Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Junior and College players copy cat NHL stars

It doesn't look like hockey players at any level are learning lessons from dangerous hits and lengthy suspensions. Take your pick from the NHL from the non spendable hits from Mike Richards on David Booth or Matt Cooke on Marc Savard to the Maxime Lapierre cheap shot on Scott Nichol which earned him a 4 game suspension and just 2 days ago Alexander Ovechkin running Brian Campbell from behind that has him watching for 2 games. All 4 hits were dangerous and has the hockey world buzzing about changes to the rules.

However it's not just the pro's who are playing reckless on the ice. Mike Liambas and Patrice Cormier were both suspended for the remainder of their OHL and QMJHL seaons respectively for head shots. Marco Scandella and Zack Kassian were also benched by their leagues, and on the weekend two more scary hits, one in the QMJHL and another in the NCAA.

First to the Q which isn't yet rivalling the old wild Western Hockey League, but it's getting scary. Moncton's Scott Trask drilled Aidan Kelly of Saint John on Sunday in the last game of the regular season, a game that Trask's Wildcats won 5-2.

Trask is a rookie with Moncton and doesn't appear to have a very dirty past (if someone thinks differently let me know, but I couldn't find any ink on him that paints him as a cheap short artist etc) as he only has 64 penalty minutes this year in 46 games. Word is Kelly, a 17 year old with just 19 QMJHL games under his belt, is out with a concussion. Trask was suspended indefinitely by the league and my guess is won't play again this season. This hit to me is worse then Scandella's and not as bad as Cormier's so there is a chance it could carry into next season.

Now to the NCAA where North Dakota was taking on Minnesota in the WCHA first round. It's game 3 of the best of 3 and Matt Frattin has been red hot for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux with 9 goals in 10 games. However he's been suspended one game after he bowled over Golden Gopher Kevin Wehrs.

I'm wondering if one game is enough for the Edmonton product who played in Fort Saskatchewan before heading to UND and is a Leaf prospect. At one point on the replay, Frattin's right foot is above where the boards meets the glass, so it's obvious to me that he left the ice. I can't tell on the broadcast, but I have read he skated from centre ice. Wehrs didn't return to the game after the hit. Frattin will sit out UND's game vs. Duluth Thursday.

I made the analogy last week that while players on the ice aren't learning, we've all been in some kind of situation where we keep doing something wrong. Many times I've had to much to drink and suffered the consequences, but yet the next weekend I'm cracking open a nice cold Club beer. So maybe the end result is that hockey players, like me after my hangover clears, will never learn.

As for tonight, Guy and I will speak with Oiler prospects Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry about their future. Also our 2010 draft prospect is Charlie Coyle a forward playing junior hockey in eastern U.S.A. Phoenix prospect Kyle Turris will stop by to talk about how getting demoted this year might just be the best thing for his career. Former Winnipeg Jet Danton Cole is now coaching Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA team that has no conference to play in next year but are bound for the NCAA tournament after winning the CHA tournament over the weekend. Rogers Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino will break down the OHL playoffs and Brian Costello of The Hockey News will discuss their FUTURE WATCH issue that's out now.

If you have a question or thought for us or any of our guests, drop us a line pipeup@theteam1260.com. 7-9 PM MST on the TEAM 1260 in Edmonton or online www.thepipelineshow.com.

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