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Clowe on controversial interference: “I have no idea what you guys are talking about”

Apr 6, 2012, 10:46 AM EDT

Ryane Clowe has picked a defense for his outrageous interference play during Thursday’s 6-5 shootout win over Los Angeles.

He’s pleading ignorance.

“I have no idea what you guys are talking about,” Clowe told reporters when asked to explain his motives for reaching over the bench to break up a Kings rush. “I’ll have to see the video or something. Someone show me the video.”

Ask and ye shall receive…

The question now, according to the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek: What should the NHL do about this?

The NHL assesses supplementary discipline for all manner of untoward conduct. Players get fined and suspended for cheap shots, for hits high (to the head) and low (to the knee). Players get suspended for racial slurs and other improper language. Coaches get fined for complaining about referees. The NHL disciplinary process seems like a 24/7 event, with the new discipline czar, Brendan Shanahan, constantly under siege.

But what happens when a player sitting on the bench – say Ryan Clowe of the San Jose Sharks – reaches his stick onto the ice and incredibly plays a puck from there, interfering with Jarrett Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings as Stoll was carrying the puck up the ice? And what if Clowe’s actions happened in a tie game, late in regulation, with the Kings on a power play and maybe in a position to win in regulation? And what if, in actual fact, San Jose goes on to win in the shootout, further muddling playoff positioning in the Western Conference?

The answer, of course, is that nobody knows. This is a fairly unprecedented situation that everybody’s still trying to digest.

Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area wrote that Clowe “cheated big time Thursday night, and having gotten away with it, denied he did it — which is proof he absolutely did it and knew it.”

Dan Arritt of ESPN LA said based on the reaction of postgame interviews “it’s clear no one had ever witnessed such a play in their careers.”

It will be interesting to see how Shanahan and the league handle this one. Between Clowe, the Nate Prosser headbutt on Jamal Mayers and the Brooks Orpik hit on Derek Stepan (plus Tortorella’s inflammatory comments), it promises to be a busy Good Friday for the NHL’s discipline czar.

  1. pjwill24 - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Disgraceful, I wouldn’t expect someone on my son’s mite team to pull that nonsense. But what does Shanahan do about it?

  2. millertime30 - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Dbag move.
    From, shockingly enough, a Dbag

  3. sjsharksfan11 - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    In characteristic of Clowe; a good guy and a good player. Shanahan has two more incidents on his plate from last nights game with the cheap shot Frasor gave I. Mitchell and the biggest cheap shot Clifford gave to Couture. Call a spade a spade.

    • habsman - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Who taught you English, Emmit Smith?

      • thomas2727 - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Hey Dexter Manley,

        Who taught you how to spell?

        It’s Emmitt no “Emmit”

      • habsman - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM


    • kitshky - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      What are you even trying to say …??

  4. nogoodtomedead - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Haha- I love Ryan Clowe- but this was a low class move. He’s better then that- he’s not a cheap player.

    • cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Welcome to the life of a Canuck fan. Haha.

  5. snoop0323 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    What is wrong with everyone. Disgraceful? Dbag move? Really? The guy stuck his stick over the boards to knock the puck away. It should have been a 2 minute minor for too many men on the ice or unsportsmanlike conduct. This is the equivalent of the ref missing an obvious hooking call. All this talk about supplementary discipline is ridiculous. Shanahan shouldn’t even look at this play. Between Orpik and Posser, he has enough egregious acts to review this weekend without having to worry about Clowe. I actually laughed when I saw that play.

    • leeo00 - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      lol, me too ! thats good stuff. to me it looks like their is only 4 guys on the ice so its fair game ,unless their on a power play idonno did watch the game.

  6. cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    The penalty for something this blatant has to be stiff. Either it has to be a sizeable suspension or they have to change the rules in-game to where it’s at least 5 and a game. Otherwise, what is stopping someone from doing this at an important time of SCP game?

    2 minutes doesn’t seem like enough of a deterrent. 2 minutes is something you get when you’re LEGALLY ON THE ICE. Not when you do something from the bench.

    • snoop0323 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Sizable suspension? C’mon man. As far as “what is stopping someone from doing this…”, the refs are supposed to stop someone from doing this. Just like the refs are supposed to stop players from tripping, hooking, holding, interfering, etc. Also, following your “LEGALLY ON THE ICE” benchmark for severity of a penalty, I guess we should change too many men on the ice to a major and a misconduct? Calm down.

      • cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Too many men is a more benign penalty than intentionally interfering with the play from the bench. If you don’t think so you’re crazy. The NHL does in fact give increasingly stiffer penalties based on intention and that shouldn’t change here.

        You get 5, a game and a 10 game suspension for leaving the bench intentionally to start an altercation. The rule shouldn’t be that strict of course but I think an automatic min 5 and a game going forward and Clowe should be sat out the season finale because the call was missed. That would be a sizeable suspension.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      I don’t think they can hand out a bunch of games for this, not when they’re suspending elbows like Keith for 5 games. They do need to make sure it’s given something to prevent it happening in much the same way as they would for anyone jumping off the bench to join a fight; any player not on the ice who joins a play in any way would be the wording they can use.

      A fine isn’t enough, I’d say he gets one game – which just happens to be the rematch in San Jose.

      • cableguymike - Apr 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        I would have liked to see one game. I think if the league doesn’t look at closing this loophole then they are opening themselves up to similar players down the line possibly at crucial and embarrassing moments in the playoffs.

        Brett Hull’s toe in the crease anyone?!

  7. iinformeduthusly - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    You expect this crap from Avery, not Clowe.

    Sit him for a playoff game and wipe that smirk off his face
    See how fast he feels stupid and apologetic

    Then he will know what they were talking about, I mean does he think this is a joke? He was being cute?

    He better find out how wrong he is today otherwise everyone should be doing it.

  8. sharksman - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Lets start out by saying , Yes I am a sharks fan. When I saw the replay I laughed, if that would have been a LA King I would have been pissed. Having said that It should have been a 2min penalty. Thats it. No more no less. Is it any different than the ref’s not calling the hit on Mitchell ? How about the punches thrown after the whistle ? Was it a bad play by Clowe ? Oh yeah. Will I be burning my Clowe jersey ? Nope. The coaches will talk to him, I am sure he wont do it again. I still dont see what everyone is so upset about, how is this different then intentionaly tripping someone when there on a breakaway ? when that happens the anouncers say ” good play , he was beat, had to do it “. Bad play by Clowe. Refs missed the call (no surprise there) Move on , noting to see here. Overall great game, bad goaltending. Go Sharks !

    • cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      A player legally on the ice is expected to make a play for the puck. Even if it results in a penalty. The puck carrier knows that or should know that.

      And you can’t justify the severity of the penalty based on the fact the other team had missed calls against them. Each penalty, unless it can be shown to have been in relation to another, has to be looked at separately. It’s not the same situation where one guy gets slashed and turns around and delivers a wicked cross check.

      • sharksman - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        I understand that. I am not saying because of a missed call before they should have not called this. It should have been called. It wasnt . Thats all I am saying. Bad play by Clowe total jerk move by him but it wasnt called. To say he deserved a suspension is a joke. I still could see a fine coming $5000 or more. But thats it. I am suprised by the reactions here. But then after reading other comments on other posts I should not be. By reading other posts of yours I am assuming you are a Canucks fan. And like all sports teams there are some good fans and some bad fans. You sound like one of the good ones. Good Luck !
        Maybe a rematch this year ? I, of course will be rooting for a different outcome. lol
        Just get tired of all the people talking soooo much $&it. Lots of dbags lol

  9. uschawk - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Tape don’t lie. I don’t understand how he can deny it with a straight face.

    • snoop0323 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      That was the only thing about that incident that bothered me. Clowe needs to just man up, say something like “It was a heat-of-the-moment reaction. It was wrong. My bad. Won’t happen again”, and move on. He is going to look at that tape today, and realize how stupid his post game comment was.

  10. cup0pizza - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    dbag player, dbag organization, dbag fan base. That’s the San Jose Sharks in a nutshell.

  11. sharksman - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    speaking of dbags……

  12. bleedingteal4life - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    The refs miss so much on a day to day basis, this is just another example. The kings had every opportunity to recover from clowe’s “accident” anyway. The teams meet again on Saturday, let thence work it out then on the ice.

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