Phil Kessel was suspended the remained of the preseason, after his part in the Buffalo Sabres Toronto Maple Leafs fight on Sunday. Remember, he was the one who started it all with John Scott, slashing him, trying to get his attention prior to the puck dropped.
He used the stick as a weapon at that point, and continued to do so. Continued to use it as a weapon, when he speared John Scott and continued to slash him in the chest. He practically got away with using his stick as a weapon. Something that the NHL Board of Players safety, and Brendan Shanahan, should be ashamed that they allowed such a play, such a player, get a slap on the wrist.
What Kessel did was juvinile. Was weak. Yes, John Scott was far to big, not at the same level as Kessel, and Kessel isn’t know for his fighting skills. Yet, he went out and bullied he was. This is something that John Scott is known for, he’s an agitator. Kessel, is known for his skill for his speed, for his goal scoring capability. None of what we saw on Sunday has been part of Kessel’s game in the past. Yes, he has been bothered by the annoying agitator every now and then, but never have we saw Phil Kessel snap.
The way Kessel snapped is what I have problems with the most. Here’s a guy who is looking to represent his country, represent Team USA in the Winter Olympics, and he pulls a stunt like that. If anyone from the Team USA staff was watching this, they should be upset of his actions.
You never, and I’ve learned this from when I first touched a hockey stick for the first time, never use your hockey stick as a weapon. Spearing is such a dumb thing to do in hockey, and could cause a lot more then just a quick shock to the stomach. What Kessel did, and did repeatedly was cowardly, and extremely dangerous.
When it came to Kessel’s fight, he completely just went at Brian Flynn’s facing blooding him in an instant. Like I said this entire situation was totally unlike Kessel. He should be ashamed and embarassed of what he did not only for himself as a player, but to the league, and to the Maple Leafs organization. He got away with something far worse.
Just think if Shanahan was in charge during the Marty McSorley incident. The Chris Simon incident, so on and so forth. The suspensions that they deserved and gotten, would have probably been much less. This regime, or the Shanahan era, has been vastly inconsistent, and reasoning behind the inconsistency’s have been unacceptable. They just proved to kids everywhere that its okay to use the stick as a poking device.
And well, the bantam and peewee games got a lot scarier.