The NHL announced Thursday morning that Winnipeg Jets center Alexander Burmistrov has been fined $2,000 for violating Rule 64, which deals with diving and embellishment. Burmistrov is the seventh player to receive a fine for diving, joining teammate Nikolaj Ehlers, Jordin Tootoo and Bobby Farnham of the New Jersey Devils, Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks, Zack Smith of the Ottawa Senators, and Teemu Pulkkinen of the Detroit Red Wings.
The NHL, which fines players and coaches on a graduated scale for such infractions really seems to have a bee in its bonnet for players who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Talk to any of the “hockey people” in the league’s head office and they see diving as an enormous blight on the game.
There’s a good chance Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman will become the first player in NHL history to have his suspension appealed to an independent arbitrator, but that’s not what will make this process so interesting over the next little while.
As has been widely reported, Wideman was suspended 20 games for abuse of official after crosschecking linesman Don Henderson from behind in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. The NHL Players’ Association has already filed an appeal on Wideman’s behalf, which is expected to be heard by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman early next week. If a further appeal is necessary, it will go to James Oldham, the league- and NHLPA-appointed independent arbitrator.
We’re likely going to hear a lot over the next little while about Dennis Wideman’s “intent” when he drilled linesman Don Henderson from behind, an action which earned him a 20-game suspension from the NHL for abuse of official.
There is the camp that believes there was no ill intent on Wideman’s part, that it was an unfortunate accident and that Wideman was perhaps a little dazed from the hit along the boards that he took from Nashville Predators winger Miikka Salomaki, a hit that occurred about 8.65 seconds before Wideman took Henderson out with a crosscheck from behind.
One of the more interesting discipline hearings of this season will take place this afternoon when Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman defends himself at the NHL offices in Toronto. Suffice to say there are a number of moving parts at work here.
The NHL is faced with a vexing situation. On one hand, if it does not suspend Wideman at least 10 games for abuse of an official, there is little doubt the on-ice officials who work the 1,230 games each season will not be happy. Linesman Don Henderson reportedly spent a night in hospital after being crosschecked from behind by Wideman in the Flames 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators last Wednesday and the officials, quite understandably, are concerned about their workplace safety.
You have to wonder how the NHL Officials’ Association feels about the incident in Calgary Wednesday night involving Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman and linesman Don Henderson. It was a bizarre turn of events, to say the least.
In the second period of the Flames 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, Wideman took a pretty substantial hit in the defensive zone, then picked himself up and, as he made his way to the Flames bench, crosschecked Henderson from behind and sent the linesman tumbling to the ice.
Take a look at the incident here:
Boston Bruins winger Zac Rinaldo has been out for the past three games with an upper-body injury following a fight with Oilers winger Matt Hendricks. But Rinaldo said it wasn’t the actual fight that put him on the shelf but rather the linesman’s attempt to break up the scuffle after it was over.
According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Rinaldo said his injury came when linesman David Brisebois was attempting to hold the 25-year-old down following the scrap with Hendricks. Rinaldo told Haggerty that when he was trying to get back to his feet, Brisebois was attempting to keep him down when Rinaldo was “cranked” to the ice. Read more
If you had to name a controversial referee and a player with a reputation for diving and embellishment, Tim Peel and James Neal would likely be your first answers. And so, the viral gods conspired last night to bring us a one-of-a-kind interaction during Nashville’s 3-2 win over Boston last night. Viewer discretion advised:
In 13 years as Editor-in-Chief of The Hockey News, I’ve made a ton of suggestions on how to improve the game. You’d almost think I didn’t like it.
The truth is, I feel it’s part of my job to help stimulate conversation and debate. While hockey is still pretty darned fantastic, nothing is perfect.
What follows is a list of various things I’ve suggested, conceived, advocated or supported during my baker’s dozen years in my ivory tower.