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Kerry Fraser says Milan Lucic deserved two-game suspension

Nov 14, 2011, 11:10 PM EDT

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Brendan Shanahan was quick to condemn the Buffalo Sabres’ comments that goalies are becoming “fair game” after Milan Lucic wasn’t suspended for his check on Ryan Miller, but one retired official thinks that Lindy Ruff’s complaints are spot-on. Kerry Fraser claimed that Lucic deserved a two-game suspension in his TSN column:

I believe [Shanahan] really missed this call and has sent the wrong message. Like it or not, goalies enjoy preferred treatment similar to endangered species in the wild; at least up until this latest decision. It would now appear they are subjected to the same rules as any other player once they leave the “protection of their nest!” Lindy Ruff has every right to call foul on this non suspension. Milan Lucic should have been suspended for the next two (2) games.

Fraser goes on to explain that he attended a meeting with GMs and coaches in which it was generally agreed that goalies would be “untouchable.” Fraser also believed that the two-minute charging penalty should have been a major instead, so he disagreed with the on-ice officials as well as Shanahan’s ruling.

Long story short, there’s at least one (former) official who claims that goalies aren’t “fair game,” even if they’re outside the crease.

  1. bcjim - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    I’ve been trying to tell pEopLe that putting a man who regularly had about 200 pims in charge of this was a little odd.

  2. eyecorporations - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Would Enroth have gotten run down by Cole in OT tonight had Lucic been suspended? I think not…

  3. betrayedbylife - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:53 PM


  4. fooseballfan - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    I have watched a lot of puck. Kerry was an outstanding official.

  5. insider7 - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Fraser reveals himself to be a total jackass.

    He claims that he attended a GM’s meeting during which it was “generaly agreed” that goalies would be untouchable. Here’s a little reminder for Fraser: secret alleged agreements that are reached behind closed doors do not control the rules of the game…the officials rules that are in the rule book do!

    There’s a good reason for this. Players play the game with the known rules that are in the rule book in mind. You can’t penalize a player for playing within the written rules of the game but who is not in compliance with a secret, informal “general agreement” that was reached behind closed doors among some GMs.

    Under the rules of the game, if a goalie leaves his crease and plays the puck, then he can be checked just like any other player who players the puck. Lucic did take several strides before the impact so there are valid grounds for arguably giving him a penalty for charging, but that’s all.

    • duster1982 - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      ugghhhh under the rules of the game the goalie can NOT be checked just like any other player. Incidental contact can be made if the goalie is playing the puck and the checker TRIES to avoid contact. Get a little knowledge before posting please.

    • sfbookreviews - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM

      Wow. There is nothing correct in this post. As already noted, by existing rule, goalies cannot be checked just like any other player. Under any circumstance. Strike one.

      Your argument about the rule book is also wrong. Google Sean Avery/Martin Brodeur. What Avery did wasn’t technically against any rule in the book. But the next day it was an illegal activity. The book wasn’t changed overnight, the league told players and refs it would not be allowed. Strike two.

      A little knowledge about the subject goes a long way. Try it some time.

  6. pastabelly - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    Shanahan has been tougher on players than anyone in his position before him. His focus has been on ridding the game of headshots (bindside and more). Miller was not hit in the head and was far enough outside of his crease to be acting like a defenseman. The rules should be no different whether the hit was from Lucic or Martin St Louis. Miller feels picked on because Lucic is huge. Next time he should slide on the ice to get the puck and not feel as if he can go out there and not get hit.

    • duster1982 - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      but the rules state that he CANT get hit, so why should he expect otherwise?

  7. billyhoyle4real - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Lucic lifted his elbow drove through Miller and loomed over Miller in a mocking manner, how this is overlooked by the Sheriff blows my mind. I can’t wait until the next goalie gets run and the next one and the next one and Shanny has to explain his actions why goaltenders are being targeted. Pathetic.

  8. 8man - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Hmm. Well if “it was generally agreed that goalies would be ‘untouchable,'” then maybe they just need to make that an offical rule and establish that they can skate out to the face off circle and dance with the puck until one of the defensemen beat on the breakaway makes his way back.

    Unwritten rules? What is this? Baseball?

  9. polegojim - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    #1 – it’s rule 42.1 – somebody needs to get a NEW rule book

    #2 – It’s a ridiculous rule.
    Ryan skates almost to the red line to play the puck while Lucic is booking towards the net?
    What is Lucic supposed to do? Say… ‘Oh, weill excuse me Mr. Ryan, please play through?’
    This isn’t Golf.
    If a goalie wants to come out and play the puck in front of a pursuing defender, he should be fair game, just like anyone else playing the puck.

    Positive result: Goalies decide to remain in the crease and let defenders play the puck that far out in THAT type of situation.

    • duster1982 - Nov 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      Why is this so hard for people to understand? Whether it should be a rule or not, it clearly states that the attacking player needs to make an attempt to avoid contact, which Lucic clearly did not try to do. He doesnt need to let Miller play the puck where ever he wants, but he does have to make an effort NOT to flatten him. What Miller did was allowed in the rules, what Lucic did was not. How is that so complicated?!

      • polegojim - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        I don’t disagree with the rules ‘say’. I think it’s a bad rule.

        I don’t even remotely agree with a suspension. It was not a head show, and there was some good acting on Ryan’s part.

        Lucic committed a penalty and deserved to serve the time in the box, not a suspension.

        Do we now suspend everyone who commits a penalty? That’s a completely woos approach.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 15, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Duster’s right, but I’m not big on the implication that goalies can just charge out and play the puck. Whether it’s a rule or not (it is, and VERY, VERY CLEARLY is, no less), and whether the hit was bad or not (eh… Miller’s an illegal target by definition, but the hit itself was clean, if very hard) I just don’t like that the rules basically mean that a goalie can charge out to beat a breaking player to the puck and if said player hits him while going full-speed for it (you know, like most players tend to do on a breakaway), it’s their fault and not the goalie’s for being way the hell out in a place the other players don’t expect them to be. Of course, that’s not how things played out in this case, but the outcome wasn’t much better judging by how much of a controversy this has become.

      Let me be clear: the hit was wrong by definition. The rules are absolutely clear on this. Shanahan is just plain wrong on the call – he either forgot or ignored the rulebook’s own verdict. That said, the rules need some sort of acknowledgement of this situation – if a player’s on a break and chasing the puck, we can’t just have invincible, can’t-hit-me goalies flying out and playing it. There needs to be something in place to handle that.

      • duster1982 - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        Im fine with there being no suspension, what Im not fine with is Shanahans reason why. He stated that there wasnt a suspension because he asked Lucic if he meant to do it, and Lucic said no. Well what did he think he was going to say?

  10. imleftcoast - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Lucic certainly deserved 5 and maybe one game. On the other hand, Kerry Fraser thought Torres should have been kicked out for the entire playoffs after his hit on Seabrook. He’s got zero credibility with me.

  11. govtminion - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    And as well all know, Kerry Fraser never makes the wrong call when it comes to things like this… just ask Doug Gilmour.

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