November 09, 2009
(Update 1:38 p.m. EST -- Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that Glencross receives three games for the following hit. That's a statement from the NHL on this stuff, for sure.)
"Why is the Drury hit and injury being pretty much ignored? It has not gotten an ounce of the attention the head shots have gotten over the past few weeks. So, question is why the lack of coverage on this one?"
Keith's not alone in asked where the outrage is over this hit, which gave Drury a concussion. (The Rangers are pretty devastated up the middle right now, with Drury concussed and Brandon Dubinsky(notes) out at least three weeks with a broken hand.) He didn't have the puck, Glencross hit a guy with a history of concussions and the Flames player wasn't even penalized.
John Tortorella thought it was worth a 5-minute major and wants more justice. Both the Rangers and Flames media relations offices told us this morning they hadn't heard about any supplemental discipline from the NHL, but Blueshirt Banter isn't expecting retribution:
I'm just guessing here but I would say that Glencross will get a one game suspension, maybe three if he's unlucky. That can't be the case, especially if the NHL wants to put an end to hits to the head. Suspend him for 10 games, maybe more, give him something to think about. Make a real statement. A one game suspension truly doesn't even constitute as a slap on the wrist, it's just "required rest."
But to speak to the original point: Where's the outrage?
The lack of it for this debilitating hit on a very good player is, we think, twofold:
1. Aesthetics. This isn't a hit that went viral. The available video doesn't provide the gasp-worthy moments of the Mike Richards(notes) hit on David Booth(notes) or the Rob Scuderi(notes) cartwheel check on Jason Chimera(notes). Drury walked woozily to the dressing room instead of leaving on a stretcher. Unfair as it is, it's the difference between a hockey injury and a moment of cultural outrage.
2. Fatigue. Face it, we've been inundated with questionable hits and significant injuries in the first month of the season. Plus, the "hits to the head" debate has reached what Mike Milbury colorfully termed "the point of nausea."
While it's not in our nature to agree with Mad Mike, he's right: There's only so much outrage fans can muster seemingly every week for these incidents. Plus, when something as horrific and controversial as Ben Fanelli/Michael Liambas sucks the air of the room for a week, the magnitude of Drury's injury is diminished.
This isn't to say the injury or the incident are insignificant; based on recent history, the NHL will probably give Glencross something for the hit, whether it's warranted or not. (And it's a borderline call, as Drury looked to be ready to accept a pass and Glencross wasn't exactly headhunting.)
It's to say that the last few weeks have been so littered with rough stuff, it takes more than a concussion behind the play to elicit a strong reaction these days. Which speaks volumes about how dreadfully injurious this season has been.