Ducks’ Wisniewski suspended for 8 games

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TORONTO (AP)—Anaheim Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski(notes) was suspended for eight games without pay Thursday for knocking Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook(notes) out of a game at Anaheim.

The incident occurred at 2:22 of the second period during the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss on Wednesday. Seabrook’s head struck the glass with such force that it left him with a dazed expression a couple of seconds before he fell to the ice. Wisniewski received a minor penalty for charging.

Neither coach Joel Quenneville nor general manager Stan Bowman would elaborate on the severity of Seabrook’s condition, or what tests he has undergone to check for a possible concussion.

The Blackhawks face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

“He’s got an upper-body injury right now. We’ll say day to day right now, but we don’t know more than that,” Quenneville said Thursday. “It was a very dangerous hit. I think that’s the worst kind of hit in the game—when you hit a guy without the puck. Guys are defenseless.”

Wednesday was the second game in a row that the Blackhawks lost a valuable member of their defense to a big hit.

On Sunday against Washington, three-time All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell(notes) was driven into the end boards from behind by NHL scoring leader and two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin(notes).

Campbell will miss seven to eight weeks because of the fractured collar bone and broken rib he sustained. Ovechkin received a two-game suspension for the play.

“I’m not comparing the two and the quantity of games. That’s not for me to decide,” Quenneville said. “I’m not so worried about that. I’m worried about Seebs. That’s what I’m worried about. We don’t have him tonight.”

Bowman also had little to say about the length of Wisniewski’s suspension compared to Ovechkin’s, saying: “The league’s job is to weigh all the factors, and they have a lot more experience in that stuff than I do. So you have to assume they did their homework and they came to that decision for the right reason.

“The league obviously looked at it and they think that’s the right number. But we’re just going to move forward. We’re not going to focus on that anymore. We’re more worried about Seabrook than Wisniewski.”

Wisniewski, who began his career with the Blackhawks before getting traded to the Ducks in March 2009, also was suspended for two games Oct. 31, 2009, and is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He will forfeit $268,292 in salary.

“Mr. Wisniewski delivered a retaliatory hit to the head of an opponent who never had possession of the puck,” said Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. “The fact that Mr. Wisniewski is a repeat offender also entered into this decision.”

Wisniewski will be eligible to return April 3 at Los Angeles.

“I am truly sorry that my friend Brent Seabrook was hurt on the play. I certainly wish him the best,” he said in a statement. “I am, however, very disappointed in the length of the suspension. Eight games is incredibly hard to swallow, especially in comparison to other recent hits that have resulted in lesser punishment.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman explained the reason for the suspension on his weekly radio show.

Speaking on the “NHL Hour With Gary Bettman,” the commissioner said Wisniewski’s hit on Seabrook during Wednesday night’s game was “completely different” from the one delivered by Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke(notes) earlier this month that left Boston forward Marc Savard(notes) with a Grade 2 concussion.

“In that case, unlike some of these others, there was no puck possession, the hitting involved rising up to make contact with the head, and so the circumstances gave rise to being able to punish what we have previously defined — long before this season—as illegal acts on the ice,” Bettman said.

“And that’s why the eight-game suspension.”

No matter how the league handles these incidents, Bowman said that the players have to police themselves so that they don’t occur with as much frequency as they have this season.

“There’s been a lot of talk about what the league going to do about it, but I think we have to start talking a little bit about the players,” Bowman said. “It would be one thing if the things that happened were legal plays. But as you see, these guys are getting suspended because they’re illegal plays.

“I mean, it seems like there’s been a lack of respect for each other. And that’s probably the bigger thing,” Bowman added. “Ultimately, the players are the ones who control these events. The league is here to deal with them once they happen. But in terms of stopping it, I think we’ve got to get a little bit of respect back in the game from player to player.”

Updated Mar 18, 11:38 pm EDT
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163 Comments

  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    15642310 Sat Mar 20, 2010 06:26 pm PDT Report Abuse
    WOW 8 games for this hit and 0 games for Cooke. Obviously we need to make this game a lot safer. No more fighting, more pads, put padding on the boards, make visors mandatory for every hockey player. Gary Bettman put these rules into action so i can enjoy the safe game of hockey. You @#$%ing dip@#$% learn what hits are over the top and what aren't.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Stanley Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:33 am PDT Report Abuse
    Do I understand that "PLAYERS HAVE TO POLICE THENSELVES'does that mean players get an O.K.to retaliate against the offenders?Around and around we go. Some solution.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Thomas Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:39 am PDT Report Abuse
    The league is getting carried away with the suspensions. Thats all I have to say.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Hates Cap-Lockers Sat Mar 20, 2010 09:51 am PDT Report Abuse
    How about suspending someone for the exact same amount of time that the injured player is unable to play after taking a hit with the intent to injure? So if a guy is knocked out for the season, then the offender, if he hit the guy completely illegally, is also out for the season. You can still make hits, just don't be dumb about it.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    breakinwind Sat Mar 20, 2010 08:20 am PDT Report Abuse
    Funny and yet very sad, you can tell who are who the very clueless 2007 Duck fans, they have the worse color and read a title and think their tough. Duck fans have no clue what hockey is. Remember they all joined in 2007, so they all they know is Hayward.. WORSE color ever and Fights.. Silly fans.. Wah wah oh he hit the POOR dirty Perry, really? It was a dirty hit, Duck fans need to LEARN about hockey before 2007 and Brian Hayward needs to shut it, all he does it create the dumb useless Duck fans.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    daywalker Sat Mar 20, 2010 08:20 am PDT Report Abuse
    ***I meant to say Perry's body left the ICE... LOL
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    daywalker Sat Mar 20, 2010 08:19 am PDT Report Abuse
    I'm getting soooo sick and tired of everyone saying the hit on Perry was legal.. No, it should have been a penalty on Seabrook, Perry's body left his feet, and his head went into the boards. If the ref would have called a penalty, then I doubt Wiz would have retaliated on his own... Unfortunately, it's been this way for the Ducks the past few years. They are a hard hitting team, yes, known for racking up the penalty minutes, yes. And so often, the refs seem to use that aggression against them. So many times I've seen opponents get away with penalties, only to have the Ducks retaliate and get one themselves. It happens to all teams, yes, but much more to the Ducks. Bottom Line: If you switch the jerseys on the initial hit on Perry, Ducks would have gotten a penalty....

    But in closing I'd like to say, to all those whining babbling babies out there... DO YOU REALLY WANT THE NHL TO TURN INTO THE NFL WHERE PLAYERS GET PENALTIES FOR TOUCHING AN OPPONENT WITH THEIR PINKY FINGER??? This is Hockey! Deal with it!
  • 4 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Shawnaldo Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:47 am PDT Report Abuse
    It was a dirty hit... but Seabrook should have expected someone to retaliate after his hit on Perry. You hit one of the other teams stars like that an expect to get away with it scott free? someone will be coming at you, pay attention.

    I think 8 games was a little much... 4 at most would have made sense. It's like the league gave him the games off Ovechkin and Cooke should have got. Seabrook will probably be back before Wisniewski's done his suspension. Marc Savard and Bryan Campbell are out for the season. The worst part is the track record Ovechkin and Cooke have... and they still get away with it.

    If the league wants to send a message to stop these hits...
    PUNISH 100% OF THE PLAYERS THAT DO IT!!!
    I dont know what Bettman and his pet Colin Campbell are thinking. Punishing a checking line player on a team not in the playoffs, but basically letting anyone on a contender team get away with murder.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Jay J Fri Mar 19, 2010 08:38 pm PDT Report Abuse
    The fact that Ovechkin is a repeat offender is different than Wisniewski being a repeat offender how? Different $$, different punishments. Yup, this'll fix the gooniness in hockey. Can you say hypocrisy
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Ashley M Fri Mar 19, 2010 07:47 pm PDT Report Abuse
    If Gary B. were REALLY serious "that the players have to police themselves"....then he would get rid of the dumb instigator rule. Players policed themselves great in the 80's, without all of these dumb policies that don't do a darn thing.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    Jared Fri Mar 19, 2010 05:41 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Look at the Seebs hit in slow motion and you see the hit is legal. No head shot and no boarding. Wiz and to come from the blue line and he never took his eyes off Seebs. He raises his stick in the air and clearly leaves his feet while aiming to hit the head. Last time I checked that has been an illegal hit for years. Iam all about protecting your players but that was malicious. You want to get back at him for the hit you do what 99% of the players do and either drop the gloves or knock him on his ass later in the game when its a clean and legal hit. I agree that his suspension should be more around 4-5 games. I would also like to see the official who only called a charging and not a misconduct suspended. The NHL does need more consistent rules for the players but where is this for the officials who call the games. Make them accountable and make it public.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Andy Fri Mar 19, 2010 05:35 pm PDT Report Abuse
    All I have to say is Bob Murray was the biggest @#$% when he played and also GM'd the Hawks. He didn't need to make his latest comments to confirm that fact. He was the worst choice by Bill Wirtz to run the organization and single handedly ran it into the ground before being booted out of town. Those were dark days for this Hawks fan and to be honest I'm really surprised he's still running around with any influence in this league.
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 9 users disliked this comment
    Brett Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:46 pm PDT Report Abuse
    White trash Wisniewski, knock all his teeth out and move to West Virginia. I am glad this trash is no longer a Blackhawk, what a dirty hit. And the moronic Duck fans, Seabrook's hit was clean by the rules, the guy had puck possession, Seabrook did not you dumbass California morons. We'de all be better is hockey was banned in the state and CA slid into the ocean with all the morons on it. Enjoy your off-season loser Ducks......
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    A Patient Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:42 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Where the heck is my comment about two morons, Campbell and Buttman?
    Yahoo, shame on you!
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Vance Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:36 pm PDT Report Abuse
    this is to hockey1rst,disgruntled,and apatient if your representive of ducks fans,then they deserve to be were they are (out of the playoffs) all three of you are grade a morons.............
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Anthony Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:34 pm PDT Report Abuse
    FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT HOCKEY...WIZ IS A DEFENSEMAN...WHO CHARGED FROM THE BLUE LINE TO HIT ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN BEHIND THE GOAL LINE.....WHICH CLEARLY SHOWS HE WAS TRYING TO HURT HIM.............if you know about hockey, you know that no defenseman should be behind the other teams goal line to make a hit
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 5 users disliked this comment
    hockey 1st Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:23 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Ove gets 2 for putting someone out for 2 months because he's a superstar and Wis gets 8 games for that little hit, it was pretty clear Seabrook sold that one , but no one ispaying any attention to his hit just before, wow ,he should appeal because the punishment doesn.t fit the crime..
  • 4 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 6 users disliked this comment
    Disgruntled Fri Mar 19, 2010 04:01 pm PDT Report Abuse
    That wasnt that dirty of a hit, what a joke. Bettman is a freakin retard. The Blackhawks suck anyway.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Eric P Fri Mar 19, 2010 03:53 pm PDT Report Abuse
    If you did something like that on the streets, and there was a video of it, you'd be in prison for sure.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    Eric P Fri Mar 19, 2010 03:51 pm PDT Report Abuse
    The solution is simple. Charge the goon with assault and put him in jail for half a year.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    fracs Fri Mar 19, 2010 03:17 pm PDT Report Abuse
    This is to A Parent... apparently the only way wiz could hit that "poor stupid Chicago fellow" was to wait until he didnt have the puck to hit him. Apparently he's not man enough to do it when hes got the puck... but I guess thats Anaheim for ya bunch of Sissy's!
  • 4 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    A Patient Fri Mar 19, 2010 02:47 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Campbell and Buttman should be both run into the boards by Wiz or someoneelse...
    They screw up the game, allow unfair judging...
    NHL is suffering because of the two idiots.

    Wiz was wrong too, though, to try to injure that poor stupid Chicago fellow.
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 7 users disliked this comment
    Vance Fri Mar 19, 2010 01:44 pm PDT Report Abuse
    wisniewski is a gutless wonder,and i dont want to hear that crap that it was a chest hit,it was a head hit all the way. a deliberate attempt to injure,and that creep has the nerve to act like hes concerned about seabrook,and what is an eight game suspension,big deal,the nhl has rocks in its head for being so tolerant with bums like this.goons like this should be kicked out of the league,all they do is hurt the game......
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment
    toneloc71 Fri Mar 19, 2010 01:21 pm PDT Report Abuse
    OKay the hit on perry was good clean hit , James Wisniewski hi twas cheap from loser player he came off his skate hit. WHen played for the Hawks I had respect for him know I don,t ANd walt dis team know the @#$% caoch of weiner if that was one of his player like karya or perry he would be crying . THey should lost the Refof NHL a so bad it dirty play and when sopel was waiting for puck to come he ws cheep shot the buck was even there and they one if that what the nhl about cheater i not going to watch the DUck are loser and shoul be kick out
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    willy w Fri Mar 19, 2010 01:17 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Yea NHL. Take the hitting out of the game and turn it into the NBA. That will work.

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