In a true case of unfortunate timing, Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith was injured while playing for the IceHogs in Rockford on Friday night. The team’s leading goal scorer injured his hand and missed Saturday night’s game in Milwaukee due to the injury.
It is not known at this point how long Smith will be out of action.
Over his last 25 games, Smith has posted 12 goals, 12 assists to go with a plus-5 rating. His season total of 15 goals are one better than that of Martin St. Pierre, the IceHogs overall leading scorer.
On Monday, the AHL announced its decision to suspend Rockford IceHogs third-year defenseman Shawn Lalonde 3 games for his actions in last Friday (Nov 16) night’s game against the Houston Aeros in Rockford.
Lalonde’s suspension is result of an illegal check to the head on Aeros’ defenseman Steven Kampfer. The incident took place at 9:40 of the second period in Friday night’s game while the Aeros were on the power play.
There was no penalty called on the play by either of the two referees, Joe Sullivan and Jean Hebert.
The hit temporarily knocked Kampfer unconscious and Kampfer was eventually stretchered off the ice and taken to a Rockford hospital where he was evaluated and released the next day. Read more »
First off, the Blackhawks have indicated that Brent Seabrook will play tonight in Pittsburgh when Chicago meets the injury-plagued Penguins.
NHL head of discipline Brendan Shanahan suspended Calgary Flames’ winger Rene Bourque two games for his check from behind on Brent Seabrook in Sunday’s game at United Center.
Bourque, a close friend of Seabrook’s, drove the Blackhawks’ defenseman head first into the glass along the boards inside Chicago’s zone with 4:35 remaining in the opening period of a 4-2 Hawks victory.
Seabrook appeared to be momentarily knocked out after his head was driving into the glass just above the boards, the area of the glass with the least give. Seabrook was able to get up under his own power and skate off the ice, but he was ruled out of the game by Blackhawks doctors during the first intermission.
Seabrook has had two known concussion in the past 21 months. The most recent, came on the brutal hit Raffi Torres threw on Seabrook behind the Blackhawks’ net during Game 3 of the 2011 opening round playoff series with Vancouver. Read more »
As you’d imagine, Quenneville is a controlled irate and angling for major disciplinary action on the Wings’ Brendan Smith, a prospect who may not make Detroit’s opening night roster. On the other hand, Babcock is doing his best to defend his player while not coming off as a blind fool. Most won’t like what Babcock has to say, but I’d hold judgement until something like this again happens to one of his players.
While its impossible to say for sure considering this is the NHL, there should be some degree of supplementary discipline stemming from this hit.
As you can see, Brendan Smith makes only a veiled attempt at a pokecheck before launching himself into the drifting Hawks’ forward. Aside from the reckless endangerment of Ben Smith, the Wings’ Brendan Smith makes the porous all-or-nothing defensive decision (in the 3rd period of a 3-3 hockey game moments after losing the lead) in the event he missed his shoulder block attempt, would have allowed the Hawks’ rookie in unabated to Detroit’s goal.
While the league heedlessly focuses their sole attention and new regulation on head shots (while very important its missing the larger triggering issue) the cause of most of these unfortunate collisions are players ignoring the puck to take a run at their opponent. Whether the head becomes a point of contact or not shouldn’t make the play any less of a punishable offense. When two players come together – one who is playing the puck, the other is not – bad things can happen. The one who is (the one playing hockey) is at the complete mercy of the player who has disregarded his defensive responsibility for the sake of the highlight film check or worse, and you’re a fool if you don’t believe this goes on, injuring his opposing player. Any part of the body is at risk, the head, neck, back, knees.
Ben Smith missed a month of last year’s AHL season (Jan 8 – Feb 8th) with a concussion, one that coincidentally occurred against Grand Rapids, the Red Wings’ affiliate. Brendan Smith missed that contest with a knee injury. Ben Smith was set for a possible return a of couple weeks later when he was struck in the face with a puck during a practice, injuring him and re-aggravating the concussion. So, depending on how you want to look at it, this is either Ben Smith’s second, or third concussion in the past nine months.