Unless the penalties are severe, this will continue to escalate. I don't think anyone wants that.
Conboy And Tropp Should Be Gone, Period
Back on the Kampfer thing: we should set an expectation for punishments. I've obsessively read every comment on every message board and every article on the incident and it appears the general consensus is that both players should come in for heavy discipline but probably won't. Certainly Comley's immediate reaction in the aftermath is a step in that direction.
That's not acceptable. Any suspension that only covers games in the rest of Michigan State's lost season is a joke. State is 7-15-3 and in last place in the league. Their season is already over. Skipping a series of beatings from Alaska and Bowling Green and UNO is hardly punishment. On Sunday I said that both should be gone from the CCHA forever, and I still think that. Corey Tropp's lack of a past history means nothing when we're dealing with an incident of this severity. If he wants to play hockey he can try to find some other program willing to ice him or he can play in juniors somewhere. If he wants to stay at Michigan State he can do that. He can't do both. He's forfeited the privilege of playing in the CCHA; if he wants a second chance he's welcome to it somewhere else. Andrew Conboy's actions, while not quite as mortifying, are part of a pattern of misbehavior. He should also be gone.
This goes double because the NCAA has a ban on fighting. If you're going to maintain a ban on fighting you have to come down even harder on these incidents because players have a more limited ability to self-police. If college hockey is serious about protecting its players it must take action.
The CCHA has a choice here: either state unequivocally that these actions are totally unacceptable, or set the stage for an all-out brawl between Michigan and Michigan State next year. At the very least neither player should ever set foot on the ice against Michigan again, and I'll be dissatisfied with anything other than outright dismissal.
We should know the league's decision by Friday.
On the postgame incident. The Daily all but confirms the widespread internet rumor about the identity of the Michigan fan in the locker room:
The player ejected from yesterday's game — which, according to the box score, was Spartan forward Corey Tropp — was in the visitor's locker room and a 48-year-old man from Jackson, Mich. went in and confronted him.
"We had a parent come crashing into the locker room and fight my player," Michigan State coach Rick Comley told the State News.
Parent + Jackson, Michigan = Kampfer. As for the severity, let's just say it didn't warrant a trip to the hospital:
“I heard him tell the officer that he did grab Tropp by the jersey, and they were also holding each other and yelling at each other,” a person in the room during the questioning, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press on the matter, said.
A Yost Built commenter says "I heard from a prominent michigan media member Saturday night, that Tropp will not press charges. If the DA is going to press charges then it is just serves to bring attention to the university." Take it FWIW, obviously.
He advised that Mark Mitera is doing very well and skating. Pearson offered this info up unsolicited, and said Mitera is “coming along very nicely. He looks great, he looks great. He’s probably a couple weeks away still..” Pearson added his return is a “real possibility”.
A couple weeks would put him on the ice for UNO series and give him nearly a full month on the ice before the playoffs roll around. Even if that projection is optimistic by two weeks, Mitera would still get a tuneup weekend against Ferris State before the CCHA playoffs… and he'd skate on senior night. He would, in all likelihood, be full-bore for the NCAA tourney.
Also, black shirt/shiny white tie combo? Corey, the Regis Philbin look is so 2001.
What is it with MSU hockey players and black shirts? These guys blew what will probably be their only lifetime opportunity to wear business clothes.
the AD to express my love of hockey and the UM/MSU rivalry therein, my disgust with the incident, blah blah blah, but while not calling for specific action, I stressed that "severe, harsh, difficult steps" must be taken to restore MSU's reputation as a respectable hockey school. And if he or Comley acts in a soft manner, the public will be justified in viewing the actions of Tropp and Conboy as indicative of the whole university's character and integrity. He has a chance to show some class here and act before the CCHA or NCAA step in, or EPIC FAIL. There is no middle ground with an incident this reprehensible.
I coach Pee Wee hockey (11 and 12 year olds) and any player in our league would be GONE from the league forever if they did what Tropp did. I think if the Pee Wee league can get it right then a league where strong adults can do far more damage can get it right.
Tom Anastos, the CCHA commissioner who will review this case, was a four-year letter winner at Michigan State.
This was far worse than a fight and even the NHL is having second thoughts about fighting:
"The impetus for change came when Ontario senior men's league player Don Sanderson fell into a coma after striking his head on the ice during a fight and later died. It was further reinforced on Friday night when AHLer Garrett Klotz suffered a seizure and was taken from the ice on a stretcher after a fight."
Think about it . . . because he is the commissioner, and an MSU hockey alumni, there is extreme pressure on Anastos to do the right thing. Maybe he'll be even more severe than if he had no connection to the players whatsoever. By analogy, some coaches expect more of their own sons than they do of others on a sports team. When you have a connection, you feel extreme pressure to act especially fairly, and not to appear as if you favor someone.
Really, the best thing would be for Anastos to excuse himself from ruling, because of the appearance that he cannot be fair and impartial, but only a Sparty homer. If the reverse were true (either a UM player assaulting a State player, or a UM commissioner judging on the current case), it would again be an untenable situation.
Are the real criminals going to face charges? The ones that assaulted Steve Kampfer and slashed an unconscious man's neck with a weapon? Wheres the DA on that. Tropp's was a felony and Conboy's was a misdemeanor. I'll be happy when they spend a few months in prison.
In my opinion, there is a massive difference between what Conboy did and what Tropp did. We played last night (again 11 and 12 year olds) against a dirty team that checked from behind and got in all manner of cheap shots. That's one thing, a slimy part of the game that the referees need to control.
Tropp went into Bertuzzi country, however. He exposed himself, IMO, to criminal action. Hockey is a physical game - you should see 11 and 12 year olds getting jacked up about this check or that hit or touching our goalie after the whistle - and there is all sorts of scrappy and dirty stuff that goes on. You gotta play through it. But there is a rule in hockey that you don't use the stick as a weapon and Tropp's was premeditated and potentially lethal.
I think fighting needs to be a part of hockey at the Pro level, but not at the college level. Fighting in hockey is a necessary part of the game insomuch as the players know if they cross the unwritten code , then they are subject to a beatdown. In all of the thousands and thousands of fights in hockey, we have a couple instances where guys have been seriously hurt and ther careers ruined because of a fight, but how many people would be seriously hurt if there was no fear of retribution? If there is the fear of getting your butt kicked if you act like a total goon (think the two MSU players) then you're seriously going to think twice before committing such acts. I know I would never take a run at Ovechkin with Donald Brashear in the building, but if that threat wasn't there then you're relying on my own ideals of sportsmanship and my integrity, which can be a dicey proposition for some players (insert MSU player here).
I remember years ago, when Gary Bettman was doing his best to ruin hockey and the league clamped down on fighting and I can cleary recall a major jump in the number of cheap shots and Busch League tatics during those years. The referees are, for the most part, reactionary to these cheap shots and of course they penalize the player after the fact, but that did nothing to curb the number of incidents I was seeing. Granted, I, personally, am more likely to root for a guy like Bob Probert than I am a guy like Alexander Semin, so that has to be taken into account of my perspective on the subject. With that being said, I love a good hockey fight between two enforcers and I love it even more when someone who breaks the "code" gets an ass whooping for it.
As for college, fighting has no place in the college game as the kids are not all at the same level of physical maturity, the rink is much larger, and it's a league that needs to be focused on developing the skills of the players. In instances like Saturday night, there can be nothing less than the most extreme punishment to set the example that actions like that have no place for that in college hockey and those who commit such acts also do not have a place in college hockey. These are not multi-millionaire professional athletes and the various leagues should do all they can to prevent things like this from happening. The first part of that is crack down on the officials for letting a clean, hard-hitting game get out of control, even in a rivalry game. There has to be limits and there has to be accountablity for the players and the coaches.
Fighting has stopped more serious injuries from occuring that it has caused. The incident Saturday night does not really speak to the issue of fighting as it goes against every ideal of sportsmanship and respect for your opponent that I have ever heard of; what those two goons did was assualt a player, which is a hell of a lot different that two willing combatants engaging in a fight.
"Fighting has stopped more serious injuries from occuring that (sic) it has caused."
So you think several hockey players would be dead without fighting? At least 1 is dead because of it.
Ontario senior men's league player Don Sanderson fell into a coma after striking his head on the ice during a fight and later died. It was further reinforced on Friday night when AHLer Garrett Klotz suffered a seizure and was taken from the ice on a stretcher after a fight.
and the OHL isn't even a pro league. You're saying my arguments is absurd, but yet you're saying that in all of the tens of thousands of fights over the long history of the NHL, that you can provide 2 examples; one from the OHL and the other from the AHL, that support that fighting is uncalled for in the game because of all the harm that is done. Yeah, you got me there. If you don't have the stones to watch a couple guys throw down at a hockey game, then go watch figure skating or college hockey if you're a purist. I've been watching hockey for 25 years and I can't recall one incident where some poor unsuspecting guy was beat unmercifully for nothing. I can recall many times when someone would take a cheap shot at Stevie Yzerman and Bob Probert would whoop said aggressors ass to allow Stevie Y to score more goals.
Well, can you name 1 incident where a legal check, etc. killed a hockey player?
Your claim that "Fighting has stopped more serious injuries from occuring that it has caused." is what I said was absurd.
Do you truly believe that without fighting in hockey there would be more dead players?
BTW, both these incidents occurred in the last 2 months. I have not researched to see if there are others.
UPDATE: There is a site listing all NHL players that have died while playing. Most are "natural causes" some are freakish accidents (died after being hit in chest with puck, accidentally slashed in neck with skate, etc.).
Terry Sawchuck: An alcohol-induced shoving match with his New York Rangers teammate Ron Stewart left Sawchuk with internal injuries that led to his death a few weeks later in New York. It is not clear whether this incident was horseplay or a fight, but an investigation into possible involuntary manslaughter charges was undertaken, and no charges were filed against Stewart.
The incident you bring up in your blurb about the court ruling happened during this period where the league tried to curb fighting. The McSorely slash would have been the McSorely/Brashear brawl if they were allowing fights to take place at that time, IMO. The statement I made about the fights stopping these kinds of incidents or preventing more from happening is my opinion. An opinion based upon my experiences of playing organized hockey and even more years of being an avid NHL fan. It's all opinion, but I believe it to be true that having fighting in the NHL keeps players in line with the "code". Let's take the incident Saturday night and hypothetically apply it to the NHL. The physicality at which the game was being played would most undoubtable lead to some fist-to-cuffs and history has shown that after a bout or two the teams loose their edginess and get back to playing hockey.
I am not saying those are the only two injuries, as I know they are more instances where injuries have been sustained during fighting, but I think those incidents are a very samll percentage if you look at the number of fights and the reason for the fights.
As for the legal hit issue, I think that is some kind of tangent from the issue of fighting. If you reserch it, there instances where people were injuried severely from legal checks, but those instances were before helmets wee made to be mandatory. Also, the NHL has a "code" about fighting and when a guy loses his helmet and the other guy still has his on, the fight is over...if one guy gets the jersey over the other guys head...fights over, so there are rules even to the fight game. What happened at Yost defies any sort of integrity or sportsmanship.
"On January 13, 1968, four minutes into a game against the Oakland Seals at the Met Center, Masterton was carrying the puck into the Seals' zone. Shortly after completing a pass to teammate Wayne Connelly, he was checked by Oakland's Larry Cahan and Ron Harris and fell backwards onto the ice head-first. The force of the back of his head hitting the ice caused blood to gush from his mouth and nose."
For those too lazy to read the whole article, he died a couple days later.
Was wearing a helmet and the check was clean. He was injured in an earlier game from a sucker punch, but the death appeared to be due to skull fracture and resulting brain damage from hitting the ice.
Also also: http://www.timminspress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1387117&auth=THE%20CAN...
An accidental collision during warmups instead of a check; nothing malicious about it.
Clint Malarchuk, whose throat was cut by a flying skate blade as a result of a legal check. It's a miracle he's still alive today.
The penalties must be harsh. This is something that cannot happen again.
That said, booting both from the league permanently seems a bit much. Tropp should definitely be gone for the rest of this season at minimum - and if he does come back at all, it should (obviously) be with the understanding that there is no third chance. Any sort of fighting beyond the usual pushing and shoving, and he's gone for good.
I don't have the context for Conboy's other actions during the game, but I'm not sure the "pattern of misbehavior" exists. He has one misconduct on the season and no majors. (Then again, what happened on Saturday should have added to both of those totals, so it's possible that the refs have just not been calling it this year.) He obviously needs to be suspended for at least a few games, but unless the incident was significantly worse than it looked to me on video (certainly possible, as neither of the angles I saw was particularly clear) that should be enough.
I think the problem is that Conboy is essentally just a goon. He's racked up 80 PIM already this year (and given only one misconduct penalty, that's a healthy total), and he almost certainly should have been given a major and a misconduct for what he did Saturday.
Actually, he probably should have been given a misconduct earlier when he punched Llewellyn in the face (inexplicably not even called a penalty) and then was yapping incessantly after Llewellyn retaliated. If the refs had any control of the game he would have been given the misconduct to get him off the ice for the rest of the game since he was already instigating. How he escaped this game without a gigantic PIM total I have no idea.
Also, he was apparently the same way in HS hockey, and while it isn't directly relevant, his older brother has a deserved bad reputation as a goon.
Here's statistics to back your point
October 17, 2000
Boston Bruins' defenceman Marty McSorley was found guilty on October 6 of assault with a weapon for slashing Vancouver Canuck Donald Brashear in the head with a hockey stick.
In rough sports, the Supreme Court stated, players impliedly consent to intentional applications of force that are within the customary norms and rules of the game. But they cannot validly consent to serious violence that clearly extends beyond the ordinary norms of conduct.
In addition, the judge observed, the referees and linesmen set guidelines for permissible violence in the way they choose to assess penalties during a game.
It needs to be stated that the "Supreme Court" in this case was Canadian, was it not? I believe the incident occurred in Canada. Any legal ruling in Canada has no bearing on the soil of another soverign nation, IMO and that of International Law. I do believe what the guy who slashed Kampfer did was assualt, that's undebatable, but your example wouldn't govern an issue taking place in the USA.
Nothing that happens in Canada is applicable anywhere else. They are crazy and really poor drivers (at least the B.C. folk)
I only saw the youtube clip that Brian posted, so I couldn't really see what happened that well. I thought, however, that the behavior of the Spartan hockey players was not nearly as egregious as the the incident a few years ago where the OSU linebacker Robert Reynolds was choking the Wisconsin quarterback in the pile. IIRC, he was suspended for one game by OSU and nothing additional by the Big Ten or the NCAA. So, I don't expect much here.
Conboy punched Kampfer in the back of the head, knocking him down. Then Tropp slashed (twice) a prone, motionless Kampfer in the throat with his stick.
Similar to choking a quarterback, but the use of a weapon distinguishes it. If the Wisco QB were knocked unconscious during a play and, while he lay there helpless, the LB came up, took his helmet off, and hit the QB in the head with his helmet, that would be equivalent.
Where was Yost security after the game? The MSU players/lockerroom should have been sealed off to avoid an ugly incident. Although it was just Kampfer's dad that got in, it could have been Artest-level ugly if anyone else would have gotten in. I don't blame the dad at all for what he did, I blame UM/Yost for letting him get in.
Every CCHA rink is like this. Michigan actually has the area where players walk curtained off, most other rinks the players walk partially through a concourse. Yost's setup is not unusual.
Blaming Michigan's security is fine but just remember their level of security is pretty much the norm.
Not that we need to see this again but I'm posting what I think is the best quality clip I've seen so far for those that have not seen it yet. Make sure you watch it in high quality, there is a link in the lower right of the video play controls.
With Kampfer on the ground and Conboy and Tropp staring down at him, the first ref that swooped in was smacked in his right ear by Tropp. Looks like Tropp suddenly realized it wasn't a Michigan player but a ref and then backed off, only to exchange words with a pissed off Wohlberg.
Conboy really nailed Miller in the face in the punch exchange afterward too.
Great footage of Tropp's head/neck slash after Kampfer had hit the deck. Very damning.
Well, can you name 1 incident where a legal check, etc. killed a hockey player?
Bill Masterson in 1967. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Masterton
Although he was not wearing a helmet
How can this not be a crime?
Granted, I'm not a regular hockey fan, so I don't know the level of violence usually observed in the sport.
Well, I can tell you that Spartan fans support your efforts to get Rick Comley fired.
So, there is talk about prosecuting Kampfer's dad, but NO TALK ABOUT PROSECUTING TROPP????!!!
I sent an email to the Ann Arbor Police tip line asking them to investigate Tropp's hack. The sucker punch was disgusting, but not a crime within the context of hockey. AFAIC, though, the hack was assault with a deadly weapon and Tropp should be prosecuted.
Maybe if enough people email the crime tip line asking for an investigation, they will actually do something about it.
up to the DA to prosecute so if you really want them to step in then email the DA.
Henry Boucher of the North Stars was attacked by Dave Forbes of the Bruins with a stick and lost an eye.
As I told my kids when there were like 9 or 10:
When you are doing something you are supposed to be doing and something bad happens -- that is an accident.
When you are doing something you have been told not to do and something bad happens -- that is not an accident.
In this case, it is no accident and it is a crime.
BTW, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that fighting in hockey is more important to some people than the life of a human being.
"BTW, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that fighting in hockey is more important to some people than the life of a human being."
And I'm having a hard time figuring out why everything that could possibly result in someone's death should be banned.
Perhaps hockey should be played with the foam-padded sticks we had to use in elementary school, or changed to roller hockey, in order to prevent the possibility of death from sharp objects.
"BTW, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that fighting in hockey is more important to some people than the life of a human being."
All I can say is that you are coming at the issue from a position of ignorance. You don't need to agree with the concept of fighting in hockey, but at least educate yourself on the subject beyond one or two isolated incidents before coming to your conclusions. Especially when your conclusions are as ill-conceived as believing "that fighting in hockey is more important to some people than the life of a human being."
For example, try reading The Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Fighting And Retaliation In The NHL. At the very least, read a wiki entry on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_in_hockey though I would not recommend ending inquiry there.
Again, you don't need to agree with the arguments in favor of fighting, but at least you'll be a little more familiar with the subject before condemning it based on false reasoning.
You're right, fighting is an inherent part of hockey -- without it you might as well ban the sport altogether.
Oh wait, fighting is banned at every level except the pros. And Yost has been empty since it was banned.
Oh, wait, the NFL has recognized head-to-head hits are too dangerous and banned them.
And, the NBA has banned fighting. Even though I don't believe anyone has died from a fight in the NBA.
I'm done. I've said my peace. Don't expect (or need) anyone to agree with me.
You miss my point entirely.
I know it's not banned at every level. There's fighting in juniors (16-20 year olds), semi-pro / farm Teams. I can't speak to Canadian hockey from midgets to college level, but I'm guessing it's not banned. Same goes for European / Russian leagues although I'd guess there's a lot less fighting over there.
Not having the outlet of fighting may be the cause of the more serious in my mind stick infractions (spearing / slashing). Hockey is a game of high physicality (is that really a word?), camaraderie, and emotion. If a method to right perceived wrong is not available, what do you think the players should do?
I watched bench clearing brawls in college hockey growing up and it didn't result in more player injuries, but it did make for some intense rivalries.
What you saw wasn't fighting. It was an assault. Fighting is when two combatants agree to fight and then go at it. I see you're anti-fighting and I'm probably not going to change your mind, but I believe fighting fairly has importance at the NHL level. Not allowing fighting in college could partly be why this incident happened.
I watched the clip and was surprised that this incident even happened. The open ice hit wasn't much of a hit with both players basically spinning off of each other. I'm guessing that earlier interactions led up to the attacks. The blind side sucker punch reminded me of the bertuzzi incident (not a fight either) and the slashes toward the head and then at the ref show that both MSU players weren't thinking straight.
If you think that what Tropp did constitutes assault with a deadly weapon or felonious assault, please take the opportunity to make yourself heard. Here is the address of the prosecuting attorney of Washtenaw County.
I have left messages here and at the Ann Arbor Police's crime tip line.
I am pissed at Conboy; what he did was dirty and fucked up, but it didn't constitute anything criminal within the context of a hockey game. His season-long suspension is OK in my book.
But Tropp's behavior should be criminal under any context except professional wrestiling. But even in pro wrestling, the "victim" consents to being "attacked." I sincerely doubt that Kampfer consented to being hacked in the back of the neck/head while he was laying helpless on the ice.
Tropp should be in jail for so long that any suspension becomes a moot point. Let him attack people in jail where they fight back. I have a feeling that Tropp would find jail; where a lot of people are a lot bigger than he is, he doesn't get a stick, and nobody is on skates; is a different environment than a hockey game.
It's a start. Now hopefully Tropp at least will have plenty of time to make his court dates
Mlive is saying that the two are suspended for the rest of the season, with no further penalties coming from the CCHA.
where do you come to that conclusion?
"The in-game actions of Michigan State University hockey players Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp, the two who sucker-punched and slashed Michigan defenseman Steve Kampfer during Saturday's game at Yost Ice Arena, are being reviewed by the Central Collegiate Hockey Assocation, and the league is expected to announce its findings before this weekend's games, associate commissioner Fred Pletsch said Monday morning."
Couldn't agree more. Penalties must be severe or else future games could be horrific. Not sure how any other fellow Spartan fans can defend them. Thankful to see Kampfer relatively okay.