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Capitals’ Erskine suspended three games for hit on Simmonds

Feb 2, 2013, 7:15 PM EDT

NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan made his call on John Erskine‘s elbow on Wayne Simmonds from Friday: the Washington Capitals defenseman has been suspended for three games. Shanahan said Erskine “recklessly elbowed” Simmonds, as you can see from the video explanation:

Erskine will miss Sunday’s afternoon NBC game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs and another matchup against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He’ll be eligible to play against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9.

The suspension will cost Erskine, 32, exactly $24,324.33.

That hit sidelined Simmonds, 24, for one game already (tonight’s match against the Carolina Hurricanes). He’ll be re-evaluated in the near future.

How do you feel about the hit? Was the punishment too light, too severe or just right?

  1. sabatimus - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Very nice!

  2. sportsfreak13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Good Shanaban right there.

  3. tobie1003 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    I’m a caps fan, and he definately needed to be suspended. Three games seems fair

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Iam a hockey expert and logged a lot of time in the nhl as a point man ! In defense of the guilty party I can guarantee you the elbow was not intentional it is a natural reaction when pinching in and getting caught when you feel a guy may get around you with the fear of an odd man or breakaway rush ! So I just taught all you dummy Pens fans a hockey lesson !

      • schapley18 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Are you drunk?

      • rflashj - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        schapley18 – Feb 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM
        Are you drunk?

        Brain damage from all his concussions.

      • stakex - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        If he didn’t have the snark in his comment, hes actually making a decent point. I doubt this was an intentional shot to the head, but rather a bad natural reaction to being beat on the play. That doesn’t change the fact that it was a very very nasty (and illegal) hit that needed to result in a suspension (three games is good)… but it doesn’t mean Erskine is a dirty player.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Finally somebody that gets it and is capable of next level thinking !

      • dcfan4life - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        If your saying he didnt mean to hit him in the head that may be understandable. But he clearly raised the elbow. Thats a dangerous move. Dangerous moves are suspendable. Regardless of intent.

      • sabatimus - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        I’m just assuming a joke.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        Not Really ! I am truly a hockey expert you don’t have to like it you ,you don’t have to respect it but if you follow my post you will be the wiser for it and someday be able to impress all your friends !

    • me6661973 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      if it been Crysby doing the elbow been 0 days and no tweet to say he was sorry if been crybaby hit been 12 days.. I think 3 also was good since he not one always be dirty player. I am a flyers fan wishing Wayne Train would hurry up come back. I am guessing elbow can up because normally they bump up expecting to be hit before going for the puck. For once they got it right.

  4. unklepaulhargus - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Players suspended for a dirty hit that results in injury, should be suspended as many games as the injured player misses.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      No thanks

      Star player does something reckless and catches a no name AHLer from the same division with something bad and all of a sudden the AHLer is out much longer than needed.

      Not interested in that can of worms

    • thesableo - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      That would lead to a lot of…”exaggeration”, shall we say. Especially in the playoffs when teams have a real interest in keeping their opponent’s best players out.
      How suspensions are doled out now seems pretty arbitrary, but I don’t think the solution is making it MORE arbitrary.

  5. skinsovieterps - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Way too severe, that pansy Shanahan has always had it out for the Caps.

    • sportsfreak13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      I believe in a earlier post I referred to you as a idiot. That still stands.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        I second this analysis. If anything he got off easy. Simmonds is now out indefinitely with a concussion. So we lose another top line player on a play where Erskine pulled a scumbag move and the refs OKed it as clean. How can a play get a guy suspended for 3 games and yet somehow be perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the officials? Hell David Backes got a match penalty for an absolutely clean check while Erskine doesn’t even receive a minor for a brain rattling, unnecessarily dirty elbow. It’s mind boggling to me. The referees from that game should be suspended without pay for atleast 3 games. There has to consequences for these blatantly obvious misses.

    • govtminion - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Can you explain what you mean? I’m not aware of many Caps being suspended the past couple of years, other than the one-game ban on Nicklas Backstrom last year. I’d like to know more about why you think Shanahan is bullying the Caps.

  6. somekat - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    If Simmonds threw the elbow, it would of been 12 games, minimum. More likely, he’d be another in a long list of Flyers to get 20 games for a hit that would get a guy on any other team 5 games tops

    How many games are the refs suspended for not calling anything?

    • sportsfreak13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Hey while your crystal ball is out who’s winning the cup this year? Quit whining its a fair suspension. However I also think those refs should have to sit some games for missing that call.

    • stakex - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Theres no excuse for the refs missing a call like this, I’ll give you that. However theres no need to be a drama queen about it. The refs weren’t targeting the Flyers… they just suck. It really is that simple.

      • malcolmsbeard - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        Your comments suck. It’s as simple as that.

  7. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    3 games is the bare minimum of what this guy deserves. This type of action is what the league is trying to crack down on. Some no name, boarderline NHL player is throwing elbows into guys faces because he’s not talented enough to take a pass? Give him 5 games if you want to send a message that you can’t be doing what this fool did last night. This guy wouldn’t crack the lineup for 25 other NHL teams.

    • sportsfreak13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      You’re an idiot. Did I spell that right? Erskine is a good defenseman who would crak the lineup for 25 other NHL teams. Learn the game and the players then comment. Baby steps.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        John Erskine is a soon to be 33 year old who has a grand total of 430 NHL games under his belt, and in those 430 games he has 46 points with 777 PIM’s. Drafted in 1998 yet only once EVER has played 70 games in a season and that was 12 years after he was drafted.

        “good defensemen” what a joke, even the Caps don’t think he’s a good defensemen since they rarely give him much more than 50 games per season and only sign him to 2 years deals near the league min.

        WOW you just got destroyed by facts and reality huh?

      • sportsfreak13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        Defenseman are supposed to score? His games played has to do with injuries and he’s been on the + side of the star +/- for the past 5 years, and we all know how many goals the caps gave up during the late Bruce era. Those are facts. I’m no caps fans but I know who erskine is and that says something too.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:54 AM

        You still yammering about this?
        He’s a 12-15 min at best D man which means even on the Caps with their weak D over the years consider him a 5th-6th Dman.
        You see “good” D men don’t have 12 min avg for entire seasons, good D men get 20 mins easy.

        He would be in the NHL on a TON of NHL clubs.

        You do realize this entire incident is based on his lack of skill taking a pass
        then making it worse but pinch in going for it rather than realizing he needs to get back on D the second he screwed up the pass. And then lol he then makes a 25 grand 3 games stupid decision to throw his elbow into the face of a guy. If you’re going to make the 1st two mistakes, you would be better off tripping or grabbing the other guy, because nobody is getting 3 games and losing 25k for either.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:54 AM


  8. sjsharks66 - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:12 PM


    Its because most of the flyers have history of elbows and dirty hits. Thats why, quit playing the victim of the NHL.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      Simmonds clearly was a victim. The difference between our supposed history of dirty play and this incident is that Flyers players are always penalized for their mistakes. The aspect that is most upsetting about this elbow was the blatant disregard for Simmonds safety by the refs. They had just come off calling two borderline (at best) penalties on Rinaldo (absurd boarding call was based totally on reputation) and Timonen (totally embellished roughing penalty). Then, with referees on either side of the play (with crystal clear sight-lines) they determined Erskine acted clearly within the rules. As Simmonds lay there concussed, after his head whipped into the ice, nose bleeding (and most likely broken), the refs huddled and came to the decision that it must have been Simmonds recklessly swinging his head into Erskines defenseless elbow. What a joke.

      • rg3isvictory - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:22 AM

        Why is there such a need to define a victim in our society? Simmons is a millionaire NHLer that was unlucky. It’s hockey, it happens and sucks when it does. Please stop with childish talk. Dale Hunter and a few others created some victims in their day. This was bad hockey play!

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        I was simply responding to the inaccurate notion that Philly fans and Simmonds are “playing” the victim, as opposed to being the actual victim.

  9. r4n6er - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    With punishments like this it might be worth it to sign a goon to elbow stars in the face on a regular basis….

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      Oh don’t worry, the NHL definitely has different punishments if you hit stars, and rightfully so. And of course teams can always take care of their own. {waves hi to Steve Moore and the bleeding hearts the cry for him}

  10. imprintmatt - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    I think when a player is negligent and hurts a player they should be suspended for as many games as the other player up to 15 games. Obviously there needs to be determination of intent and that is not always easy

    • r4n6er - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      You mean like staring at him in the face and then moving your elbow to his head?

  11. philly4lyfe - Feb 2, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    3 games seems pretty fair to me.

  12. live4hockey - Feb 2, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    First time offender…and at his age and length in the NHL, I think says a lot. 1-2 games would have been more reasonable IMO, but 3 games..meh ok.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      Are you kidding me?? Simmonds is out indefinitely with a concussion. While Erskine didn’t even get a penalty. With the way concussions are ending careers, Erskines 3 games is a downright gift for the Caps. He’s not at all an integral part of the Caps, while Simmonds is very important to the Flyers. The punishment doesn’t even come close to fitting the crime in my mind.

      • rg3isvictory - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Very fair? Maybe. When you consider Erskines career, its clear this was a one time thing. In which case, 3 is little heavy. During the game, I believe Locker mentioned that Erskine averaging 20 minutes game this season. Which would make him more valuable to the team then the typical over reacting, mentally unstable, Philthy fan would like to admit. BTW, Philthy didn’t have any trouble last night with Carolina without Simmonds. Maybe his contributions have been over estimated. I would love to see Erskine take the teams goon title from OVI. Tired of seeing our best player making the biggest hits!

  13. cspsrbums - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Quit whining Philly fans he got hurt playing Hockey the other player is paying his dues. You sound like Pittsburgh fans now whining because Crosby got bumped or something Your team is in a shambles and its not because Simmonds got hurt. Maybe next time he will go the shortest way to the puck in front of Erskines and not try and cut back to erskines right at the last second to make him react by putting his elbow up to help protect himself. He is not a repeat offender so get off your high horses. Because no Philly player has ever been suspended. So with that said get over it B..ches

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      This is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen. Are you legitimately trying to blame Simmonds for Erskine throwing a bow directly to his face? Erskine protecting himself?? Idk where you’re living but it’s not reality. Totally clueless.

    • mattdaddy7 - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      So Erskine looked right at Simmonds and consciously threw an elbow to his head and you are defending him!?! Anyone who thinks Erskine was “protecting himself” is on crack!

  14. phillyphannn83 - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    My first thought when seeing this hit was its gonna be 3 games. I think he got the minimum too, 5 probably would have been more appropriate but I didn’t see it happening. Anything else being said about this is just you guys being pansies. Man up. This is a tough sport and cheap shots will happen from time to time. Just handle them appropriately and move on.

    • mattdaddy7 - Feb 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      With how consistent Shanny is on his rulings, I’m happy he got 3 games. What is more upsetting is the lack of any penalty called on the play from the refs.

  15. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Reactionary or not players have to be made accountable for their actions. I wrote here recently that the league has to start considering banning fights because players risk getting concussions. The NHL is rightly concerned about concussions yet they hide behind the popularity of fights to take the right decisions. They have rules that require a player to go to the room and get examined for concussion like symptoms after a head shot. In other words, why doesn’t every player in a fight have to be examined? Perhaps because that would be an admission of guilt…..

    The other cause of concussion they should look at is the equipment. Elbow and shoulder pads are so hard today that the full impact of a shot to the head is absorb by the head instead of the equipment. Softer equipment would act as a shock absorber, thus minimizing concussions. An elbow or shoulder injury is less damaging than a concussion.

    • thesableo - Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      I support banning “staged” fights, over ones that develop naturally when players are protecting their teammates or something. But you can’t ban fighting from hockey entirely.
      I also strongly support reexamining the equipment players use. Right now they feel comfortable launching themselves at each other like g.d. missiles. Softer, less armor-like padding would lead to more restraint.
      It’s not even that a shoulder injury is less damaging than a concussion: it’s just that players are way more willing to injure another player than risk injuring themselves.

  16. dawglb - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I agree with an earlier comment. The suspension should be 3 games plus however many the victim misses….due to injury.

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