NHL wimps out again; Ference gets three games


I don’t have anything to add except this: Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy.

The NHL should just shut up when it starts talking about player safety and eliminating dangerous, reckless plays. This was textbook, reckless boarding, and McDonagh could have broken his neck, and we still don’t know what his injuries are, though Brendan Shanahan in his explanation said the league has been told there were no significant injuries. That, of course, shouldn’t even be part of the equation. Wimpy.

Here’s the announcement, from the NHL:


             NEW YORK (Jan. 22, 2012) – Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been suspended for three games without pay for boarding New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh during NHL Game #699 in Boston on Saturday, Jan. 21, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Ference will forfeit $36,486.48. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 1:50 of overtime. A major penalty and game misconduct for charging were assessed on the play.

For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=53&id=151724.



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  1. Let’s hope that NHL knows more than we do and McD is ok. But I agree, if they want to eliminate those types of injuries, repeat offenders should get much more.

  2. Ilb – Carp: do you know if Shanny has league authority to compel the team with the fouled player to give a medical report to him before any suspension is levied?

  3. As Brooks just tweeted, three games is in line with other judgements, but it doesn’t do much to deter players at all.

    If this was the first suspension video you’d ever watched, you’d hear Shanahan explain why it is a textbook violation of a rule specifically amended to prevent these plays, that McDonagh was in no way culpable for the outcome and that Ference has no excuse whatsoever, yet you’d come away thinking “But that’s only worth three games?”

  4. I was wrong about Ference, too. I thought he was suspended before. Apologies.

    I am guessing that Shanahan asked the Rangers about the injuries to McDonagh … IMO, strongly, that should never be part of the equation. It was just pure dumb luck that he didn’t break his neck or suffer a concussion or worse.

  5. We agree that there was no malicious intent but then you go on to say that he hit him directly in the numbers with great speed and he did so from a significant distance, in which he had time to pull up…..I’m curious what is your definition of malicious then?

    Also, why is it important to note there is no significant injury? If a illegal check occurs, that 99 out of a 100 times leads to a broken neck but this particular time a miracle occurs; the penalty should be more lenient?


  6. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    agreed Carp! if he WAS injured, would ference have gotten more? Like wildplaces said earlier, there should be a base # of games, and if the player IS injured and does not play beyond the suspended games, the offender should have to sit additionally until the injured player comes back.

  7. This crap is going to keep going on until they let the players police the game more. Respect and fear are nearly absent among players in today’s game. I would NOT want Shanny’s job right now…

  8. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    No offence, but I totally disagree on a player being out as long as the injured one is

  9. Agree, Carp. It shouldn’t matter. Because after a player is, god forbid, paralyzed on one of those plays, it’d be late even if they suspend the perpetrator for life.

  10. Three games should be a deterrent. What coach wants their player out for 3 games because of a stupid, unnecessary move? Coaches and management should be kicking players’ asses for these moves. Bad for your team, because you miss games and because the other team might respond and injure own of your teammates.

    Shanny is a bit soft, but these teams and players have to police themselves — and not just with some punching.

  11. Anyone else feel tired and exhausted after watching yesterdays game? I feel like I need to take out the ice packs, too. And damn, Bruins are right back at it with the Flyers…

  12. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    Wick, is it fair that the offender is allowed to play while the other guy is still out? IF they are looking to STOP things like this, maybe that is enough of a deterrent

  13. Thanks, Carp & Ilb – boy, these Flys announcers are guilty of some rampant “homerism” in this game…not much better than the Pens or Bruins guys….Coates & Clement have always been shills…

  14. Don’t mind injuries playing a small part in the suspension decisions, but I’m dead against the concept of players missing as many games as the injured player.

    Aside from the risk of the system being abused (team’s are so honest about injuries already, right?), there’s hardly a strong correlation between the violence of an act and the length of injury absence.

    Patrice Bergeron missed a year on a hit arguably much less violent than yesterday’s. Ryan Hollweg didn’t miss a shift after Chris Simon went all Barry Bonds on his skull.

  15. ALSO,

    I think the players ought to do more advocating for a change. There’s only so much voice we have — which we do, but it’s incredible silent in this industry. If players stand up and say something, they will definitely be more damage done.

  16. So if Ference gets 3 games and $37K I guess Ovechkin will get no hearing or maybe a brutal $2,500.00 fine for his Rule 48’er on Michalek today.

  17. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Lw pretty much said it like I would, but I would add that if mike green throws some elbows or cross checks step a couple of times and step defends himself and gets his elbows up on green and concussed him, green misses 11 months should step?

    Just not a fan of the game for game scenario

  18. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    good point LW.

    some people are saying its too many games, others that it’s not enough. It does not seem that the suspensions are having ANY effect on lessening the amount of hits like this, so what WOULD get everyones attention? what would make these guys have more respect for each other on the ice? The NHLPA is between a rock and a hard place because they have an injured player that they should advocate for, but the offender is also being advocated for. so what needs to be done?

  19. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    LW, if Hollywig wasn’t already dumber than a doorknob maybe the suspension would have been more purely on decreased mental aptitude. As such, the barometer was already at zero. Does that make cents?

  20. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Fetence is a pretty clean hard player, not sure why everyone thinks he is dirty (now briere, meszaros, Dan Boyle are dirty players).

    My guess is if gretky would of hit fan fave mcdonut like ferrnce did, he would be a dirty repeat offender as well! lol

  21. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    Wicky, gretky (lol) probably would have broken himself if he hit anyone hard :-) i schmid i schmid

  22. Wut

    Stupid thing is, Ference himself _has_ been an advocate for string suspensions for dirty hits (admittedly, more specifically against headshots). He basically criticised his own teammate last year for a hit that earned a four game ban.

    So, he’d better not whine about any injustice now. Nor should the Bruins given Bergeron’s experience.

  23. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    herein lies the reason why the suspension wasnt eight is enough with adam rich: defensemen are the most prone to these sorts of plays…all too often we see players turn their backs with oncoming players to draw penalties or avoid contact…however, defensemen rushing back for pucks seldom do this, but try to clear puck and avoid the overzealous fivechecker. McDonagh was pushed significant distance from said area…thus more games and more dollars should have been the prerequisite.

  24. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Lmfao!! Very very true


    When I play or here?

  25. Totally agree with Carp, why should Mcdonagh’s injury status matter. Once i heard it was a phone conference I knew they would wimp out

  26. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Glad u enjoy my contributions here. I try to be objective (even tho I love the rangers obviously) and realistic, yet still a FANatic of the rangers!!

    Yes, I play a pretty cantankerous game on the ice

  27. Injury status shouldn’t matter at all. One of the main points of the punishment is to deter future incidents, not whether or not somebody was hurt this time. The play was a very dangerous play perpetrated by Ference, and that’s what should matter – not whether or not McDonough was lucky enough to escape without serious injury.

  28. Staal – someone already did. His name is Steve Moore. Last I checked Todd Bertuzzi was scoring OT goals for the Red Wings.

  29. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Odd question here, but if you guys could have a top six d of d men from the other four teams in our division who would they be?

  30. Paul in sunrise on

    NYR. That was the exact play I thought of when they said we was a clean player with no history. Video is proof of cheap shot artist. Boston like philthy always cheap. Pens cheap too. If they cannot play straight up they resort to cheap carcillo.

  31. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Sounds like everyone is cheap but us!!

    I’d take letang, orpik, coburn, pronger, volchenkov, and streit

  32. What a joke!!! Three games for a repeat offender. Ference’s own teammate is still sidelined from a horrible hit.

    I just don’t get the NHL. What will it take to get real justice? Um, I think I know, but I hope it never happens.

  33. I might throw Weber and/or Suter on that squad. Byfuglien has a great shot! Letang for sure. Karlsson, Phaneuf, Orpik and maybe…..HMMM….Bieksa.

  34. LOL! Oh, my mistake! Yeah, that would be horrible. I imagine she takes off her shift, and her body is half of Carcillo’s face on one side, and half of Ricci’s face on the other. Hartnell can be the nipples!

    My stomach turned just typing that!!

  35. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    I was only talking about d men from the Atlantic division not on the rangers

  36. Volchenkov hasn’t been the same player since he moved to Essex County, wicky. Could be the proximity of the Short Hills Mall, or an exceptional Portuguese food in Newark. But he hasn’t been as good as he used to be.

  37. Here is my entire Atl. Division (Rangers included)

    Girardi – Letang
    Orpik – McDonagh
    Del Zaster – Timmonen

  38. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Agree with you 100% on the hammer, i would have larsson instead of him, I forgot larsson until Orr mentioned him

  39. Staal Wart and the Overachievers on

    Agreed phaneuffing Bertuzzi shouldn’t even be in the league.

  40. I definitely thought Ference rode McD into the boards and deserved the major + 3 games. After review seeing him pretty much slew foot our boy from behind a split second before pushing him forward:

    that’s one of the dirtiest plays I’ve seen all season. Top 5 and that’s a conservative estimate taking into consideration dirtiness I haven’t seen.

    Should have been 5 games. Or more as he’s a repeat offender. But that’s the rules (I guess).

  41. oh hartnell.

    Carp, I guess the stew that is the NHL remains onionless. Basing the call on his degree of injury is for carcillo. And cooke. Oh just byfuglien it.

  42. How ’bout my boy Ray Rice … covered him in high school football and basketball, where he pulled off one of the best hoops upsets in local championship history. Good kid.

    but I find it hard to root for any team with Ray Lewis on it.

  43. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    holy crap, Ravens are beating ORRs pats! this is what happens when i work out.. actually i wish noone would win this game lol ;-)

  44. can we stop with this repeat offender stuff…he hasnt been suspended for any illegal check/board in his career. 3 games based on Shanny’s punishments this season is fair. I agree though that injury/no injury should not be a factor in determining the punishment.

  45. “but I find it hard to root for any team with Ray Lewis on it.”

    Yes he pretty much murdered two young men and got away with it.


    You’d rather the Patriots win? That’s a tossup for me

  46. “can we stop with this repeat offender stuff…he hasnt been suspended for any illegal check/board in his career. 3 games based on Shanny’s punishments this season is fair. I agree though that injury/no injury should not be a factor in determining the punishment.”

    Being that he clipped the back of his skate BEFORE boarding him it should be 5.

    Believe me if McD was seriously hurt it would have been 5 games and you would have agreed with it.

  47. You became a Patriots fan because they started doing good and you are a bandwagoner.

    HEY IT’S A FREE COUNTRY lol it sure is, bandwagoner.

  48. Please let the nn’s come on here and tell me how great the Bruins defense is. I’m sorry for all the so-called Rangers fans that find things to complain about great wins but the Rangers have the best defense and goaltending in the Eastern Conference and defense wins championships. The Flyers can have all the scorers they want but if they can’t stop the puck it won’t matter. As for Boston, the Flyers, because they correctly put Shelley and Sestito back lineup have matched the B’s toughness and when that happens they are beatable.

  49. WTB is going on in this world? Hartnell with a natural hat-trick!? He’s got like 25 goals? I’m telling you, the Mayan calendar-thing might just be true!!

    How in this universe is Hartnell near the leader in goals for the league?

    Somebody needs to introduce this gut to Skidley Crysby’s head doctor……

  50. Jimbo – This is not out of ordinary for him. He’s been a 20 goal scorer every yr. since lockout other than 09-10. His career high is 30. He can score and I agree with ORR about being a NYR.

  51. I don’t know, ORR – as good as he’s been this season, I just can’t envision him in our red, white & blue…

  52. lucky for you Orr it looks like your celebrity Hero Tom Brady is going to the Superbowl again. Since you probably couldn’t celebrate his first, you should relish celebrating his 4th (your third).

    And just as I was about to send that an interception. Nice throw, Superboy. LOL

  53. But it *is* out of the ordinary! The season is barely half over – don’t tell me you think he’s a 50 goal a season kind of guy?

    I just don’t like him – he’s a very annoying player.

  54. Jimbo – I think that he might hit 40 this season has lots more to do with his line-mates but still he’s been a goal scorer in past. This isn’t like Jody Shelley or Brandon Prust having 30 goals.

  55. I guess you’re right, HW – Having him on the line with Jags & Giroux has done wonders for him, but he’s playing very well all on his own – I dislike him intensely, but he’s really stepping up this season, unfortunately.

    The fact that the Flys are still in the thick of things with all the man-games lost to injury is galling to me…

  56. Afternoon gang.

    Only 3 games for Ference? Bah, Shanaban hammer is no longer as mighty as it was.

    Is there anything worse than cleaning the bathroom? Spent like an hour doing that and just, ugh.

  57. 2007-Jun-18 Traded from Nashville Predators with Kimmo Timonen to Philadelphia Flyers for round 1 pick in the 2007 draft (Jonathon Blum)

  58. If the kicker is on the same team as the killer is, maybe they will kill him for missing…?

  59. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    LMAO ORR, you stole it from my fingers!!!!

    ORR, you’re love for the Pats and the Celts would have nothing to do with someone else’s hatred of them, would it?

  60. Mickey, please don’t bring up that name! Many of my friends have PTSD due to those rough years.

  61. I know. Wonder how all the conspiracy theorists think the league acts when two of its alleged favorites play each other. Do they both get all the calls?

  62. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    go for it Staal! i’m sure your finger is fully healed from that unfortunate incident last year

  63. thanks guys. I am going to post the Callahan story in the a.m.

    Somebody left the gate open … and Josh Thomson, 26, jumped in. JT is going to cover the game for me on Tuesday.

    Youse are the Egg McMuffins of Boneheads.

    Since Nasty brought it up, the hockey game/commercial I’d like to see nuked: “This is Peggy.”

  64. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    I’d like to NEVER see that pizza hut commercial (with the dude and guitar0 again

  65. I’m back.. for now.


    Let’s be serious here; we all know the greatest commercial tunes hail from the Kia commercials. Everyone rolls with their homies to buy some presents.

  66. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    lmao Staal.. smart move, start small and build up that endurance, and finger strength lol

  67. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    me too Mickey lol! and sheesh the Giants with these freakin penalties tonight! EAT THE CLOCK and score BIG BLUE!

  68. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    great link, dude is wicked sick!! Isn’t the reporter chick doing the interview the one that got assaulted in Egypt??

  69. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    i hope the explanation of the OT rules is longer than the OT GET A TOUCHDOWN BIG BLUE

  70. Thanks, Staal. October is the heart of our political season. We already know we are working 6 day weeks for 6 or 7 weeks. Plus more OT on top of that :(

  71. I’ve been around, Lin. Just hanging low for a bit. You guys all rock.

    He really did screw them, ORR. He should have called for a fair catch.

  72. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    ok, that is what I thought, she is a stud!!

    I remember her as the chick that helped to get the dog out of afghanistan that those jarheads found (sadly I think the dog died with a disease)

  73. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    at least I think she is the one (if my memory serves me correctly)

  74. Hahahah!!! At the corner of First and first!? That means that you’ve been very close to Katz’s Deli! Just a stone’s throw away!

    I’m doing OK.

  75. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    he was kinda funny in the dilemma I thought.

  76. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    this game was nerve rattling on a Rangers regular season OT level.

    NOTHING is as nerve rattling as a Rangers playoff OT though!

  77. The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Oh wait…

    Anyway…good win by the big blue! Glad I jumped on the bandwagon on time lol

  78. True Blue Mike on

    I hope the Rangers look into acquiring Bobby Ryan. We should have close to 5 million in cap space at the deadline and if we send Wolski the other way we could even get Doan or Prospal as well. That’s the depth you need for a cup.


    Of Course that would never happen but that would be nice…

    What do you think the Rangers should do — Ryan, Doan, Selanne, Prospal or Nothing?

  79. duckbill Plat-y-pus on

    that into the wild singer sounds like a not so good Edith Piaf. Est-ce que faire cents?

  80. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    yep, i remembered hearing something about it when it was happening, took the earlier posts here to remind me who the reporter girl was

  81. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    we have some pretty severe weather moving in tonight, so i will say good night and hope to get a few hours of sleep!! Have a great Monday ‘Heads!! XOXOX Hopefully good news on McMonster tomorrow!!

  82. Vanek’s a very good net-front presence, something the team is lacking. Cally does his best but he isn’t quite a natural there.

  83. Good night, Linda!

    Yeah Vanek is a franchise player…a very good one too…but his team blows! They need to do something! Maybe they’ll be willing, eh?

  84. Olga Folkyerself on

    Buffalo’s new owner seems determined to win a Cup someday. He won’t do that by trading his best player(s). He’s more likely to build the Sabres through free agency this summer.

    You can hope though…

  85. He already did and they suck! He brought in some expensive players over this past summer and it’s not working.

    But yeah I sure can hope

  86. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    so who do we give up for vanek?

    the usual suspects I guess…

  87. GySgt. Hartman on

    McD doesn’t get hurt on that play if the trapezoid is not there and the goalie plays the puck. Trapezoid = more end board injuries.

  88. What happens if it turns out there was some kind of injury that reveals itself later, like a pnched nerve or neck problem? Do they go back and retroactively suspend him again? What a bunch of crap.

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