Sunday, September 30, 2007

My solution to the Steve Downie situation: keep him "up"

As predicted, the Philadelphia Flyers have reacted to the 20-game suspension by sending Downie to the AHL, where he may or may not be banned for the term depending on review. Recently Chelsea were brought up by the Football Association for a charge of "failing to control their players" and it strikes me that the Flyers are getting off pretty lightly here. Downie was playing pre-season under an existing suspension after all, not to mention a well known series of other incidents starting with an on-ice finale to an off-ice hazing ritual.

Indeed, the OHL and Hockey Canada might have their own case to answer on how Downie got in his current situation, since his former coach claims to have recommended Downie be told to enter counselling but nothing came of it.

So what's the solution? If a player receives a suspension, even in pre-season, he may not be released, traded or sent down for the duration of the suspension, and while pay could be docked it could not be counted against the cap. This would impact the teams roster spots and cap room and make them think twice about how they advise their tough-guys trying to make the team.
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