Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Eric Cairns gets Stupid in the UK

New York Islanders defenseman/enforcer Eric Cairns is in some serious trouble after attacking a referee during a recent British Elite Ice Hockey League game.
The Canadian report of the incident doesn’t make it seem like that big of a deal.
Cairns, a six-foot-six defenceman who is playing with the EIHL's London Racers during the NHL lockout, lost his cool when he was called for slashing in the first period of a March 23 game against the Coventry Blaze. According to the Coventry Evening Telegraph, the Oakville, Ont., native chased referee Andy Carson around the ice and was given a match penalty, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension.
Is it the Mad Cow disease getting to him? I know Cairns isn't the brightest light in the chandalier...but c'mon!

According to a posting on hockeyrefs.com, the actual incident was more troubling than simply chasing a ref around the ice:

While enroute to the penalty box, the enforcer verbally “expressed” his objections to Carson's call. Cairns then lost control and physically attacked Carson - slashing him once in the legs and once on the arms.

After allegedly assaulting Carson, Cairns refused to leave the ice surface - despite pressure from teammates and linesman Tom Darnell - and proceeded to initiate a bench clearing fight that included a tilt with fellow NHLer Wade Belak, who's playing for the Blaze.

How long would you figure Cairns would be suspended for such lunacy? There hasn’t been anything more formal than the one-game suspension, but various sources suspect it could be a year-long suspension.
Numerous reports - including on the EIHL website forum - have indicated that the NHLer will be suspended for the remainder of this season and all of next. The suspension would have little impact though, as North American leagues tend not to honour bans from their counterparts in Europe.
Turnabout is fair play, I guess... Alex Perezhogin was handed a length suspension for a nasty slashing incident last season while with the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Russian Super League didn’t give any credence to that ruling and basically spat in the face of the AHL.

If the NHL starts up, I would like to see them show a little class and actually uphold any suspension handed to a player like Cairns. Of course, given the level of class shown by the NHL in their negotiating tactics, I wouldn’t expect Cairns to have trouble finding employment somewhere in North America next season...NHL or no NHL.

One last quote kind of irked me:

Racers owner Roger Black explained the incident to the Ottawa Sun by blaming
(the referee) Carson.

“Unfortunately, the refs are not of a sufficient standard over here,” he said. “Basically they lose control of games.”

Ahh yes, the old ‘blame the victim’ defence. I’m sure it Carson’s fault that Cairns assaulted him, just like it was Nicole Simpson’s fault that O.J. sliced her up like roast lamb.

If I throw a pie in the face of Roger Black, it’s simply his fault for being such a moron. Am I right or what?

Extraleague Update

Hame Zlin avoided the knock-out punch yesterday and defeated hungry Vitkovice 5-2 on home ice. Vitkovice scored the first two goals, but then Zlin fought back with 5 straight goals as the aggressive Vitkovice squad just couldn’t’ stay out of the damn penalty box. The series now returns to Ostrava with Vitkovice ahead 3-2.

Crazy Jaroslav Balastik made his pool owners happy with a goal and 18 penalty minutes while Marek Malik channeled the powers of Andy Delmore and finished with a game-worst -3 rating.

Over in Slovakia, Slovan Bratislava took a 3-2 series lead over Dukla Trencin with a 4-3 victory today. Zdeno “Crybaby” Ciger had 1 goal and 2 assists and Miroslav Satan had 2 assists in a winning cause while Marian Hossa had to leave the game for 10 minutes as his ankle is seemingly acting up once again.

Yesterday also saw HKm Zvolen win the fourth and deciding game by a 4-2 score. The Handzus-Orszagh-Zednik line was rather quiet (again) with just 1 of Zvolen’s 4 goals. Maybe they are just saving all of their offence for the final series against either Dukla or Slovan.

Sounds more like the Barry Bonds excuse than anything. "it's the media's fault" classic excuse. At least it's a fairer comparison to this ugly incident instead of outright murder.
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