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Lupul should’ve been tossed for attempting to injure Sedin, says ex-ref

Nov 5, 2013, 3:08 PM EDT


A play that made blooper reels is actually quite serious, according to former NHL referee Kerry Fraser.

On Saturday in Vancouver, Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul stuck out his elbow in what appeared to be an attempt to hit Canucks captain Henrik Sedin.

Lupul missed, instead nailing teammate Nazem Kadri, at which time everybody laughed because haha Toronto.

Turns out the situation wasn’t that amusing, though, as Fraser says the play was deliberate enough to warrant Lupul’s ejection. From his TSN mailbag:

I look at this play similarly to a player swinging a stick at the head of his opponent from close range but where no contact was made. Without question I would assess a match penalty for “attempt to injure.” I would hope every Referee would do the same. 

I recall giving Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan a match penalty after assuming his position in the penalty box following a fight, then grabbing a puck out of the bucket and throwing it at his opponent seated in the visitors penalty box. The puck missed Knucks’ intended target but it was still an attempt to injure!

Here’s the play in question:

Lupul wasn’t penalized on the play, though Toronto more than made up for it by racking up 52 PIM total, including a stretch in the third period where the Leafs took four consecutive minors in the span of 10 minutes.

  1. jkaplan11 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    REPORT: Joffrey Lupul suspended 2 games for his illegal hit to the head of Nazem Kadri

  2. elvispocomo - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Fair enough to say a match penalty would be warranted considering how obvious an elbow this was. I know I missed it in real time though following the play to the front of the net and thought Lupul and Kadri had just collided, so if the refs didn’t see it I could see why they’d not call it. Definitely not suspendable with the current setup by the NHL though.

    • micasa81 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      It is suspendable, though. Ref taps his helmet, match penalty, Lupul out, not allowed to play again until the league rules on the play. The refs just don’t use it, which I really hate. Plays where there is clear intent to injure are relatively rare, but that’s not really an excuse for professionally trained officials.

  3. clutchfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Some poetic justice, at least Bolland got injured… she’s not as tough as I thought.

    • dueman - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      It takes a real man to be happy that someone got injured eh, douche!

      • slobberface - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        Screw the rat.

      • clutchfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        Well, considering her attitude, past comments about the Sedins, and yes, attempts to injure them in past games, Bolland deserved to get hurt for sure. Part of the game bro. Suck it up.

  4. jacketsfan7 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Even if you don’t like bolland
    Realize he’s too ugly to be a girl

    • steverolley - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      you have 1 down vote…. so obviously someone thinks Dave Bolland is pretty enough to be a girl

  5. clutchfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    This play was symbolic of the whole Toronto performance recently, it really “cracked” me up.

    • storminator16 - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      Fozzy Bear, is that you?

  6. typicalmontreal - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    If that hit connects with Henrik’s head, it could have been a very serious head injury. Even though there was no injury on the play, I believe the attempt to injure should warrant some supplementary discipline.

    I’m not saying give him 10 games, but perhaps a small punishment like a fine or a 1 game suspension. That way, he is susceptible to getting a much larger punishment if he does something like this next time as he would be a repeat offender.

    • dueman - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      All you haters are just being ridiculous at this point! Shame on Fraser for even talking like this, and shame on you Halford for repeating it! For starters, are we really going to start expecting suspensions for things that didn’t happen now? Henrik is coming around the net, and Lupol is in position to try to stop him. Lupol puts his arm up to give him a FOREARM, but Henrik ducks it, and Lupol ends up hitting Kadri with it. Even if Lupol would have connected, it would’nt have even been a penalty, let alone a suspension. Unless a forearm to the shoulder is now considered a suspendable offence. I know that Leaf hating is like a past time for some of you, but don’t let that make you lose site of the game!

      • micasa81 - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        I don’t hate the Leafs and I think the Bolland comments here are asinine. That out of the way, would you really have the same take on that play if the roles were reversed and someone made that attempt on Kessel? I don’t know how you can watch that and not think he led with a flying elbow. And if we complain (and rightly so, I think) about the way the NHL bases suspension length on whether the player was injured or not, then why shouldn’t we complain when players do really dangerous things that don’t happen to hurt another player? Do players just get to try over and over again until they actually hurt someone else, and then they get suspended? Or are we smart enough to know that running at a player with your elbows out is dangerous, on account of we’ve seen people get injured by it time and again, so it should just be penalized whether or not it connects?

  7. hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    And garbage like this is how you know Fraser is writing to get clicks to his page and not writing an actual piece.

    • micasa81 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      No, it’s a regular feature on TSN’s website. The whole point of his column is to respond to fans’ questions about certain infractions or non-calls. Also, getting clicks is the point of the entire internet.

      • hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        I’m well aware of Cmon Ref. His entire basis for the article is ridiculous. You’re penalizing a player for a hit that didn’t happen and are then going to suspend him? He then admits at the end of his piece that this would never happen and his entire point was moot.

      • dueman - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        @hockeyflow33 – I’m glad that somebody else caught that! This whole piece is just utter nonsense. The bloody media is just not going to be content until the NHL starts playing no-contact nerf hockey. At that point when they don’t have jobs anymore because nobody watches hockey anymore, maybe they will realize their mistakes? I somehow still doubt it though….

      • elvispocomo - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        @hockey: I think you need to read that again. He says it should’ve been a match penalty in his opinion based on the current rules. While he’d like to see suspensions for seriously dangerous plays even though they don’t connect, that’s challenging for the DoPS to do given how they’re currently setup and that it hasn’t happened yet.

        That doesn’t equal his point being moot, but rather emphasizes the need for review to see if flagrant plays should really go unpunished because they missed.

  8. hjb99992013 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    fraser should have been more concerned regarding all the flagrant important calls he missed in his career (Ie gretsky on gilmour)

    I wonder if he is still still uses all the hair spray on his coiffure before going out

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