Skip to content

Trotz: We’re trying to get hits like Downie’s out of the game (Update: No hearing scheduled)

Oct 5, 2013, 9:40 AM EDT

It didn’t take Steve Downie long to find himself in the middle of a controversy.

If you missed it last night, the Colorado Avalanche forward delivered a powerful check to Roman Josi that knocked the Nashville Predators defenseman out of the game with an upper-body injury.

You can see that hit below:

Downie received two minutes for charging while Nashville’s Shea Weber ended up with a double minor for roughing.

“We’re trying to get all of that out of the game, launching yourself, especially the head shots,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said of Downie’s hit, according to NHL.com. “If you watch the film it’s pretty self-explanatory and the league will handle it correctly.

“There will be something to come out of it I think.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy thought the hit was clean and praised Downie for his leadership and composure.

The Avalanche don’t play again until Tuesday, so if the league decides to take any action, they won’t have to move swiftly.

Update: The NHL has reviewed the hit and has not scheduled a hearing, according to ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

  1. sampulls - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Hey Trotz, if Weber threw that same hit, you would be talking about what a physical specimen he was.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Only Weber rarely takes off before a hit. And yes: Downie clearly left his feet before the hit It’s unclear if he also targeted the head, though..

      • stakex - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        This is seriously what’s wrong with this country right now…. you let you’re own bias over rules your eyes. Pause the video at 1:14…. Downies skates are very obviously still on the ice when he’s making contact. You’re assessment is not based on any facts.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        I have no dog in this fight, but what video are you watching to say “Downie clearly left his feet before the hit”?

        Questionable call, borderline charging.

        Downie doesn’t even take one single stride between the blue line and just below the face off spot. It’s close whether both feet are still on the ice at the point of impact, but no question that his right foot is still on the ice and the force of the impact lifts him off the ice and over Josi. Try to stick with the obvious facts. He never left his feet BEFORE the hit.

        Furthermore, how can this be a penalty when nothing was called on Lucic for running over Miller (a goalie!) last year? The inconsistency makes the NHL an amateur league.

      • avfanforlife - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        What video are you people looking at? Both feet – ON THE ICE at point of impact. Charge? Probably. His acceleration from distance was and would most likely be called every time, but that’s up to the officials on the ice. Josi was low and the speed of Downie is what made him go into the air AFTER the hit. Two Pred’s players jumping Downie? Again… refs made that call and they were correct ending in a PP for the AV’s.

      • jpl0219 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        It absolutely 100% was charging. After the fact that it was a 2 minute penalty for charging, nothing else should be done.

        From the NHL Rulebook: “Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.”

        Absolutely 100% charging. No supplemental discipline though, imo.

  2. pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    “Downie wasn’t directly penalized for the hit. Instead Nashville’s Eric Nystrom and Downie got double minors for roughing”

    That is not what happened at all. The Nystrom/Downie double minors were in the third. The box score has it as Downie for charging Weber double minor for roughing.

    If you are going to villainize the guy at least check your facts.

    • pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020020

    • pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Now I feel bad for the “villainize” comment

  3. 19to77 - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM


    But not hits like these, eh, Trotz? You two-faced hypocrite.

  4. joey4id - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    No place in the game for the seek and destroy mentality. At on time checks were used to separate the player from the puck. Not to try to separate a player’s head from his shoulders. Last year at this team the boys were standing united for photo ops. Now it’s back to business and total disregard with respect to the legalities of the game. It’s a great game, and within this great game there are those who play on the edge that need to be dealt with. To fix this problem we may have to go back to minor hockey. There are programs that coaches follow to help kids develop their individual and team skills. Are there programs that teach kids how to effectively body check without trying to take someone’s head off? The rules have to be applied more strictly in minor hockey and in the juniors, and the consequences have to be more meaningful. Good habits have to be formed earlier in the kids development and sustained at every level. There has to be a global hockey collaborative effort to find a solution. The NHL is all about business, but they have to lead the way in collaboration with hockey federations around the world.

    • stakex - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I’m glad people with a pansification agenda like yourself don’t get to make the rules in the NHL.

      Seriously, if you hate all the elements that separate hockey from other sports (high speed hitting, and fighting two of the primary ones) why do you even watch the sport? Go watch ping pong or something.

    • pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I just don’t understand you. You don’t like fighting, you don’t like big (clean) hits, but you say you love the game.

      Josi had the puck, consider them separated.

      • avfanforlife - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        LOL .. Separated with extreme prejudice !

      • joey4id - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        It’s not that I don’t like fighting. I don’t like the fact that punches to the head can cause serious brain damage and no one is addressing that. I wrote this in a previous article. We have to adapt with the times. Science makes everything around us evolve. There is more that needs to be done with the new discoveries. Take the time to read the following. If they extend an existing medical protocol to fighters, then no need to do as Yzerman suggested. Leave the 5 mins major for fighting rule as is.

        Dr. Robert Cantu has dissected 100s of brains from athletes and interviewed hockey players who have fought. He writes that 1 of every 4 fights result in a concussion. He came to this conclusion based on how the players felt after a fight. Though not scientific, the NHL should not take this information lightly. If the NHL keeps fighting in the game, and are truly concerned about the safety of the player, they should institute a rule that every player involved in a fight must immediately undergo the concussion impact tests to determine whether or not he was concussed. If science disproves that repeated punches to the head does not cause concussions, them let the boys fight all they want. Otherwise, end it for the health and well being of the players and their families.

        There already have a protocol in place that they can make mandatory after a fight.

        http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=556289 (March16. 2011)

        Why not?

      • pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        I would like to see this study.

        I have no problem with fighters going to the quiet room and being looked at instead of sitting in the penalty box for five minutes. I think it’s a fine idea.

      • joey4id - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        that’s what I’m advocating. You can google Dr. Robert Cantu. You can also google Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is the decease resulting from repeated blows to the head. Also, try Christopher Nowinski.

      • joey4id - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        here’s an excellent read; the topic of fighting is to the NHL what gun control is to the US. The big white elephant in the room.

        http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/steve-james-director-hoop-dreams-concussions-why-nhl-180840061–nhl.html

    • dueman - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Joey, you have to stop with this imaginary place where hockey was not violent! The game is much safer today than it was in the past. Back in the day there were more fights. There were bench brawls, fighting in the stands, even fights in the parking lots after the game. See if you can find an old timer talking about what a gentleman Gordie Howe was on the ice. The guy was known to just skate by a player and stick out his elbow to decapitate guys, and there were many players like him in that regard! Hockey was brutal in the past. This is why coaches who played in the past won’t divulge a players injuries…because in the past, if the other team knew a guy had a sore back, or shoulder or whatever, they would target that person, an that part of the body on purpose! Hockey is a violent sport, and you seem to complain about every violent part of it.Now I’m not trying to be mean, or pick a fight here, but in all honesty, I really think that you should either consider another sport, or get used to the violence, because it isn’t going away anytime in the near future…if ever.

      • joey4id - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        You bring up some excellent points. I’m not saying the game was safer back then. I’m saying the game changed, and the rules governing the game have changed as well, but more needs to be done. Bobby Orr used to fight his on battles. You don’t see superstars get into fights as much anymore. Stick work to the face, elbows were more common in the earlier days. And yes! there were more fights. Then technology and physical fitness brought the game to a whole different level. Guys are faster, stronger and certainly more protected than they used to be. After the 05-06 lock out the game changed to adapt to the new breed of players. Led by Shanahan the NHL decided it was time to rid the game of clutching and grabbing, later they removed the red line.. It’s alll good. Frankly before 05-06 the games were not as exciting as they are today.. Star players were constantly held, hooked, grabbed, but no penalties called. That all changed post 05-06 lockout. Despite what you think, I love this game and think it is one of the greatest team sports. I do agree with with Trotz, Stevie Y, Bowman, Sher, and Rutherford. Do you think they job get out of the NHL?

  5. stakex - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Elbow down, skates on the ice during contact, and no direct contact with the head… that hit is as clean as it gets. Trotz is just a whiny little wuss.

  6. avfanforlife - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Webber after the game said his feet never left the ice. Charge? perhaps. Fine or suspension? No way. That was a pretty awesome hit, and putting the AV’s on a powerplay was the right ending. Obvious bias on the part of most posters here is funny actually: AV’s fan = Clean hit… Pred’s fan = Goon left his feet! Gotta love it – Hockey is back! Av’s don’t have a serious rival now, so I guess we’re just gonna pissoff every team til we find one! First Ducks, then Preds… Toronto next!

  7. 19to77 - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Man, if coaches could just stop with this party-line nonsense every time an injury happens, that’d be great. Every time someone jumps into a hit, his coach is there to insist his feet were grounded no matter what the video shows. Every time a guy goes on LTIR, his coach is there with an “I’m sure the League is looking very seriously at this” literally no matter how clean the hit was. This postgame victim complex crap has to stop. Don’t decide if a hit is clean or not based on how it affected your own team.

  8. williplett - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I am not a Preds fan and I am not saying this hit was as bad as the one Downie got the big suspension for, but it feels like the same kind of hit and he ends up in the same position. Do most clean and respectable hits happen away from the boards and end up with the hitter getting up on his knees while the recipient of the hit is left injured?

    Just asking.

    • dueman - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      I could post videos of other hits al day long, but none of them would have any bering on whether this hit was clean or not….just saying.

      Was this a clean hit? Well, the refs gave him a 2 minute charging penalty..so no. Was this a suspendable hit? I don’t think so. The funny thing is that everyone is talking about Downie as a villain here, but nobody has mentioned the fact that it looked like Josi was trying to duck the hit. This is why Downies feet left the ground and also why Josi got hit in the head. I don’t think Downie should even get a phone call from the league on this one…but who knows?

  9. earpaniac - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Not a fan of either team, but I thought it was a clean hit. It didn’t look like a head shot, he was clearly on his skates when he made contact, and Josi had the puck. In the so called “wussification” of the world, people now confuse any hard, brutal hit to be “dirty”. Even more so if an injury results. And for those of you who hold to the falsehood that hockey used to be like ballet, that’s a fantasy. When I was a kid first watching hockey in the early 80’s, my grandfather, in his 70’s, used to constantly complain how “soft hockey was now”. The above poster who noted about the “upper/lower body injury” being listed that way because of targeting is exactly right. I’m not saying I want “MMA on ice” by any stretch. But hockey is a fast, graceful, and yes, sometimes violent and brutal sport. If you don’t like that, fine. But stop trying to change the sport I love.

  10. hockeyflow33 - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Clean hit Trotz

  11. geo91 - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this sort of mentality is promoted by Roy.

    • pxland - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      The sort where its ok to play hard and throw clean checks?

      I hope so.

  12. 950003cups - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    It was a clean hit. In real time it’s hard to tell. But the whimpafying of the game says that when someone gets a boo-boo, you punish them. If the sport gets any more watered down, they’re gonna lose too many viewers to overcome it. The players are fine with it cause they get it. They know with no viewers, there’s no money.

    How soon until they replace the pucks with tennis balls?

  13. 950003cups - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Cheap shot artists are what the game needs to abolish. Not the great hard hitting plays. The league doesn’t care about the hits. They wanna pretend they do. If they really cared, Matt Cooke would’ve been gone a loooong time ago.

  14. muttbolts91 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Taking two strides then gliding into the hits is not charging. Looked nothing like his 25 gamer.

  15. wigz67 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Legal Hit the only reason Downie left his feet because Josi fell under him… he targeted the left shoulder/chest area of Josi, Josi had his head down picking up the puck, it happens, tough break hopefully he isn’t hurt too bad and I’m sure he’ll learn to keep his head up next time

  16. aerowings7 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Weber is such a chump. Sure the check was questionable, but when someone else on your team is intervening, back off! I don’t see why he didn’t get thrown out, ganging up on players is such a cowardice way to be.

  17. bountyqlu - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I’m a Preds fan, and with the great invention of HD, I was able to pause just before the hit and go frame by frame. Downie’s skates were still in contact with the ice at point of impact.

    Granted it’s still a shot that shouldn’t be allowed but he didn’t launch and the 2 minutes for charging is the required call.

    And on a side note, again as a Preds fan, Shea Weber should have gotten more than the 4 minutes for roughing due to dragging Downie around the ice like a sled. There is taking up for team mates but then there is crossing the line.

  18. earpaniac - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    The studies are interesting, and could be a breakthrough. However there is no scientific consensus yet that there is a link between concussions and CTE.

    • Anoesis - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      This argument reminds of the tobacco companies in the 60s and 70s.

      Current available studies point strongly to a link between concussions and debilitating brain trauma. Subsequent studies will almost certainly strengthen this link.

      It should seem rather obvious that pounding the skull against the brain will eventually result in long-term damage, but for a variety of reasons some people will always insist on irrefutable proof.

  19. teamrenick - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    That was a clean check…it looked worse then it was because Josi ducked at the last second… Sorry No suspension or fine… he didnt target anything…

  20. withseidelinn - Oct 5, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    It was a completely clean hit….

  21. zacmelvinmcnutt - Oct 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    That was a perfectly clean hit. You can clearly see that his feet are in perfect contact with the ice when he makes the hit, his feet leave the ice after the hit and the head was not targeted. Nothing wrong with that at all. Trotz is an idiot and so is anyone else who thinks that hit was dirty. There’s a reason this hit is not under review by the league

  22. jwcamp - Oct 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    It looks to me that he purposely went after another player with a high hit. I can’t really tell if his feet are on the ice but it looks to me that he did indeed lunge upward to land a high hit on a player who had just made a turn and appeared defenseless.

  23. jwcamp - Oct 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Of course Roy praised him for the hit. Look at Roy’s antics of late…

  24. earpaniac - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    If 1/4 fights cause concussions, and concussions cause significant brain injury, why isn’t every boxer, pro and amateur, every MMA fighter brain dead? Boxers alone would have hundreds of fights, even more if you include training. I do think concussions CAN cause bad brain injuries, but that every person who gets a couple concussions is going to end up mentally damaged beyond repair seems to me to be a scare tactic.

  25. hockeydon10 - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    *shrug*

    As someone that doesn’t exactly like the Avs (from the Wings rivalry days) or the Preds (for years they played the Wings very hard), it wasn’t a clean hit. It was a charge. Nothing more.

    Of course in the seconds it took for the Weber to jump Downie I’m sure the hit looked way worse and I’m sure he felt he had to respond. Nothing wrong with that either. Looks like the charge and the double minor for roughing were appropriate. It also looks like nothing more is warranted.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Quick (1194)
  2. N. Horton (1022)
  3. C. Giroux (983)
  4. B. Bishop (917)
  5. A. Ovechkin (898)