January 25, 2009
The controversy that seems to follow Kyle Beach made another appearance this week as the Chicago Blackhawks prospect took his sweet time on an empty-net breakaway and set off a brawl between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League on Tuesday night.
As Beach was skating all alone upon the empty net, he slowed up between the circles, looked back and then fired the puck into the net, capping off a 7-5 win for the Hurricanes.
Somewhere, Patrik Stefan is jealous of Beach's ability to put the puck into an empty net.
In case you were wondering, that's Dick Gibson, the radio color analyst for Lethbridge, who found the events to be "garbage, garbage, garbage". The aftermath of his comments during the melee along with something else he said post-game, is why he's since been taken off air and later received a tongue-lashing by Kelowna Rockets radio broadcaster Regan Bartel on his blog:
"I will admit I was embarrassed when watching the YouTube video of a line brawl that erupted following Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Kyle Beach scoring an empty netter against the Medicine Hat Tigers Wednesday night.
I wasn't so much embarrassed by the on-ice conduct, but more so by what was being said on the audio portion of that video.
To hear what was coming out of the color analyst's mouth during that altercation made me feel ill. Where was the professionalism? Where was the control? Where was the analytical side of what was happening out on the ice other than becoming 'a fan' and firing verbal barbs at the opposition?"
I take it Bartel hasn't listened to some of the announcers currently on the radio or television side for some National Hockey League clubs.
The end result of things had three Lethbridge players and one Medicine Hat player suspended, as well as the Hurricanes being fined for having players leave the bench during the fight. Beach, who's received comparisons to Sean Avery for his ability to be an agitator, was not disciplined.
If not for the Medicine Hat player and Buffalo Sabres prospect Tyler Ennis throwing his stick in Beach's direction, the Blackhawks first-round pick in last June's NHL Entry Draft might have had time to throw on some sunglasses and hat complete with Canadian flag a la Alexander Ovechkin.
h/t to Nathan over at The World of Junior Hockey for the find.