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Did Mike Cammalleri have just cause to go after Nino Niederreiter?

Oct 3, 2010, 11:33 AM EDT

Cammalleri1.jpgLast night we told you about Mike Cammalleri’s bad night in Quebec City where he seemingly went bonkers going after Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter and ultimately slashing him in the ankle. Cammalleri was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the action and Niederreiter left the game with a bruised ankle. Cammalleri isn’t exactly a goon out on the ice so what would make him lose his cool with the 18 year-old youngster? Perhaps it was a hit that might be the first to challenge the NHL’s new blindside hit rule.

Video has popped up showing Niederreiter hitting Cammalleri shoulder-to-shoulder from a point of view for Cammalleri that comes from out of nowhere. You can check out the video from YouTube here. Stu Hackel of Habs Inside/Out thinks that Niederreiter’s hit could help Cammalleri’s case with the NHL.

Looking at the video, a case can be made that contact was shoulder to shoulder from behind. A case can also be made that the head was targeted, even though it wasn’t the principal point of contact.

But even if Colin Campbell and his staff decide Niederreiter did target Cammalleri’s head, the retaliation may still cause some sort of disciplinary action, although it might be softened if the league decides Cammalleri had some justification for his reaction.

Ahh yes, the ever popular Wheel of Justice may get fired up for everyone involved in this. Niederreiter might get dinged for being the first to face the new blindside hit rule while Cammalleri could get sat down by the league for invoking the spirit of “Slap Shot” while going ape on Niederreiter.

For us, Niederreiter’s hit doesn’t qualify as the kind that allows you to go after another player the way Cammalleri did. It’s not that egregious of a play and while you can’t get into a player’s head to guess what their intent was, Niederreiter didn’t appear to be gunning for Cammalleri’s head. Punishing players for playing hockey isn’t something we’re very supportive of. Of course, trying to guess what Colin Campbell may or may not do in regard to punishment is a game that we’re not going to play either, especially if a new rule comes into play.

That said, there’s no justifying Cammalleri swinging his stick towards Niederreiter’s head and face and there’s no excusing him taking a swipe at his ankle. That kind of rogue action should not be tolerated.

  1. IslesHockey21 - Oct 3, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Did Ryan Hollweg’s hit from behind before the tomahawk chop help Chris Simon’s case? No.
    Cammalleri did what he did, it should be softened just because he can’t take a hit. It’s called keeping your cool – part of being a professional athlete.

  2. cammalerri's friend - Oct 3, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    cammalleri was fast enough to lift his arm before getting his head hit in a way that he could miss half of the saison… come on…its unnacceptable…lucky he his in good shape and nothing very serious happen..i would a hit the clown while he was on the floor if i was there at cammellari’s place..

  3. Retributional - Oct 3, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    This is comepletely uacceptable. Only one word can describe Camellar right now — MURDERER. The SOB should be banned from the league for life and the Canadiens should be stripped of the their next two first round picks (which should be handed to the Islanders ) as retribution for attempting to cripple a young man’s career before it even began.

  4. Retributional - Oct 3, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    This is comepletely uacceptable. Only one word can describe Camelleri right now — MURDERER. The SOB should be banned from the league for life and the Canadiens should be stripped of the their next two first round picks (which should be handed to the Islanders ) as retribution for attempting to cripple a young man’s career before it even began.

  5. scpensfan - Oct 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Give me a break… Murderer? Banned for life?
    Only a slight over-reaction, dontchathink? Suspend him, just like you have in every situation that this has come up. As for the hit, I don’t see anything wrong with it, it was shoulder on shoulder… and Cammalleri is kinda short… so naturally he’s going to see a lot of “higher” hits than someone who is over 6′ tall…
    Murderer… wow…

  6. Alan Smithee - Oct 4, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    Shame on you, Joe. There is *no* excuse for two-handing another player in the face (glancing blow or not), cross-checking him, then two-handing him on the leg.
    But because Cammalleri is a rising star in the league who has never been suspended before, Campbell will probably give him two games and that’ll be that.

  7. ovechio - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Hey bossman. appreciate the day off. howd u do with ur picks? u need to look at this thing my neighbor came across the other day. http://sportscomplainer.com/nhl . its like the drudge thing u like but sports. ok cu tom sir.

  8. son - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    the hit by Neiderreiter was within the rules in my opinion, the slash deserved the game misconduct, but the real issue to me is the attempted stick to the face. Marty McSorley was pretty much forced to retire and he hit Brashear in the shoulder and the stick slid up into Brashears head. the league better suspend Cammalleri for the stick swinging attempt. why is it only suspendable if someone gets hurt…the league needs to suspend intent, not just outcome.

  9. McMonkey - Oct 4, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    I can see Cammy going bonkers on the kid. Did you guys not hear the interviews after the game? Plek was saying that this guy was going all over the place crosschecking, slashing, and hitting from behind. They were all talking about it on the bench. The slash, which, btw, was indeed over the top and does warrant his 1 game suspension, never would have occurred had Nino manned up and dropped the gloves with Cammy, who was obviously trying to get him to do just that.
    The problem I see is that the Habs needed an enforcer on the ice to keep that pesky kid in line.
    Kinda nice to see Cammy able to stick up for himself, though!

  10. BrkmHockey - Oct 5, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    The hit on Cammalleri was definitely legal and not even that hard, and he could see it coming. It’s not Nino’s fault Cammalleri is a little girl. His response for getting checked on his ess is cowardly. To bring your stick up to someone’s face and then at the back of their legs is shameful. Of course Colin Campbell blows another decision. He should have gotten 3 games for this.

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