NHL Canadian Corner – September 24, 2013.

Don Cherry defends Phil Kessel, Max Pacioretty leads Habs to preseason victory over the Devils, Zack Kassian suspended eight games, plus the latest on the Senators, Oilers, Jets and Flames.

Phil Kessel (right) faces suspension for slashing Sabres enforcer John Scott.

Phil Kessel (right) faces suspension for slashing Sabres enforcer John Scott.

TORONTO SUN: Hockey Night in Canada star Don Cherry defended the stick-swinging of Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel in defending himself against hulking Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott. Cherry said he was surprised Scott tried to fight the smaller Kessel, saying it violated the enforcer’s “code”. While saying he didn’t agree with Kessel’s second slash and acknowledged the league will deal with it, Cherry said he understood it. “The guy is 6-foot-8 so what he is supposed to do?” said Cherry. “At 5-foot-10 or (5-foot)-11, Kessel did the right thing by not fighting him.”

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier explained his participation in the Sabres-Leafs brawl on Sunday when he tangled with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel has a hearing with the league slated for today. He received a match penalty for his actions and could receive a couple of more games. He has no suspension history, which could work in his favor.

MONTREAL GAZETTE/LA PRESSE: Max Pacioretty scored twice to help the Canadiens edge the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in what was considered a “lackluster match”.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Milan Michalek and goalie Craig Anderson are taking “maintenance days” but are expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. Both players missed significant time last season to injuries.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks thumped the visiting Phoenix Coyotes 6-1 in preseason play. They did so without Zack Kassian and Dale Wiese. Kassian was suspended 8 games (three preseason, five regular season) for injuring Oilers center Sam Gagner by recklessly swinging his stick, while Wiese is suspended three games for an illegal hit to the head of Oilers center Taylor Hall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner recently tweeted the gruesome aftermath of Kassian’s stick massage to his jaw. He’s sidelined until November.

WINNIPEG SUN: Edmonton Oilers edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: A three-year contract has taken pressure off Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome.

EDMONTON SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: In the aftermath of losing Sam Gagner to injury the Oilers beefed up their roster by claiming enforcer Steve MacIntyre off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is MacIntyre’s third tenure with the Oilers.

CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN: A strong performance against the NY Rangers has likely solidified the starter’s role for Flames goalie Karri Ramo, backstopping the Flames to a 4-1 win over the Blueshirts.


  1. John Scott wanted to “fight” Kessel? It takes 2 ta tango and Phil obviously didnt want to fight Scott so at that point it becomes Scott was going to assault Kessel. The poke at the end of it was uncalled for but the hacks to the shin gaurds was to keep a far bigger man away from him. Last few preseason games is plenty for a suspension. Clarksons bone head move probably atleast costs the Leafs Franson due to the need to probably sign or call up another forward eating more cap space. On a side note kind of ironic that the day Clarkson can come back (October 25) is Wendel Clark’s birthday…lol

    • Hey Shticky

      your right about Clarkson and Kessel ….BUT… Franson cost Franson !

      He had a great year last year but we have a pleathra of deep quality D men that have shown up at camp and excelled ….Franson should have taken the deal …hes been sitting out from his own choice, he wasnt locked out !
      I like Franson he is great from the point and he has developed into a top 4 D man and deserves the money but its not there until the Leafs can make a move !

      I think this Clarkson & Franson thing is actually a really good thing because I want to see more of Ashton and Devane up front and Reilly on the back end !

      The Canucks have 2 solid rookie players in Horvat and Shinkarik they should get into the line up this year …they need a youth injection !

      • F Y I …..Craig MacTavish just did the best thing he could for his star players in getting Macintyre …they have been getting beat up the last few years they need space to play !!

        The game will never change that way …..so all these wishers to get that out the game give it a rest …because as soon as you take it out …as they say the rats run the ship and will take advantage of star players !

      • If you look at the mill they used to sign Raymond leaves around 900k McClaren wont be ready to go for the start of regular season Clarkson suspended and depending on Kessels status and if Orr is good to go they could be down to 10 forwards thus having to bring a guy or 2 up which will eat up whats left of the cap. Baring any moves of course but even then dosent leave much room for Franson.

    • Kessel should have shut his mouth. You can see him yapping at Scott non stop. When Scott came at him, Kessel turtled, and swung his stick like a baseball bat.

      I think the rest of the preseaon, plus 3 games in the regular season is not enough, but I think that is what he will get.

      I don’t care about the “code”. Kessel was being a mouthy idiot, and Scott had had enough. How much blame goes to Carlyle?

      • Quite a bit what are you thinking moment putting that line out when you see whats out there…least have Bodie line up on that side I mentioned that yesterday that was as much a mistake as Clarkson jumping in.

      • Tell that to Marchand Cooke and half the other mouthy idiots in the league, there was no turtling he backed away Scott kept coming so be whacked him a couple times watch many games? It happens lots….

        • Not like Kessel did.

          If that was Rinaldo from Philly, we would be talking 10 + game suspension.

          Kessel backed down and fled like a chicken. Scott lined up for the faceoff.

          Kessel is easily as much to blame as Scott for this issue.

    • Kessel is a big mouthed idiot.
      Kessel should have shut his mouth. You can see him yapping at Scott non stop. When Scott came at him, Kessel turtled, and swung his stick like a baseball bat.

      I think the rest of the preseaon, plus 3 games in the regular season is not enough, but I think that is what he will get.

      I don’t care about the “code”. Kessel was being a mouthy idiot, and Scott had had enough. How much blame goes to Carlyle?

  2. I know I’m going against a strong headwind as this site is full of Leafs fans (an no I don’t hate the Leafs), but Kessel ends up looking bad after all of this and deserves a suspension of more than a game or two. If you review the footage, it went like this:

    – Scott says something to Kessel
    – Kessel raises on hand toward Scott
    – Scott drops the gloves and goes after Kessel
    – Kessel backs off and chops Scott
    – Another Leafs player engages Scott and Clarkson comes off the bench
    – Kessel skates behind Scott and chops him again
    – Kessel then manages to lock up with a guy smaller than him and suddenly wants to fight
    – After the goalie fight Scott is tied up with a Leafs’ player AND a referee. Kessel goes over and spears/slashes him (albeit lightly) and says something to him and acts like he wants to go with him. The refs have to push Kessel away.

    I don’t have a problem with the first slash, but I do have a problem with the second one. I also have a problem with Kessel skating over and acting like a tough guy when Scott is tied up with a Leafs player and a Referee.

    And before you attack this post, ask yourself if Sakic, Yzerman, or Gretzky would have done what Kessel did if say Tony Twist would have done what Scott did. They might have given him an initial “get the f..k away from me” slash, but they certainly wouldn’t have waited until he was tied up and skated around behind him and chopped him in the back of the legs. And they certainly wouldn’t have gone over and speared him and talked sh.t while he was tied up by another teammate and a ref.

    • Everyone would be singing a different tune if Chara grabbed Toews with the intent of pounding the piss out of him.

      • Chiara took advantage of Crosbys freshly broken jaw in the playoffs and punched him square in the mouth and Crosby took it and was silent there after in the playoffs …..players don’t have to take the abuse and you have to defend yourself to how you see fit to survive …love how we all sit here and say this and say that ..however if any of us were confronted by a 6 foot 8 270 pound guy id say we would all be looking for something to grab and defend ourselves with and if you say you wouldn’t you are just flat out lying …its not just a HOCKEY thing its a personal survival thing …SORRY !

        I have not been a defendant of Kessel for the past 2 years here and have taken a lot of abuse by seasoned posters on that topic …but he did what he had to do !

        • You can try to defend it anyway you want – the video speaks volumes

          • And the blind see what they see.

          • Hey ..Hi …..Ron Less ….oppps….. Iam mean Moore

    • JD, I have the same problem. Scott may have said something about “Jumping Kessel” but he had his stick ready for the faceoff, Kessel then put his hand on Scott.. What bothers me about this whole scenario is that Scott was on the ice and Carlyle opted to put a “scoring line” out on the ice – why not a 4th line? Also, after Kessels initial chop he skated away and then came back – not once, but at least twice. While the spear wasn’t hard, the intent was there and the intent on the chop was there.

      Kassian received 8 games for his “accidental” reckless use of his stick – Kessel deserves twice that for his purposeful intent. There can be no excuse and the idea that chopping at Scott’s legs was a defensive move is BS – Kessel could have skated away. What is also telling is the fact that Kessel then found a smaller guy to fight with and then went back to Scott for the spear.

      • lol he isnt getting more then 5 games including preseason (phone hearing) I bet. No jaws were broken and goalies chop guys every game, the swings wasnt above the waist or knee for that matter and Like it or not injuries add to the severity of the punishment accident or not.

      • I think the whole point is missed simply because we are dumbly fixated on slashes. I like fights in hockey when it means something. Like if two good hockey players decide to drop the gloves and take out each others frustrations out on them fine, they are hockey players battling. What the anti-fighters (at least I hope so) are more against the stupid staged fights that DO NOT involve hockey players. Scott is such a person. He is not by any means a hockey player: 180 games played, 5 points! However he excels at collecting penalty minutes like a champ with 305 to date. On the flip side of the match up we have Kessel and let’s face it, a top ten player in the league.
        How exactly can you condemn what Kessel did? He could of chopped higher but it was obvious he wanted to trip up Scott as he was in the process of being attacked by a goon through and through who happens to be twice your size. Also the goon was doing his role, a staged fight at the puck drop, this time he picked on a star player. You’re not supposed to do last I checked.

        I bet had it been anyone of us in Kessel’s situation, and having been in a few myself, I would of done the same but I would of also swung higher.

        PS that ‘smaller’ player that Kessel cowardly sought out and fought… actually I recall that player engaging with Kessel, a player with no previous history of scraps, at began fighting him to which surprisingly Kessel kicks his ass. I don’t see how again there is a problem with that. I mean are you pissed that Kessel wasn’t assaulted? It sure sounds like it.

        • The funny thing here is that I get roasted for pouncing on Kessel and wanting him to be traded for the past 2 years for being a soft player now I get roasted for sticking up for him when he finally acts back and defends himself….

          LMFAO …you guys are all hilarious !!! …PICK a side and stick to it !

          I dont want Kessel at $8 million a year and still stand my ground on that.

          As for what Kessel did thats Hockey !!!

          All you guys talk as if this is the first time this has ever happened in a big brawl like this …man o man !!!

          I think this will galvinate the Leafs and they are still angry from game 7 and I DO HOPE THEY PLAY WITH A CHIP ON THERE SHOULDERS ALL YEAR !!


          GO LEAFS GO !!!

  3. That little coward Kessel should get 20 games as he deliberately tried to injure another player. I could care less if Scott was not injured. All the little coward had to do was drop the gloves and stick up for himself like 90% of the league does.

    In his defense he says Scott said he was going to jump him, so now you can ATTACK someone with your stick beacuse they scare you. Watch the video again Kessel is the first one to lay his hands on Scott. For years Kessel has lived under this stupid code that “skilled” players are untouchable and they can do as they please with no repercussions at all. That is garbage, hockey is a mans game and if you want to run your mouth you better be able to back it up YOURSELF!

    I hope when they play again in November Scott finishes the job this time!

    • If he wanted to hurt him you dont think he would chop him a little higher up around the ears perhaps? he hit him in the leg where there is probably the most protection.

    • Drop the gloves with a guy with 60plus lbs and 7 inches…90 % of the league you say ok

      • Its been mentioned on here previously but lets take it in a little different direction what you think the reaction is if McClaren or Orr was to try that nonsense with Parise Crosby Stamkos or someone along those lines? All the haters would be screaming about how the Leafs are nothing but a talent less team of thugs coached by some goon coach. But hey Kessel must be a big mouth and deserved it? Ridiculous

    • Remind me what exactly did Kessel do to provoke Scott to jump him? Really Kessel is the bad guy here? You guys are lame.

  4. Scott should not have gone after Kessel… Then again with last change.. Carlyle should not have had Kessel on the ice when he saw that Scott was on there.

    IMO — Kessel gets nothing. Shanahan isn’t going to suspend 2 TML players at the same time. I know one was by a rule (Clarkson)… but with the ‘no record’ situation for Kessel– they let him off.

    • Kessel had 18 minutes in penalties last year !

      Hardly a Donald Brashear ….LMAO

  5. “SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel has a hearing with the league slated for today. He received a match penalty for his actions and could receive a couple of more games. He has no suspension history, which could work in his favor.”

    didn’t make much difference to Kassian…first time offender…and he didn’t get a match penalty either. He got 8 games…Kessel TML…maybe 2 :-)

  6. so 3 preseason games for a 2 deliberate 2 handed slashes (and a spear) and 8 games for an errant high stick … looks like Shanahan is in mid-season form already. i don’t care if they’re going to be heavy handed with the suspensions this year as long as they’re consistent, the way they’ve decided on suspensions you’d swear there was a WWF referee involved.