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Pierre-Marc Bouchard files appeal with NHL over iffy suspension

Oct 10, 2011, 10:29 AM EDT

Bouchard_Pierre-Marc

Pierre-Marc Bouchard isn’t pleased with his suspension and he’s going to fight the league over it. Bouchard has filed an appeal over his two-game ban for his high-sticking incident Saturday night against Columbus. Bouchard will meet with Commissioner Gary Bettman today to see if his ban is upheld.

What will help make this meeting between Bouchard and the NHL a bit more fun is how Bouchard’s agent, Allan Walsh, trashed the NHL’s means of meting out punishment referring to it as a “kangaroo court” and called the two-game suspension of his client, “a shameful farce for the league.” That meeting could get a little bit awkward. “Oh yeah, about all that stuff I was saying… Yeah, don’t hold that against my client, OK?”

The NHL’s process for handling appeals is different than Major League Baseball’s in that the appeals happen before the player plays another game instead of dragging things out allowing the player to continue playing until their meeting is heard. We’ve seen this happen before when Joe Thornton challenged his two-game suspension which was upheld for hitting David Perron with a wicked blow that ended up knocking Perron out for the season with a concussion. Perron has yet to return to action.

  1. tlndma - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Iffy suspension? He swung his stick at a guy and hit him in the head. He’s going to claim his intent was to hit him lower. In this case he has to held responsible for the result, not his intent. The league can’t let players swing there sticks at other players.

    • jeffr555 - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM

      Iffy suspension you ask? Absolutely! Let’s review a few facts. First, the jockeying position that was occuring happens on 75% of faceoffs. Second, Calvert was raising his stick high also, it just so happened it was under Bouchard’s stick. Third, Bouchard is one of the cleanest players in the league. Fourth, a penalty did occur on the play and Bouchard was given a double minor for the play. A player is responsible for what happens with his own stick. However, Shannahan is linking the suspension to an “intent to injur”. There was no intent to injur on the play. If you don’t agree, watch every face off in the next game you watch. Pay attention to the wingers and the centers upon the drop of the puck. Then you will see how this can happen. As an on ice official myself, I see this type of jockeying every game. If contact is made, it is a minor, or in this case double minor. But there was no intent to injur. By the way, watch the video again. He did not “swing” his stick. He had both hands on the stick. Granted, it was a high stick penalty, but does not warrant a suspension, particularly since he has never been a dirty player in 9 NHL seasons.

      • ThatGuy - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Exactly, Shannahan just set a precidence. High stickings that cause blood are no longer just a double minor. If you highstick someone and draw blood, you will be suspended two games.

      • tlndma - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        He didn’t swing his stick? Right. The intent was to hit the other player with his stick, of course an injury can occur from that and it did. Therefore suspension.
        Swing, slash, high stick, call it what you want. It was a deliberate act that caused injury.

  2. donttouchthedirtypenny - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    I have to think that you Bouchard apologists are using your heart and not your head when talking about this. Under no circumstances should a player be allowed to swing his stick at another player. Thats why slashing penalties exist. And slashing penalties that result in severe facial injuries to another player are a punishable above and beyond a double minor. And don’t even think about saying broken teeth and stitches aren’t severe injuries.

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