January 27, 2014
You might say that wasn't very gallant of him.
It is de rigueur in hockey to expect stickwork and that not wielding the stick against a puck carrier is to be soft, but at the same time, there's going over the line. In a Maritime Hockey League game on Sunday, the Yarmouth Mariners' Colin Campbell had the puck on the power play when he was taken down by a two-handed hack across the shoulders by the Dieppe Commandos' Joslin Gallant.
Clearly, it was an easy enough mistake since Campbell was obviously carrying the puck shoulder high. (Warning, the audio is distorted so you might wish to turn the volume down on your device before playing the clip.)
Gallant received a major and game misconduct, although his Commandos went on to win the game 4-3. Point being, it's not that this necessarily predatory or pure malevolence. It was just a couple of planes above the acceptable amount of hacking that goes in a junior game. This is what another Maritime, the late great Danny Gallivan, was talking about when he said the NHL should call everything until the game is totally clean. Retaliatory penalties, fighting, are understandable; dirty plays that come from players being taught bad habits about controlling their sticks is more dismaying for the real hockey purist.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.