Sunday, 17 April 2011

I'm Not A Judge Or Jury

In an interesting turn of events for a former NHL great, Vincent Damphousse was arrested on six charges of assaulting his spouse, Allana Henderson, since 2008. The former Montreal Canadien, Edmonton Oiler, Toronto Maple Leaf, and San Jose Shark and his wife are estranged, but this allegation is very serious. I'm not judging Damphousse by any means at this point, but I really hope that he's better than this. Abuse of any kind is something that should be taken very seriously so I understand why the police have to be involved, but I'm hoping that this can be resolved without getting too messy for either party.

Just for fun, Damphousse was in four fights while playing in the NHL, so it's not like he had a reputation for dropping the mitts with anyone. Let's take a look at these fights from all the online information I could find about what happened. I'll also take some creative control by filling in the details that aren't covered by the information.

His first scrap was while he was with Toronto, and he fought Calgary's Doug Gilmour on January 8, 1991. Both men received double-spearing penalties for their troubles as neither really chucked knuckles the way most hockey fights are done. With both men establishing themselves as scoring threats, I would assume neither wanted to break a hand, so they simply stuck with the hugging and whispering in each other's ears after trying to disembowel each other with their weapons. Unfortunately, no video exists of this scrap, so I'll have to let you imagine what may have happened in this bout.

His second tilt came against Yuri Khmylev of the Buffalo Sabres on February 11, 1994. The furious Adams Division rivalry between Montreal and Buffalo boiled over when lightweights Damphousse and Khmylev began poking at each other with their gloves on. This slap-fight continued until Khmylev lost his balance and fell backwards. Damphousse had dropped the gloves while Khmylev was down and was looking to add some insult to injury after softening him up, but the linesmen jumped in to break up this brouhaha before it began. Again, no video exists, but reports have this fight lasting just a few seconds. That's a Damphousse trait - fights that last just a few seconds.

The 1995-96 season was Damphousse's break-out season as a fighter. He was involved in two minor scuffles during this season. On November 8, 1995, Montreal and Anaheim were battling when Joe Sacco caught the ire of Monsieur Damphousse. Damphousse reportedly caught Sacco with an inadvertent high stick which resulted in Sacco throwing a cross-check on Damphousse. Both men were unhappy with those results, so they began hugging it out before linesmen jumped in. Damphousse got an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, so you know he was fired up and ready to rumble. Again, no video, but it seems pretty plausible from the penalty reports that Damphousse was the instigator here.

Ten days after that scrap, Damphousse was at it again. November 18, 1995 had Damphousse battling against Ottawa's Rob Gaudreau. Damphousse delivered a solid check on Gaudreau which resulted in Gaudreau throwing a gloved jab at Damphousse. Vinnie, being the known pugilist that he was, responds by slugging Gaudreau in the back of the head, causing the Ottawa player to fall. There's some pushing and shoving with sticks up around the facial area, they exchange words, and Damphousse must have said something about Gaudreau's significant other because both men dropped the mitts shortly thereafter. Damphousse, knowing that Gaudreau is overmatched in this bout, simply wrestles him to the ice, allowing the linesmen to jump in save Gaudreau from the inevitable beating he was bound to take. Vinnie is a player's player, y'know, and shows this by hugging his opponents regularly. Like the other three examples, no video, but the report stands.

Look, I'm making these comparisons in jest to the fight that Damphousse now finds himself in. I want to be very clear when I say this: HBIC DOES NOT CONDONE ANY SORT OF SPOUSAL ABUSE IN ANY FORM! Until the judge and jury has ruled for or against Mr. Damphousse, I sincerely hope that these allegations are not true, but the zero-tolerance towards abuse claims make it hard to believe that Damphousse is 100% innocent without any fault.

Innocent until proven guilty, readers. Let's just keep that in mind.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Peter Santellan said...

Six charges since 2008 sounds a little damning. However, I'd like to have more on this before making a final judgement on this. And if I'm correct, there's also some charges pending against the spouse. Again, I'm looking at sources breaking this story.