gonchar clarkson

Stephane Quintal, head of the NHL’s Department of Player Security decided within seconds of the incident that there would be no supplemental discipline for Toronto forward David Clarkson after the hit on Sergei Gonchar Saturday night. Something about the shoulder making contact first.

All we know is, Gonchar was kept in a dark room for the final two periods of the game. After it was over, Michel Therrien who is not known for hyperbole, called it a “dangerous hit.”

And we also know that Gonchar did not travel with the Canadiens when the took their charter flight to Detroit Sunday. ‘

Clarkson committed a foul. It was boarding, although for some reason the referees called it interference.  They also felt strongly enough about it to throw him out of the game.   In the process of committing that foul he created an injury the seriousness of which we will only know in time.

Clarkson apologists, and Quintal are saying the initial contact was shoulder to shoulder and they have a case for that, but there was a foul and an injury created. Clarkson used the old “just finishing my check” excuse after the game, but he was also off his feet as he finished that check.   (You can watch it again below).

Hockey is tough. P.A. Parenteau suffered a concussion that has taken him out of fourteen of the last sixteen games when he took a clean open ice hit from the Devils Tim Sestito. No foul. One of the hazards of playing the game.

Back in the 70’s the league said that players had to take responsible for their actions. If, accidentally or not, a high stick opened a cut a minor penalty could be escalated to a double minor, major or more.

That sense of player responsibility seems to often end with high sticking.