Thursday, 3 March 2011

Gillies Earns More Time Off

Wow. Not two days later after the article posted by Tim Ambler do I get another post from a reader. Just to make it even better, the two stories relate thanks to Trevor Gillies! I turn today's HBIC offering over to Peter Santellan, author of the awesome Pucks and Rocks blog (which you can find under the blogroll to the right). Peter is a Vancouver Canucks fan, a die-hard hockey lover, and a huge metal music fan. Today, Mr. Santellan takes aim at the most recent actions by Trevor Gillies after Gillies made his return from suspension. Of course, I'll have my comments at the end. Enjoy!

While thinking about what to write here, which seems rather slim, given so much can also be on my regular blog, I actually found something that can be written about that will encourage discussion (there's actually two things from today's wire, but I will discuss one in detail for this piece). I could talk about the findings from Bob Probert's brain scan, since it is big news, but that's not the thing that truly boils my blood. No, today, what boils my blood is one Trevor Gillies. What's that? You don't know who that is? Allow me to refresh your memory.

Gillies was the guy who blindsided Pittsburgh's Eric Tangradi in a February 11 game, and punched him while he was down. Before leaving the ice, he was last seen standing in the doorway, taunting Tangradi while he was down. "Shockingly", all of this only earned him a nine-game suspension.

Now, fast forward to the Islanders' home game against the Minnesota Wild, and Gillies' suspension being over. This happened in his first game back:

If you have seen the video of this at all, you will know that Gillies clearly went for the head of Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck. Why does Gilles make me angry? Besides the fact that he's nothing more than a hired goon (which the Islanders don't need any more of, with Zenon Konopka on the roster) and that he takes up a roster spot and only plays about 5 minutes a night, it is actions like last night that truly make him the despised figure in the NHL right now, and yes, that includes Sean Avery. More than that, just talking about Gillies is taking away from the Islanders' good run of late despite not being playoff contenders, and worse, is taking away from those who deserve the spotlight like John Tavares, Matt Moulson, and ex-Canuck (yes, I had to) Michael Grabner. All three are nearing the 30-goal mark, and those three are also the team's brightest hopes for the Islanders to get back to respectability. Unfortunately, as long as Gillies is still on the team, that respect will never be there. The Islanders and the NHL need to do something about this guy, as he's clearly hurting both opponents and the team's image with each cheap shot.

Thank you, Peter, for that article. It's always a pleasure to have such a talented and passionate hockey fan contributing something like this that is sure to generate discussion. So let's do that right now.

Gillies, in the game shown above, played three shifts before being given the night off by the officials for his blatant disregard for human life or health. The fact that he caught Clutterbuck in a very vulnerable position should tell you a lot about the guy's mindset.

Gillies did make a comment regarding the hit after the game: "I went over and finished my hit," Gillies told Newsday. "There was no intent to injure him. I saw him hit DiBo, and I made a hit on him. That's it."

Except that's not it. There was clear evidence that his check was entirely made on Clutterbuck's noggin, and that's a no-no. Whether or not Gillies intended to hurt Clutterbuck or not is not the issue here. Are we really supposed to believe that he'd admit to intending to hurt Clutterbuck? No, the issue is that he could have seriously hurt Clutterbuck by throwing a check that targeted his head, and that's the problem. I can't see why neither the Islanders nor Gillies see this side of the equation, but I'm guessing that they will when they appear in front of Colin Campbell for the second time in less than a month.

What I want to know, readers, is this: should the onus of making Gillies a more responsible player fall on the Islanders since it appears that Gillies has no intention of changing the way he plays the game?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Captain Canuck said...

again, another epic fail by the bozos that run the NHL. Where the Clutterbuck suspension? He clearly hits the islander into the boards from behind. No suspension. Surprise. Again, inconsistancy.
As Ron Maclean said, as Don Cherry said, as PJ Stock said, as Garth Snow said, the NHL screwed up with Gillies. It was clearly not a hit to the head, as the replay clearly shows. It was not a hit from behind, again, as the replay clearly shows. A shoulder to shoulder hit with the left hand coming up and making contact with Clutterbucks face.
And Gillies, because of reputation, because he's a nobody, because he's on a team that's out of the playoffs, gets a suspension.
Clutterbuck, who's hit from behind started it all? Nothing.

All the talking heads are talking about how the NHL is a laughing stock because of this, and the American media zeroes in on Gillies and 'the animal he is'....

Good job NHL. suspend a guy for a regular hit... and let Clutterbuck get off scott free.

It's no wonder why my sport is failing in the U.S... they're too bust laughing at it to watch it.

Peter Santellan said...

Two things: the latest suspension that Gillies was given, I have no problem with, but I feel like the NHL was doing this as a make-up for not suspending him enough for the first time. Given that, had the league suspended him say, 15 games or so for the Penguins incident, I would have been fine. The suspension for the hit on Clutterbuck is fair in the sense that Gillies didn't get the memo the first time around, which is fine. However, like I said, it feels like the league was making up for not doing enough the first time. Had the league nipped it in the bud before it got to that point with Clutterbuck, we wouldn't be talking about Gillies right now.

As for the poster's take on Clutterbuck, he did get a boarding minor for the DiBenedetto, and while that was some punishment, the NHL could have sat Clutterbuck for a game or two. The two hits are rather comparable, I will give you that. However, it looked like Gillies acted a little too soon on the hit. A second or two later, maybe we don't talk about Gillies and instead focus on Clutterbuck's hit.