 game and struck his opponent's visor. Recchi, who was hooking the often-manhandled Havlat, wasn't hurt and finished the game. Havlat was ejected and was also suspended for the next two games. Hitchcock -- who was an assistant coach for the Canadian Olympic team in 2002 and will have the same role in the upcoming Canada Cup tournament -- told reporters Havlat would be forced to "eat his lunch" and that he believed seeking vengeance for Havlat's deeds "is something the players should take care of." Where was the NHL after Hitchcock shot off his mouth? It was there to nail Havlat for stickwork, but nowhere to be found when Hitchcock, 52, decided to put a bounty on the kid's head. Would it be unfair to assume that the numerous brawls that broke out in the dying minutes of Friday's Philadelphia-Ottawa game had something to do with what Hitchcock said about Havlat a week or so earlier? Had the NHL stepped in then and shown that it wanted its teams to play hockey and not be vigilantes, is it possible that the Senators and Flyers wouldn't have set an NHL record in penalty minutes? And is it possible that this would have kept Clarke from exasperating the problem by threatening Ottawa players like Daniel Alfredsson and Marian Hossa next time the Senators play the Flyers, in Philadelphia on April 2? The answer to the last question should be academic now because Todd Bertuzzi's thumping of Steve Moore will be a reminder to players of what happens when you go gonzo. Somebody gets badly hurt. And in the worst-case scenarios, the cops come in. The Bertuzzi attack was one of those worst cases, and that's why you hear sirens. It will be refreshing to see the NHL and its players walking on eggshells for a while. Clarke's mouth runneth over Hugh Adami The Ottawa Citizen Tuesday, March 09, 2004 Surely, if hockey is represented by Frank Mahovlich in the Senate, Bobby Clarke should be able, one day, to get a Canadian ambassadorship -- hopefully, to some faraway place where there are no people, just lions and tigers. As an NHL general manager, Clarke has certainly proven that professional hockey still has room for boors in the offices above its rinks, where he also once played -- and played dirty -- for the Philadelphia Flyers, the team he has overseen for 16 seasons, not including his time in Florida and Minnesota, since the mid-1980s. It is a wonder that Clarke has not been publicly reprimanded by the NHL for his latest tirade, the one in which he used vulgar and profane language in accusing Ottawa Senators coach Jacques Martin of sending his tough guys after Philadelphia's "(expletive/don't know how to fight) Europeans" near the end of the Ottawa-Philly game Friday, which the Flyers won 5-3. For now, the NHL considers Clarke's remarks to have been made in "the heat of the moment," but spokesman Frank Brown said the league may step in if it happens again. The verbal explosion came after Clarke had to be restrained by security as he tried to get Martin to come out of the Senators' dressing room in the Wachovia Centre. He set himself up for a tough act to follow, but Clarkey came through again: "Martin sends out somebody to jump on (Sami) Kapanen. What the (expletive) is going on with that? That gutless puke Martin doing that (expletive). But when you pull that (expletive) off, it comes back to get you." Just like Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock did eight days earlier by putting a bounty on Ottawa's Martin Havlat for striking the visor of Philly's Mark Recchi with his stick, Clarke set the stage for the next game between the Flyers and Senators, on April 2 in Philadelphia. That's when Senators players like Daniel Alfredsson and Marian Hossa won't be able to hide, according to Clarke. Never mind a regular-season game, Clarke may actually be setting up a playoff confrontation between the two teams and, in so doing, hoping to get the edge after Philadelphia was eliminated by the Senators in each of the past two seasons. The Senators did seem to be off their game Friday, so maybe Hitchcock was onto something with the attack on Havlat. Clarke may have just been trying to keep a good thing going. There's nothing wrong with that type of strategy, except that Clarke got very personal, low and dirty about Martin. To call a coach as respected as Martin a "gutless puke" is vicious, vile and unfair. All of which suggests that Clarke doesn't use words as strategy, but rather because he learned to speak this way living under a bridge in Flin Flon, Man. -- with trolls. He liked to spout off, too, during his hockey-playing days as a member of the Broad Street Bullies, the Flyers' team that won two Stanley Cup championships, in 1974 and 1975. But it was his teammates who entered the fray with their fists once Bobby was through with the talking. A sampling of abrupt, mean and thoughtless remarks made by Clarke through the years: "I don't care whether Pierre likes it or not. The teams that spend the money end up winning." -- Oct. 3, 1997. Clarke to reporters after then-Senators general manager Pierre Gauthier criticized the Flyers for signing Chris Gratton to a contract worth $22.6 million U.S. "Who would want him? He's a high-salaried, high-skill guy who has been an under-achiever.... If he needs his ass kicked, we've got to do it. And, if he doesn't respond, he'll be taking a huge (pay cut) to play elsewhere next year." -- Oct. 11, 1998, on Alexandre Daigle, who arrived at training camp out of shape. Daigle had been traded from the Senators to the Flyers the previous January. "I don't dislike Eric. I pity him. I feel sorry for him. What's it like to be 27 years old and have your mom and dad running your life? Can't even go to the ... doctor on your own without your mom and dad coming along." -- March 2000, on Eric Lindros, when the former Flyers star criticized the team trainer for the allegedly poor treatment he received after his fourth concussion. "If he comes back, it's going to be as his own self. We don't want his mom and dad. We've had enough of them." -- June 6, 2000, on the continuing Eric Lindros soap opera. "I would never hit a woman. This is so incredibly wrong. I've never even seen a woman hit, and I grew up in a mining town." -- July 20, 2000. Another Clarkeism slips out as he explains how sorry he is that he signed an affidavit in support of lower bail for an admitted wife-beater. Residents of Flin Flon, where Clarke was born and raised, were not amused. "Yashin is an ass. He went out and sold his house, sold his car, pissed the owner off, hurt himself and his teammates." -- Nov. 2, 2000. On whether he would be interested in having Alexei Yashin, embroiled in a contract dispute with the Senators and suspended for the season, play for the Flyers. "The Neilson situation was when Roger got cancer. That wasn't our fault. We didn't tell him to go get cancer. It's too bad that he did and we feel sorry for him, but then he went goofy on us." -- Dec. 21, 2000, in explaining why the Flyers decided that Neilson couldn't be head coach any more after he returned to the team from cancer treatment the previous spring. "I think it would be very difficult to bring Roman back. I don't think he wants to come back. I think he feels (Philadelphia) is not a good thing for him." -- May 12, 2003. Clarke to reporters after Flyers goalie Roman Cechmanek is handed most of the blame for his team's second-round playoff loss to the Ottawa Senators. Cechmanek said later he didn't know where Clarke had got those ideas because he had yet to speak to him. "He made a whole career out of that goal, a whole life out of that." -- Sept. 18, 2002. Attacking Paul Henderson, who scored the goal that won the 1972 Summit Series between Russia and Canada, a few days after Henderson reflected that Clarke's vicious slash on Russian star Valeri Kharlamov in Game 6 was the "low point of the series."
  22. Old time hockey in my opinion is what happened in the Sens-Flyers game, one on one fights where everyone had a chance to defend themselves. What Bertuzzi did was cowardly and vicious assault. Anything less than a full calendar year ban is an insult to the fans. I also think it is insulting that no suspension of Crawford is being considered which is indicative of the problem in itself. This incident is an inditement of the NHL as well as Bertuzzi. Usually they call about 50% of the penalties that should be called during the season and almost no penalties in the playoffs but this year we have had playoff reffing the whole year, i.e. players don't face consequences for their actions. These same players then receive very minor suspensions for serious incidents (even as a Sens fan I think Havlat should have received more than two games for his crosscheck on Recchi. It should be noted however that he was hooked first by Rechi and got away was then hooked by another Flyer and managed to unhook himself to return to be hooked by Recchi a second time within 30 seconds and with not one penalty call. This is not excusing what he did but stating that if stickwork is not penalized it will lead to more stickwork.) Then the coaches and managers are allowed to make disgraceful, one-sided commentaries that show complete disrespect for the other coaches, teams and players and often include violent threats against opposing teams. Among the worst offenders in this regard are Crawford, Quinn and Clarke. It should be noted that in the Brashear-McSorley incident that McSorley flipped out and did something vicious in the heat of the moment. However, the Canucks players and management had been making threatening comments about Moore for over a week with no action from the league. They may not have intended to seriously injure Moore but they definitely did intend to harm him and were criminally reckless in carrying this out. Nor were they satisfied when Moore did the manly thing and had a fair fight with the first person to challenge him. That should have been enough, one can understand Moore not wanting to spend the whole game fighting. I am not blaming Quinn or Clarke for the incident, the blame lies with Canucks management and players. However, Clarke and Quinn are guilty of the same sort of behaviour that led to this incident and may lead to similar incidents if it continues. That is why I will never respect Quinn or Clarke or their teams as long as they are associated with them (as I stated before I am a closet Leafs fan, without Quinn they would be my 2nd or 3rd favourite team). I hope they clean up their act or the NHL finally does something about it and punishes them for their actions. How do you think the DFB would react if Matthias Sammer publicly stated that his players would be out to get Oliver Kahn in their next match. Or UEFA if Hitzfeld stated that Beckham should watch his neck in today's Champion's League game? The NHL must change the atmosphere and mindset that leads to such behaviour. They may not be able to stop an incident like McSorley where one player just flips out but they certainly could have prevented the injury to Moore. Had Crawford or May received immediate suspensions for their dispicable comments none of this would have happended. The players would have seen that there are consequences for their actions.
  23. Now we see exactly what this type of attitude leads to in the Bertuzzi incident and this is what bugs me. The type of reckless, one-sided commentary provided by Crawford, Quinn and Clarke is very similar and has now led to a serious injury. In addition to the irrational complaining both Quinn and Clarke frequently resort to threatening comments about retribution and Crawford recently joined them to tragic results. As I said in my post I considered Vancouver a fairly clean team but certainly last night's game changes that. I think Bertuzzi should receive a life-long ban and that both Burke and Crawford should receive a one-year suspension for creating an attitude and atmosphere that greatly contributed to the resulting incident (and Vancouver is my second favourite team). First they unjustly complain about a hard but clean hit on one of their top players which did not lead to any serious injury. Nor was it Moore's fault that Naslund started to fall before he got hit. Then they constantly threaten retribution. Then during the game they already fight him once which should have been more than enough retribution but are not satisfied with that and have to attack him in a cowardly and criminal fashion. There was obvious premeditation and I hope that if Moore suffers serious limitations due to the injury that Bertuzzi sees jail time and is also sued for loss of earnings. People complain about the players not respecting each other but when the coaches and managers don't respect each other or the players why do we expect anything else from the players. The league has to start punishing some of the coaches for their reckless comments. I heard Muckler talking about the Sens-Philly game and he stated that he doesn't like such games but that it happens in hockey and everyone fought one on one and fairly and he didn't have a problem with it. No complaining or threatening unlike Clarke who has stated that they will be going after Ottawa's star players on April 2nd or like Quinn who threatened Alfredsson for the great sin of a mock stick throw. Most of the other managers in the league have the same good attitude but there are a few who bring the league into disrepute and I would include Quinn, Clarke and Crawford as among this category. It is also distressing that the majority of the media coverage seems to be about Bertuzzi, the penalty he will receive and how that will affect the Canucks as opposed to focusing on the important issue, the health of Moore. Hopefully he will be able to make a full recovery and not be permanently damaged.
  24. A guy who fires a coach who took a leave of absence during a successful season because he has cancer when he has recovered and is ready to come back is not nasty? I could make a list of Clarke nastiness but I won't bother. I guess we can now add Clarke to Hargreaves as one of the guys you defend at all costs although you must be disappointed that he didn't betray his country by playing for England where I imagine he has some ancestors. Who will you defend next? The reason the Leafs are always mentioned is that they are the most frequent whiners. We are actually overdue for the next Quinn whine. If they stop whining they will stop being mentioned, I actually liked the Leafs until Quinn arrived on the scene. I am not saying teams shouldn't play rough if the NHL lets them get away with it. I am only saying they should stop whining when anyone plays a game in the same way they do. And Matthew if you had watched the game you would have seen that Ottawa won the majority of the fights. Brashear beat Ray and I would give Rechi the edge against Smolinski but Fisher killed the much bigger Handzus, Neil and Chara won their bouts and I would give the edge to Van Allen and Lalime in their fights. Most of the others that I can remember I would class as draws. This is probably what is upsetting Clarke and Hitchcock, they were expecting to beat up on the Sens and got their clocks cleaned.
  25. After listening to his comments after the fight filled Sens-Flyers I have to admit that he is every bit as bad as Pat. It really bugs me these guys with teams who play rough and dirty who then complain if anyone gives them a bit of their own medicine. Do they have an exclusive licence on this style of play? Is noone allowed to fight fire with fire? Crawford is also a whiner but at least the Canucks aren't a rough and dirty team. Clarke is complaining that we sent our goons to fight their skill players Somik, Timander and Sharp. Well Neil who fought Somik has twice as many goals as Somik this year and in fact only one goal less than those three "skill" players combined. If Clarke has guys in his lineup who can neither play nor fight that is his own fault and problem. 4 goal Sharp told 19 goal Spezza before the faceoff that he was sent out to fight him which is why Spezza did the manly thing of fighting him as soon as the puck was dropped. This seems to be a far more blatant case of a mediocre player trying to take out a skill player but I don't hear the Sens complaining. The Sens including several highly skilled players fought, took their licks and didn't complain afterwards. Maybe what really bugs Clarke is that with the exception of Brashear who outpunched Ray, the Sens clearly won several fights and at worst the others were a draw. I and most other hockey fans would never have believed before the game that the Sens could outfight the Flyers. Clarke himself was one of the dirtiest players (and nastiest human beings) that the game has seen. He made a career out of playing rough and dirty and then hiding behind the Hammer and the other Philly goons. Looks like he is managing the same way. I just wish teams that play rough like the Leafs and Flyers do would just play and shut up.
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