The NHL’s new rule on blindside hits may get a bit of a workout in connection with Mike Cammalleri’s slash on the Islanders Nino Niederreither (video) during last night’s presesaon game in Quebec City.
Cammalleri got five for slashing and a game misconduct and supplemental discipline is certainly a possibility. But what led to his attack was this hit by the Islander rookie (video — it’s quick and you’ll have to replay it a few times) which is clearly a blindside hit.
The question for the league’s Hockey Operations Department on this one will be whether Niederreither targeted Cammalleri’s head. The new rule reads:
“A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head
is targeted and/or is the principal point of contact is not permitted. There is no provision for a minor penalty under this rule. For a
violation of this rule a major penalty shall be assessed. An automatic
game misconduct penalty shall be assessed whenever a major penalty is
assessed under this rule.”
Looking at the video, a case can be made that contact was shoulder to shoulder from behind. A case can also be made that the head was targeted, even though it wasn’t the principal point of contact.
But even if Colin Campbell and his staff decide Niederreither did target Cammalleri’s head, the retaliation may still cause some sort of disciplinary action, although it might be softened if the league decides Cammalleri had some justification for his reaction.
The Gazette’s Pat Hickey quoted Jacques Martin saying, “I think Cammy was reacting to being blindsided on
the play before that,” Martin said. “I’m sure when the league reviews
the incident, they’ll look at that part.”
Leahy writes: “During the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, Cammalleri escaped suspension after
he smacked then-Chicago Blackhawk Martin Havlat
in the head after a face-off because, according to the NHL, he was not a
repeat offender. Now with no “Get Out of Jail” free cards to use, it’s
likely Cammalleri will face a ban of a game or two to begin the season.” Cammalleri was with the Flames at the time.
Leahy also had video of Rangers Derek Boogaard spearing the Senators Chris Neal last night. Boogaard got five and a game and he’s likely to hear from Hockey Ops as well.
Sunday Reading: Here’s Pat Hickey’s Gazette story on the rally in Quebec yesterday which drew tens of thousands and a handful of former Nordiques heroes in support of a new arena that would theoretically bring an NHL team back to the provincial capital.
From yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Roy MacGregor had a strong piece on how CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has lost its way, writing, ” The game invariably takes a back seat to the Don Cherry-Ron MacLean
Grand Entry, to the ramblings of the Coach’s Corner segment in the first
intermission and to the views of new additions to the show who often
seem so stuck in the game’s past that, unbelievably, Cherry at times
emerges as the voice of reason….
“(Cherry) seems only vaguely interested in today’s game and, despite the endless ‘I told you so’s,’ has largely lost sight of how today’s game is played.
His sermons on kids getting themselves and their sticks out of the way
of shots is now ancient strategy, today’s defensive game all about shot
blocking, the goaltender often the last to see the puck….
“Recent additions such as Mike Milbury – Don Cherry on training wheels –
and the excitable P.J. Stock seem more out of the last century than this
The Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin had a companion piece in which he talks with former HNIC producers Ralph Mellanby and John Shannon.
In today’s New York Post, Larry Brooks writes, “The Islanders are making a mockery of the spirit
of the Collective Bargaining Agreement-mandated payroll floor and the
concept of competitive balance by using the $6,088,400 in buyout
chargers for Alexei Yashin and Brendan Witt to reach this year’s floor
of $43.4 million, yet nobody but nobody seems to be rushing to charge
Charles Wang and Garth Snow with circumvention...
“While the Islanders are compliant with the
letter of the CBA, they are violating the spirit of the CBA by using
those payouts to chin up over the $43.4 million bar by maybe a couple of
“They are flaunting the spirit of competitive
balance by presenting a roster that will account for perhaps $39 million
in payroll — and it will be that high only if the entry level guys on
the club reach their ultimate performance bonus numbers.
number includes Mark Streit’s $4.1 million the defenseman will receive
while on IR for the next four to six months.”
Brothers in The St. Paul Pioneer-Press profiles Mikko Koivu.
re-entry waivers, it’s a two-year commitment and a lot of money ($4.5
all your players and now you can’t. You hope that new guys coming in can
feel the excitement of the holdover players. There’s not a written
formula how to do it.”