First off... I apologize for taking a two-day sabbatical following the end of the Rebels season. But there really wasn't much I could say that hadn't been said already. "The boys battled hard. Too many injuries. Damn, we missed the playoffs." Other than that, I had nothing lol.
Thankfully, the WHL issued a brief statement yesterday that provided plenty of fodder for talk around the water cooler last night and this morning...
"#WHL Suspension @EdmOilKings Henrik Samuelsson, two games for clipping major and g.m. at Red Deer on March 17"
You can view the footage courtesy of "Rebels This Week" (Kudos to Calvin for getting the exclusive, this is the only place to see the hit in question!)
When I saw the hit live on Saturday night, I thought the clipping major and game misconduct assessed to Samuelsson was appropriate (my view of the hit came from the end of the rink from behind Samuelsson, far to the left of the view shown on the video) and that supplementary discipline would also be in order. What I saw at the time was the Oil Kings forward drop down low to send Rebels Captain Adam Kambeitz flying head over heels through the air. I didn't like it. I even tweeted at the time that Henrik "took a page out of dad Ulf's playbook with a below the belt hipcheck."
But after having now viewed the video clip countless times (and from a new angle) I'm changing my opinion... somewhat. When compared to what we've seen happen with Mathew Dumba on multiple occasions this season, the hit likely deserved a minor penalty at worst. A major and a game misconduct, I suppose so. A two-game suspension now seems too much punishment in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for eliminating dangerous hits from hockey. But if you watch the clip closely you can see that Kambeitz adds to the danger by leaping into the hit. Had he remained on his feet, he likely does not get flipped up in the air like he did. The obvious good news is that Kambeitz was not injured on the play.
Anyhoo... those are my thoughts. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say. Here is another perspective from Guy Flaming, host of The Pipeline Show on The Team 1260 radio in Edmonton. He also did colour commentary for the game here on Saturday in which the hit took place.
Samuelsson's time with the Oil Kings has certainly been eventful. This marks the third time Samuelsson has been suspended this season. He was given one game for a charging major and game misconduct he received on January 15th in a game versus Calgary. He was also given a one game suspension for a kneeing major and game misconduct from a February 22nd game versus Kelowna. That's a lot of discipline considering Henrik only joined the Oil Kings in mid-January.
Peyton Manning is apparently after more than just another Superbowl ring.
Had he simply been "in it to win it" he would have made the choice to sign with the San Francisco 49ers, who out of his three finalists are clearly the team best-suited to win the Lombardi Trophy sooner than later.
Contrarily, had he chosen with his heart, Manning would have signed on to play with the Tennessee Titans. He is still very much revered in that state after his outstanding college career.
But in the end, he chose to become a Denver Bronco (thereby marking the end of Tebow Time in the Mile High City). What this tells me is that Manning was looking for a situation where he would have the most control over his situation, which is fair when that's what you've been used to for 14 seasons. In San Francisco, even though he would have had his best shot at "winning now" Manning would have been at the mercy of Jim Harbaugh... who is clearly in full control of the 49ers ship. Peyton would also have had to deal with the possibility of playing against brother Eli on the road to the Superbowl, something he also wanted to avoid. It also can't be understated just how well Manning and John Elway have hit it off over the past few days. Combining the minds of two of the very greatest quarterbacks to play the game will do nothing but wonders for the Broncos. Sorry, Tebow.