In what can only be described by this blogger as a quintessential display of "Goonery" or "Goontasticness" (yes, that's right, I made up my own word), Washington Capitals resident tough-guy, Donald Brashear, showed why the full-time pugilist needs to be excommunicated from the game of hockey.
Before the game even began, Brashear was seen crossing the red line (which is a total no-no to begin with and should have been penalized) and subsequently shoved Colton Orr who ended up being scratched for the contest anyway. So, instead of going toe-to-toe with Orr, Brashear decided to target a far less capable (in the fighting department, anyway) opponent, in Blair Betts.
The hit on Betts was shear disregard for another player's safety and should have been penalized accordingly during the course of the game. Unfortunately, the real punishment didn't occur until after the game was over. Colin Campbell, NHL Disciplinary Czar, had this to say:
"Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player. It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury."Cue the video replay...
Needless to say, it was an absolutely dirty hit. There is no need to be that late, that vicious and that apathetic to another person's well-being. I personally feel that in this instance, the 1-game suspension for shoving Orr in the pre-game warmup and the 5-game suspension for the hit on Betts, is not enough. This hearkens back to the same kind of blatant disregard shown by Mike Mottau when he hit Frans Nielsen in November. When are these perpetrators going to understand that intentionally hurting other players and ruining perfectly good careers is frowned upon by society?
For his trouble, Betts left the game likely suffering a concussion and it was reported yesterday that he had broken his orbital bone as a result of the hit. One Ranger down, 19 to go there, Donnie.
Please understand that I'm not rooting for the Rangers at all. Quite the opposite. But, when a player as good-natured and upstanding as Blair Betts, gets blind-sided by someone who's on the ice a grand total of 5 minutes a game and is merely there to intentionally hurt people, it gets my feather's ruffled. There is no place for these kinds of actions in the game of hockey. Period.
Could the Islanders end up with "Yashin 2.0" in a trade this summer?
Early this morning, a reader commented on my Garth Snow's Gonna Do WHAT????!!!! Part Deux post, referring to my idea revolving around Vinny Lecavalier. Here's what the reader had to say:
"Anything with Lecavalier is a no go...period!! 11 years $85 million for a post-peak star? Hello! Yashin again? Look the Isles are rebuilding, why would they saddle themselves like that? They could probably sign Marian Hossa as a free agent for less. Plus, with the economy, the cap will probably start contracting, not increasing and teams with cap room like the Isles will be in the driver's seat to pick up high-priced talent for little trade bait in a few years. The only thing you will see, should be a package deal of the 26th pick and some 2nd rounds to move up or a deal with Toronto in the mix to move down to 2 or 3 and bank a bunch more picks. Snow is in rebuilding mode and he's sticking to the plan (and being smart about it)."
Second, Marian Hossa will never be coming to the New York Islanders. He wants to win a Stanley Cup and news out of Detroit lately has him taking a "hometown discount" with the Red Wings prior to July 1st. So you can scratch that idea.
You're absolutely correct in your assessment of the Salary Cap. If things go as predicted, the Cap will remain close to $56.7 million for next year and subsequently go DOWN for the 2010-2011 season. The amount of Cap room the Isles possess now, will be as good as having marketable players to trade and they'll be in the mix for star players in about 2-3 years if Garth continues to run a tight ship and play his cards right.
I also agree with packaging the 26th pick and possibly two of the 2nd rounders to move up into the 15-20 range of the 1st round. That makes total sense to me and I hope Snow can swing a deal. However, I can't agree with trading with Toronto...AT ALL! Burke and the Leafs have nothing the Islanders can utilize and it would be futile to think so. Burke's posturing prior to the Draft Lottery was simply to create buzz in the Canadian media and served its purpose. Nothing more.
Finishing up, let me say this about the potential Lecavalier trade. I would take an overpaid, locked up for 11 years at $85 million, "Vinny 4" over someone like a Marian Gaborik, who is likely to test the Free Agent waters (at an asking price at roughly $5-$6 million per year). Gaborik has played only 94 games in the past two seasons while Vinny has been one of the more durable #1 center's in the NHL.
Here are the stats since the Lockout:
In my mind, I would personally love to have both of them healthy, but if I had to choose, I'd easily take Lecavalier over Gaborik. Gaborik is explosive and certainly can score goals, however he's more apt to be injured than actually be playing.
As far as Vinny's numbers go, this year is skewed a bit because he was dealing with a wrist injury for most of the season. He's still the #1 center that every team would want and his durability and skill level are a testament to him as a player and competitor. Since the Lockout, Vinny is averaging 85.5 points a year on a Lightning team that has little in the way of secondary scoring.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I love being able to have a discussion over topics like this so keep your opinions coming. Leave a Comment at the link below.
(Photos courtesy of SILive.com and ESPN.com)