Quickly after the incident, Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune writes: Runway view rocks, until run-in with a Canuck,
["I was just standing straight up applauding as he was getting kicked out," Engquist said. "He was out of control. So then I said, 'Way to be professional,' and he obviously didn't care for that comment and decided to grab me and almost dragged me over the rail…Engquist said nobody from NHL headquarters had called him as of late Wednesday afternoon, so he called Mark Stoffel, Xcel Energy Center's senior director of operations, who gave him the number for NHL security… Engquist said he has received no apology from the NHL, the Canucks or Rypien. He said he is "definitely" seeking legal representation.] Read More
Professional hockey players are an emotional bunch. Fans even more so...
According to President Gary Bettman, the NHL holds it's players accountable to the highest professional standards. My understanding is that, "under no circumstance are club personnel permitted to have physical contact with fans, or enter or attempt to enter the stands. ” History tends to side with Bettman- at least in so far as violence between players and fans.
But, is this really the "state of hockey" today?
Kaelon Lupton of Bleacher Report counters with, Rick Rypien Suspension Raises Questions Among NHL, Fans,
[Rugged Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien made his court appearance Friday (Oct. 22) and received a six-game suspension for pushing a fan, during an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Wild... Can we say overreaction? ...most people think six games is a joke, a weak punishment that laughs in the face of the NHL. The most recent six-game suspension was Sean Avery's, which he received for his Elisha Cuthbert-Dion Phaneuf controversy. So, assaulting a paying fan is equal to telling a "sex joke"? When you put it like that, it looks like the NHL dropped the ball on this one. Most people had anticipated anywhere from 10-20 games.”] Read More
Cooler heads prevail in the Vancouver media apparently. A sports headline which triumphantly states, NHL gets it right with Canuck Rick Rypien suspension: League commissioner Gary Bettman stunned the oddsmakers by refusing to overreact,
[For all the times the National Hockey League's ministry of justice is criticized for the ill-fitting suspensions it pulls out of its hat — or some mid-body aperture — to punish incidents requiring supplemental discipline, it behooves us to mention the odd time the league gets one right. Rick Rypien, meet King Solomon. He looks taller in the paintings, doesn't he?] Read More
My answer to Mr. Engquist's potential legal action...ummmm dude, let it go. If last Friday's Canuck's vs Wild score is any indication, good hockey is really defined by off ice preparation and motivation rather than on ice revenge.
Do I really have a problem with the deep-seated, ingrained, and old school leadership inside the NHL?
In case your wondering, the model ethic for professionalism in hockey was recently defined last winter in the 2010 Winter Olympic games... in Vancouver of all places. It's no surprise then as hockey moves forward, LET'S (both player and fan alike) all take notice.