Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mario Lemieux Not Happy With The NHL

After a game which looked more like ESPN's Friday Night Fights instead of hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux isn't too happy with the way the NHL handled the punishment between the Penguins and New York Islanders. He's so disappointed that he's questioning himself whether he wants to stay in the league. He also said the Islanders should bear responsibiltiy for their failure to control their players.

The game featured 346 penalty minutes, 10 ejections, 15 fighting majors, and 20 misconducts. Sounds like a rough night at the saloon.

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty,” Lemieux said. “It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that. The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed,” he said. “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action. If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to rethink whether I want to be a part of it.”

Come on Mario, the Islanders' Trevor Gillies received a nine game suspension and Matt Martin for four games. The Isles' were hit with a $100,000 fine. All this for the Penguins' goalie Brent Johnson's Clubber Lang beatdown of Isles' goalie Rick DiPietro. What more do you want. All you guys got was one player drawing an automatic 10 game suspension for leaving the bench and no fines. Pittsburgh got over and Islanders GM Garth Snow wasn't too happy about that.

“When I saw the suspensions on both sides and the fines, I was a little bit surprised it was just our club that got fined, Snow said Sunday before the Islanders played at Buffalo. You can ask the league about it. There’s nothing we can do about it but put it behind us and get ready for Buffalo. I’m very proud that our team showed restraint,” Snow said. “We came to play hockey and obviously, there’s a lot of things that happen in the course of a game. I’m proud of the way our team competed, and I’m going to support my guys.”

The fines and suspensions were one sided indeed, but next time any of your goalies decide they want to square off with someone tell him to stay in the crease. I'm not choosing sides, but this was nothing more than retaliation for the Johnson-DiPietro throwdown. If you want to compete hard than fine, fighting is a part of the game. I'm not part of the hockey elite but I know all that foolishness doesn't belong in the game.



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