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No hearing scheduled for Richards after Couture spear

Apr 21, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

Kings forward Mike Richards has no disciplinary hearing scheduled following his spear on San Jose’s Logan Couture during Sunday’s 7-2 loss, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.

Here’s the play in question:

Spearing has become a hot topic in the early stages of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boston’s Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 for spearing Danny DeKeyser, while Anaheim’s Corey Perry issued a warning after doing the same to Jamie Benn. Richards will escape suspension and it remains to be seen if he’ll be fined for his actions, as the league could deem this incident to have been adequately punished during the game (Richards was whistled for a double-minor on the play).

That said, the optics surrounding this latest spear didn’t look good. Richards delivered it in the late stages of a blowout and was called out by Couture following the game.

“You could tell they were frustrated and they were running around and I guess being cheap,” Couture said, per “Just stick to our plan and take the power plays and move on.”

  1. dropthepuckeh - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    This happens all the time in the game and it is rarely called. All the newbies on here calling for suspensions and up in arms about the sport should go to see a game live and see what actually happens. There are tons of incidents that could be called but aren’t. Non-story. What’s next – players were talking trash and using bad language?

    • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      ^ translation = this type of behavior is no big deal because “my team” was on the giving end and not the receiving…also ok with running goalies not named rask and running heads into stanchions, as well as sucker punches from behind. It’s just hockey.

      • joey4id - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        Here’s an example of a spearing penalty. Unlike the soft love tap spear by Richards.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        You’re saying this shouldn’t have been a penalty? No offense, but you’re incorrect – what you’ve attached is your opinion. Spearing – in actuality – doesn’t even have to make contact.

        62.1 Spearing – Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.

        62.2 Double-minor Penalty – A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.

        62.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).

        Point is, spearing isn’t ‘part of the game’ – it’s illegal, period.

      • joey4id - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        No. No. He should have and I believe he rec’d a penalty. I’m saying this shouldn’t require a hearing or additional discipline.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Oh – yeah, I don’t disagree Joey.

      • joey4id - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Wow! Lol! Someone actually agrees with me on something. 😉

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        It isn’t running a goalie if he is 15 feet out of the net but I know you aren’t concerned with facts. Every team is guilty of these types of things and if you think you aren’t you aren’t paying attention. For a guy who loves a team that employed Ulf Samuelson, Matt Cooke and now James Neal, I’d remember the bit about glass houses.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Dropthepuck, you make it too easy sometimes brother – this is an excerpt from rule 42.1 (Charging): A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the Referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

        But you know…so, which of us isn’t concerned with the facts?

      • drewzducks - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        You could easily substitute Fleury for Rask given the recent pile of corpses left in the wake of the hard charging Pens and also substitute knees for stanchions. I have no problem admitting that the B’s have a handful of players who often play at or over “the line”. It’s why most fans either love or hate them. Are you willing to admit that some of your Pens are just as guilty of similar, questionable tactics.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        ABSOLUTELY, and without a doubt. My point was never that ‘my team is cleaner’. I’d have sat Neal for the second half of the season if I was the coach. Scumbag.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        My problem with the B’s is that the culture supports the perpetuation said corpses. When there is an issue, like the most recent, the excuses are either 1) he deserved it, or 2) that’s not THAT bad.

      • bwayblueshirt - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        As a fan of the sport with no horse in this race, I offer my opinion. Definitely a penalty, definitely not a suspension. Fines are pretty meaningless. Richards makes millions of dollars a year. He’s probably spent more than they would fine him on one good night of clubbing.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        They should suspend him from clubbing, if they wanted to hit him where it hurts.

      • drewzducks - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        I can only speak for myself but I thought the Luc spear was both stupid, unnecessary AND cowardly. At least Perry and Richards had the “balls” (sorry, couldn’t resist) to do their handy work face to face, unlike Luc, who waited until Dekayser was unsuspecting and skating away. I haven’t watched enough of Neal’s career to compare the two, but I,look at Luc’s performance yesterday as a comparison to his infamy of Game 1 and ask myself what the hell is he thinking. He was physically intimidating, brutal on the forecheck, scored the back breaker and played the right way. Same thing goes for Marchand. Guy has incredible skill but, at times, seems to be unable to control his inner “Sean Avery”. The fact that he’s usually about 4 inches and 30 lbs. in the hole on most confrontations probably doesn’t help but if he could ever contain his energy…but that will probably never happen. He also has to lose his Hitler Youth haircut, but I digress.

      • nickthomason - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        it looked more like a slash then a spear anyway. Since he swung the stick at him as he was going away instead of stabbing him.

        Rule 61 – Slashing

        61.1 Slashing – Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. Non-aggressive stick contact to the pant or front of the shin pads, should not be penalized as slashing. Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent’s body, the opponent’s stick, or on or near the opponent’s hands that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing.

      • nickthomason - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Though i do not see much of a difference in the description of the rules.

    • joey4id - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      I agree with dropthepuckeh. Right call here. That was a bloody love tap.

    • enollatsknarf - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      As a non-kings fan, I agree with you.

      Also, this “spear” and the Perry “spear” aren’t in the same category as the Lucic whack of the sack.

  2. modown0 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Of course not, now there is precedent of spearing not resulting in suspensions.
    It is a lot easier to use precedent as a crutch that to admit you were wrong.

  3. hosewater2 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    This all makes perfect sense, if you spear a eunuch nothing anatomically is at risk.

  4. paperkid96 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Obviously its an acceptable tactic. What if find strange in the spearng vs boarding is that one is the result of a hockey play gone bad and the other is nothing but an intent to injure.

    Spearing has nothing to do with the game of hockey and gets at best a double minor (although Legwand got a game misconduct a couple of weeks ago) if it gets caught.

    Boarding while it is dangerous and sometimes cheap is usually the result of hard aggressive play that goes very wrong (I am not condoning boarding). yet we see multiple games suspensions for it.

    its strange.

  5. sanjosecupcrazy - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Better to have a stick stuck there than where Richards and the Kings have had it stuck in them for two games now.

    BOHICA, Los Angeles: Bend over, here it comes again!

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      The only one bending over on that play was Couture.

  6. 19to77 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Love the response from Couture.

  7. drewsylvania - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Where’s the hearing for Emelin?

    • joey4id - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      What are you talking about? Was Emelin’s knee to low to the ice? Unlike what Neal did to Marchand, Emelin did not lead with his knee. He mad no effort to change the direction of his knee to initiate contact. He actually tried to avoid Stamkos.

    • jhaegs - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Should’ve just been an interference call on whoever tossed Stamkos to the ice.

  8. njadvocate111 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Name a game this weekend that didn’t have a spear or a slash that was a result of frustration? Its playoff hockey, he got a penalty for it and he did his time. This is done by every single team at some point in the playoffs, so get used to it or watch something else. If you want to watch a game where the refs decide the outcome of every game watch the NBA, you will probably love it.

    • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      These things should be a penalty, every time. Are you saying you disagree that they should call these?

      • njadvocate111 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        I’m saying you are wasting your time crying about things that really, in the big picture, don’t matter. Guys (players) are speaking out about head shots, cheap shots that affect life off the ice, outside of the rink. No player talks about spearing and slashing because everyone does it. Get over it. Lets take out chirping too, who knows the extent of emotional and mental stress it may have on these guys! Name me a game that didn’t have any extra-curricular activities going on after whistles? Ill wait.

      • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        I don’t think I would want my testicles involved in extra-curricular activities. I’m not for a suspension, but I’m all for calling someone out when they get busted.

  9. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    I’m just shocked someone hasn’t blamed it on him being a former Flyer.

  10. crusty14 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Honestly! The lucic and Richards incidents were not spears! They were basic love tap bag shots to get the guys attention, no worse than a slash to the shins or pads. IMO spearing should only be called when the stick is like a spear with intent to remove organs like livers and spleens, not a little hook or whack that everyone gives and receives all season long

    • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      I hope, for nothing more than the sake of karma, at some point today you get a love tap bag shot, maybe leaving work or something.

      It’s not in the rulebook to let it go, not in the ‘code’, and probably is just as relevant in your line of work as it is in hockey.

      • titansbro - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        not to defend his position, but i doubt he is wearing a cup to work knowing that he needs protection down there. i am a bruins fan & i hated what lucic did. he got a measly fine, but probably the most allowed by the cba. i would have been able to accept a 1 game suspension although i was hoping against it.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        @titansbro: And he probably won’t get said love tap from a stick carried by a 200+lb hockey player who trains in strength and conditions to play one of the fastest, toughest sports around either. Maybe it’s just a nut shot from Mabel in accounting, or Tim in the mail room, but the concept still stands as pretty parallel.

        Spearing, just like slewfooting, doesn’t have a place in hockey but there are varying degrees just like anything else. Lucic didn’t even get the max allowed fine (up to $10,000) in his case, and suspensions aren’t uncommon for spears as a percentage of actual significant incidents. This one by Richards was pretty minor contact though so a penalty is good enough.

  11. crusty14 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Didn’t see the perry “spear” and no I’m not saying that sometimes these things could be called. What I’m saying if it is anything, it’s 2 for unsportsmanlike . It’s the morons/pacifists/never played the game in my life guys calling for suspensions! If plays like this were suspendable, we wouldn’t have enough players to form a league!

  12. crusty14 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I played hockey for 35 years from house to rep, junior and men’s beer league, and I have received and given such treatment, it’s hockey , and it happens, don’t be such a baby!

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Dude, did you really go Al Bundy on us?

      • elvispocomo - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Maybe he went to Polk High School as well, wants to relive the glory days of his 4 goals in one game. It’s been downhill from there since he now sells shoes and is married to a woman he despises and has kids who do nothing but ask him for money.

  13. crusty14 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I’m a firefighter, so I don’t think my brothers on my crew would appreciate it, but in our firefighter hockey league, things like this happen all the time, and we are still able to work together !

  14. njadvocate111 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    @hockey412 well tough sledding hombre, you don’t get to choose. That’s why they are in the show making a million dollars and we are posting on forums. They put every part of their bodies, including their brains on the line every single shift. You realize they willingly slide in front of 100MPH shots right? I can promise you that you are significantly more worried about the well being of your ball bag than any guy battling for the cup.

  15. crusty14 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Love the hitler youth haircut comment!

  16. skr213 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    As a Sharks fan, it was a penalty. Do I want him suspended? No. It’s a man’s game and stuff like this happens. Nothing to see here, move it along.

  17. arbruins - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Nice to see some true hockey fans with a freakin brain in their head post on this. Screw the stupid whining and let’s get to some damn hockey. You PCers have purified the game enough…leave the playoff physical game alone.

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