Banging Heads and Scratching Ilya

From the NY Times Slap Shot blog:

CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada” likes to emphasize the more physical
aspects of the N.H.L., from making Don Cherry the show’s centerpiece to
their weekly opening, which uses Nickelback’s cover version (with Kid
Rock) of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” under
fresh video of fisticuffs and some eye-opening plays, like this one from
a while ago.

But this week’s pregame show had a pair of noteworthy segments on the
dangers of physical play, the first being Elliotte Friedman’s “Inside
Hockey” piece on concussions (video)
(which he augmented this morning with this blog
post on
) in which he speaks with some physicians who play
key roles in the N.H.L.’s concussion research.

That was followed by Ron MacLean interviewing Kerry Fraser on the
former referee’s statements last week (reported on The Times Slap Shot blog by Jeff Z. Klein as part of a series of posts from the
Mayo Clinic conference on hockey concussions) that the N.H.L. should
outlaw all checks to the head, not just the blindside or lateral

Fraser, who officiated more than 2,100 regular season and playoff
games, has been echoing his “Hockey Night” interview as he promotes his
autobiography throughout the hockey world. Speaking with Michael
Russo of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
, Fraser said, “When I started
in the ’70s, the goal of body checking was to separate the man from the
puck, not the man from his shoulders. It’s evolved to this culture
within the game where the big hit is the car crash. It’s not acceptable
in my opinion to hit somebody in the head.”

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Banging Heads and Scratching Ilya.” >>


  1. Muckbringer says:

    ak!!!bobby orr type ish!!!!

  2. Muckbringer says:

     if this were the warriors, pheonix would be the orphans

  3. pmaraw says:

    1 yes, it counts against you pp%  if you bonehead a pp like that 1 second in, it should go against the pp% and does.

    2 i think we have a team full of x factors.

    3 price wants to play, he wants to be the guy.

  4. Muckbringer says:

    any chance this is rogers gta?  maybe i can stream it?  rds going well but you know….

  5. Muckbringer says:

    im sorry but cammis goal???? thats the randomness i was talking about. kovi choke on it!!!

  6. pic1983 says:

    Powerplay!!!! Bout time.

    REally enjoying this TSN broadcast.  DAve Randorf is always real good, but even mike johnson is impressing me as a color analyst.

  7. pmaraw says:

    CAMMY!!!  What a snipe!!!!!

  8. Muckbringer says:


  9. Muckbringer says:

    how many teams suspectedly matched the offer? 2-3 that only wanna sell seats. this contract will never take a TEAM to the cup.  end of story

  10. Muckbringer says:

    for the $ they paid him they couldve bought tampa and moved them.  if he were not interested in $ only he wouldve taken 5m less (especially with taxes and the khl option) and hope for a teamate that will take him to his goal…..lord friggn stanley!!!  


    once again im with you mikey!!!

  11. Muckbringer says:

    replace it with white or scottish and its not. yeah we get it leafer

  12. Muckbringer says:

    the better the equiptment the worst the respect?

  13. Muckbringer says:

    you have something there

  14. Muckbringer says:


    so i have 3 questions.

     the first is black and white but i would appreciate any help.  say we get a powerplay and off the draw (one second) we get a penalty. no one scores. are we 0-1 on the pp?

    2)  do we (even the nhl) have that “x” factor. we seem to be running the motions.  pleks and pk give that but is that sufficient?

    3) do you agree price seems to be hungry for the puck lately?


  15. Montrealer2 says:

    Thanks……..appreciate that.

  16. adam76 says:

    Replace the word “Russian” with the word “black” and see how it sounds.  Racism is racism.

  17. samTHEman says:

    I usually like your posts Mike but this one is ridiculously stupid and racist.


    First off, who are you to judge where someone, let alone Kovalchuk, wants to play hockey? Seriously, who are you? If Kovalchuk wants to play hockey outside of Atlanta, then he will play hockey outside of Atlanta. He has no obligation to play for the same organisation for the rest of his career. That’s what contracts are for.


    Your last comment…Wow. Who is more likely to be baking potatoes for the rest of their life, mike g or Ilya Kovalchuk? No brainer.


    “If it weren’t for the NHL..” Please…don’t act like the NHL is the only place to play hockey. The NHL is more of a business than any other hockey league.


    Get over yourself





  18. adam76 says:

    Does anyone have a “promo” code for nhl centre ice on  Please email me if you are not using.


    Thanks in advance.

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    Your rant doesn’t make sense.


    And if he saw his Russian parents slave for him, then surely he would know what his life without hockey would have been like.


    He was a free agent and tried to get market value, which he got.


    And your last  comment confirms my suspicion that you and others think he’s a “cancer” because he’s Russian.


  20. Montrealer2 says:

    any online tv feeds available for tonight’s game…

  21. pierre lapuck says:

    Everyone is quick to lay blame on concussions on the combinationbs of speed, equipment, size and various other aspects of the physics of the injury.  All valid points but that arguemnt in based on the premise that players are NOT tryng to hurt their opponent but to make a hockey play; sadly this is not the case in many of todays incidents, it seems that players in an attempt to curry favor (ice time, noteriety, face time on tv etc.) make the extreme hit with little concept on the risk-reward aspect.  While players say they are comrades in arms so to speak, no comrade of mine is going to deliberately attempt to separate me from my head without repercussions so severe that others in like situations would consider their fate before they act on their intent.  Deliberately trying to injure a coworker in an unionized environment is grounds for dismissal.  Period.  One guy is all it akes.  Whoever tries to decapitate some guy.  Some guy is injured and whoever is no longer employed by the league or any of its affiliates and farm systems.  One guy and its over.  We have to teach respect and this will do it.

  22. mike g says:

    It wasn’t to be racist, I don’t wanna sound like that…

    But this guy from Russia has no idea what his life would have been without hockey. His parents probably slaved in order for him to play hockey when he was a kid, and did anything for him. They worked hard, etc..And perhaps they tried to raise their kid properly, and have him appreciate things in life.

    And how does he turn out?

    We all know the ending.

    Greedy a-hole. And nobody thinks otherwise, unless they still like his “flash” and NJ goalscoring touch.

    I hope he never wins a Cup.

    And to make things even funnier, I hope NJ wins the Cup the very 1st year after he retires.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  23. Clay4bc says:

    Wow! What an incredibly racist ending to your post. If that’s what you were going for, you succeeded. Congratulations?


    Fighting Ignorance since 1970 (It’s taking longer than I thought).

  24. mike g says:

    Ummmm, let’s see….

    Maybe when he made the biggest public ultimatum since Hitler?

    Remember, when Ilya said “I want 100 million or nothing. Not 99, not 98, 100 million. That’s it that’s all”.

    And you sort-of come across as a giant douche and greedy prick when you say stuff like that.

    I know he didn’t publicly say it, but everyone knew that’s what he wanted. He acted accordingly, and I’m glad he’s getting hosed for it.

    Joe Sakic would never do that. Neither would Yzerman, or Bourque, or any of the legendary players from the recent decade.

    Look at a guy like Eric Lindros. Should have had a magnificent career, but his head wasn’t too tight. But, even if this guy woulda broken records and become the monster powerforward he was supposed to be for 20 years, his legacy would always be tainted by his attitute and refusal to play for Quebec.

    And that’s what Ilya is. A piece of garbage. When a franchise and their owner(s) are willing to invest $100 million, you thank them and accept. The Thrashers invested a ton into him, traded other star players in order to choose Ilya over all of them, and then he does this to them?

    And all that bad press and everyone laughing at him for what he did, well that reaches the locker-room. And then his teammates have to answer questions regarding it, etc…It’s a giant destraction, and because of him thye had to play a game with 3 forwards and 1 defenseman this year.

    I liked Kovalchuk alot as a player. But what he did this year made me hate him as a man. He made a fool out of himself, signing 46-year deals where he’d earn 55 million one year, and 2 pennies in the next year.

    Get outta here, Ilya. Go back home to bake potatoes and work in -40 temperatures, like you would have done if it wasn’t for the NHL.


    Greedy Russian idiot.




    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  25. habs-hampton says:

    Why are there so many concussions now?

    Because equipment manufacturers are making stuff that makes players thing they are invincible! Elbow pads used to protect your elbow if you fell on it. Now new elbow pads look like my shin pads. Shoulder pads used to be some foam with a cap on them. Now they use football pads. These are all great weapons.  The ironic part is that they made the boards “softer” so its like hitting the ropes in a wrestling ring. If you’re throwing the hit, there’s little chance of you getting hurt.Helmets have improved, but if you don’t where the chin strap properly, it wont help you anyway.

    They’ve made so many changes to protect the guy throwing the hit, that they forgot about the guy receiving it!

  26. habs-hampton says:

    Why are there so many concussions now?

    Because equipment manufacturers are making stuff that makes players thing they are invincible! Elbow pads used to protect your elbow if you fell on it. Now new elbow pads look like my shin pads. Shoulder pads used to be some foam with a cap on them. Now they use football pads. These are all great weapons.  The ironic part is that they made the boards “softer” so its like hitting the ropes in a wrestling ring. If you’re throwing the hit, there’s little chance of you getting hurt.Helmets have improved, but if you don’t where the chin strap properly, it wont help you anyway.

    They’ve made so many changes to protect the guy throwing the hit, that they forgot about the guy receiving it!

  27. nickster13 says:

    Just figured id tell my habs related story of the day.

    I was sitting at mcgill and Louis Leblanc was about 15 feet from me working on a project! I thought that was cool… he seems like a confident guy and everything, and looks like his cheeks are getting a little chubbier (im guessing he’s getting on the creatine or something), but man is that guy still lanky! He looks really tall except he isnt overly tall of course.

    I just thought it was cool seeing a player we know in their everyday life like that. Cheers!

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    Reading the Kovy II comments, where does the notion come that he is a “cancer” and has a bad attitude? I’ve never read this, and Bob Hartley his ex-coach says he is nothing of the sort.

    Can anyonepoint to any specific event where Kovy II was a poor team player or a source of dressing-room discord?

  29. jbroderi says:

    Stu, you are a great addition to the inside out family.  Love your articles. 


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  30. Stu Hackel says:

    Thanks very much. Love your photo.

  31. Chuck says:

    Stamkos is on fire! Thanks for bringing it to out attention!

    Centre Hice: A New Approach to NHL Scheduling.

  32. Danno says:

    Stu, these three researchers have performed ground-breaking experiments on head injuries long before Elliotte Friedman did.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  33. Stu Hackel says:

    You’re right. And these guys were even before those three.

  34. Slovak says:

    Also Bourque is doing great!

  35. coachdoug says:

    Good article…as the game continues to get faster there will be more and more concussions from legal hits…because of the impact…you don’t even need to get hit in the head to have a concussion…

    We had two of our atom players get concussions last year in non-checking games where they had high speed collisions by the boards…

    What’s worse is equipment companies push high speed mouthguards and Messier helmets which have no science to show they prevent concussions or help at all…The speed and the impact cause the concussion…both are more and more prevalent as kids get better skating technique, lighter equipment…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  36. Rudy says:

    The mouthguards and helmets should not be able to be merketed that they prevent concussions better than other items.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  37. HFX-HabFan says:

    For those of you wrapping up your day at work, in honour of us playing the ‘Yotes tonight, I comprised a roster of players who made their NHL debut with the Coyotes (or Jets).  Consider:











    Total payroll:  $44.75mil, or roughly $14.7mil under the cap.  Not a great team by any stretch, but there are some decent young assets on the blueline.  I’m sure Dave Tippett would rather work with the current squad he has though.

  38. coachdoug says:

    They are basically making money on parental fears…The reason NHL players wear mouthguards is they do help prevent some damage to dental work…

    The Messier helmet situation is a little more shameful…the company was a lacrosse helmet company named Cascade who had poor sales until they hired Messier and put his name on it…I like Mess but they are making money advertising false safety that cannot be proven…

    Easton S19 has the only helmet that is scientifically a little safer from catostrophic blows to the head since it does not crush as easily…still does not really do anything to stop concussions…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where we place this week in a 30 team league.

    Goals Against—16,  We are in  5th place,   Last week we were in 19th place.

    Total Points——9,  We are in 14th place,   Last week we were in  6th place.

    Goals For——–17, We are in 26th place,   Last week we were in  11th place

    Read Ian Cobb’s HI/O Blog

  40. LA Loyalist says:

    Would any of you trade with New Jersey for Kovalchuk, and if so, whom/what (draft pix)?

    The only condition is they have to take Gomez back.


    Just for fun. I was feeling melancholy.

  41. coachdoug says:

    Kovalchuck will be the most expensive Stanley Cup Kryptonite ever…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  42. ManApart says:

    I would obviously trade Gomez and some prospects/picks for Kovy in a nanosecond, but the 6.7 million, 15 year cap hit is just craziness. Taking that on, is too much. At least Gomez, although terrible, is only 4 more years.

  43. mike g says:


    If they wanna take Hamrlik, Poulit and a 1st rounder.

    I’d keep Gomez.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  44. Psycho29 says:

    Not a chance I’d take Kovalchuk. Not at that salary….not with that attitude.Good for John McLean having the balls to sit him down. I’ll keep Gomez, thank you very much…

  45. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    We’re paying more for Gomez than they are for Kovy,  that is just pathetic.  Yet Sather still has a job.

  46. punkster says:

    Jeez Brad, you need a hobby.

  47. habs-hampton says:

    Even when Gomez isn’t playing well, he’s a good team man. Kovalchuk will be a cancer to NJ and the only way they will survive is to surgically remove him, but they can’t do that for 10+ years.

    They only godd thing about this, is that by the time Kovy is out of there, people will have forgotten how to play NJ style hockey (which is a cancer to the game itself!)

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    One player does not make a team, when you tie up so much of your cap in one player, the team has no chance to making it to the cup.

    Even J.C. had 12 disciples, I think and the Koran has 24 virgins, I think!

    A team must share the cap to have a chance.

  49. mike g says:

    Hey Ian….

    Are all those 24 ladies STILL virgins?

    It’s about time, how old are they now..

     Don’t ya think?….


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  50. coachdoug says:

    Well said Ian…the teams who win Cups get contributions from every player…still have no idea where Kovy fits in NJ system…the NHL should ban any contract longer than 5 years…Kovy’s is the most absurd contract ever…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  51. Ian Cobb says:

    They are probably as dry as N.J,s payroll by now

  52. HabFanSince72 says:

    The players will not accept a 5 year limit on contracts.

    Where Kovy II fits in NJ? How about as their best goalscorer – by far.


  53. mike g says:

    KY Jelly, Ian….

    A little bit of that silky stuff and it’s raining all over the world..


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  54. coachdoug says:

    The NHLPA would never approve it but it would eliminate the “albatross” players it creates who have to be shuffled around…

    New Jersey has never been a “superstar” team…they have always spread the wealth…drafted well and gotten a lot out of their players…

    Kovy II was brought in to fill that partially empty new arena they built…Parise may give him a run as top goal scorer…at the money they gave him of course he should be the top goal scorer especially on a defense first team like NJ…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  55. HabFanSince72 says:

    6.7 M for Kovalchuk is actually very good. And the 15 years is not that bad as he’ll retire before then.




  56. ManApart says:

    6.7 isn’t so bad for him for the next 5 years or so. But this contract would bring him to 43 years old. He may retire before then, but the years  from 35 to 40 might not be so good. Just way too much commitment.

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Just had a chat with Reg. Houle. He is giving me a stick signed by the whole team for the Summit raffle. I am trying to get permission from the club for P.K. to drop in at the fund raiser with him.

    I know him well, he has no problem doing that, we just need team permission. So that might be fun for us.

  58. jennifer1984 says:


    i wish i could come to the Summit but it’s on the boyfriends birthday always on that weekend.

    Maybe next year! Sounds like you guys will have a blast. Can’t wait to hear about it

  59. says:

    I’ll talk to the Price clan and invite him as well, is that ok Ian?

    They Call Me Shane

  60. punkster says:

    Cobb…U DA MAN!!!

  61. Ian Cobb says:

    Its a different time my friend. The teams have reached parity, and more importantly the dollar has reached parity. Not that our dollar has gone up, but rather the U.S. dollar has tanked.

  62. mike g says:

    So I’m bored…

    And what I’m gonna do from now on is talk about one random team in the NHL everyday. And today, I choose…..


    Now, I can take the easy way out and recap their season in one short sentence: Nobody gives a crap.

    But that would be too easy, and I like challenges. So here I go.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets have to be worried about their defense so far. The Jackets also must be worried about their lack of offense this season. The Ohio based team should also worry about their lack of fan support, as they’ve had back to back games with less than 10,000 people in attendance. Columbus should also wonder whats going on in goal, and hope that 2008 rookie standout Steve Mason can regain that form.

    Highly touted rookie Nikita Filatov is struggling more than a 73 year old prostitute.

    Apart from that, the always dynamite Rick Nash has 3 points in 7 games. Ya-hoo!!??

    ————————————  ————————————–

    And that’s about it for the Jackets, folks. Nothing else to say. Not as if anybody even read that, or care to comment.

    And to think we in MTL think the Habs have problems…..

    Next team recap, New Jersey Devils.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  63. habs-hampton says:

    Good analysis of the Blue Jackets.  You know, it almost makes you wonder why the NHL puts team in markets where nobody cares about hockey???

    But seriously, a team like Columbus can probably survive if they ice an exciting winner (not a NJ type of winner). Of course most teams have more bad years on the ice than good, so good luck with that!

    Phoenix will probably do “OK” this year, cause the team is fun to watch and they will probably start winning (but not tonight).

  64. Muckbringer says:

    we smokem all!!!!

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    Jennifer, you have your priorities out of order, pack in the boy friend and get to the summit!

  66. jennifer1984 says:

    it is his 29th birthday and we’ve been together for 7 years.

    i’m not giving up on all that work! haha.

    and it’s not like he could get away from work. oh the joys of being a supervisor. so hopefully next year it will pan out!


    i hope everyone has a great time! i love that city!

  67. Ian Cobb says:

    Sure, just tell him to bring his checkbook!

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