Sound off: MacTavish on Penner and NHL on headshots

MacT pulled no punches with Dustin Penner today, saying
"He's not competitive enough or fit enough to help us, so why put him back in? He's never been fit enough to help us," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish told the Sun. "We signed him to be a top-two line player and that's kind of where it ended. The difference was we thought the contract was a starting point, and he's viewed it as a finish line.

"It's been one thing after another. I can't watch it for - certainly not another two and-a-half years."
Wow. That was awesome! Penner did score over 20 goals as an Oiler last year but only has 3 goals and 1 assists in 16 games this season. His conditioning has always been a problem. In that case, the Canucks should sign him and put him on Wellwood diet. Problem solved.


I am growing very weary of the headshots issue in the NHL. You see the analysts over-analyzing a lot of shots that knock players out or hurt them. Some of these headshots are absolutely fine in my opinion. If a taller guy like Pronger decks a shorter guy like Richard Park and his elbow makes contact, well, that's not intentional. But the NHL released a memo to all teams today regarding intentional headshots.
"Recently, we have had two (2) supplemental discipline incidents involving direct elbow blows to the head. This is a play that we have been trying to remove from our game for a number of years. In one case there was no injury and in the other incident the elbowed Player received a concussion. Both Players delivering the elbows had never before been involved in supplemental discipline.

"We cannot and will not tolerate blows to the head that are deliberate, avoidable and illegal. Furthermore, both the history and status of the offender (first time versus repeat) and the nature of the injury caused (if any) will be taken into consideration as they have been in the past. The length of suspensions for illegal blows to the head will be increased if these incidents persist across the League. Taking steps to maintain the safest on-ice environment possible for the Players remains our most important priority."
Fair enough. Wait, explain the "avoidable" part. This is just going to create another decision for the refs and league officials to make when a head shot occurs. Some are more blatantly obvious than others (see Jarko Ruutu). Others can be circumstancial. I hope the NHL is fair in their assessments.
How would they judge Doug Weight's crunching head shot on Brian Sutter? I would hope that would be called legal and not "avoidable."
For more on this, including some whining by Simon "headcase" Gagne, check out TSN's article.

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