"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
"We feel that the measures taken by Michigan State are appropriate and consistent with the parameters of the sanctions that were being contemplated by the league," league commissioner Tom Anastos said in a news release.
It certainly sounds like the league is not inclined to levy any further punishment and next year Steve Kampfer is going to have to skate against the goons who knocked him unconscious and slashed him in the head. This is not a penalty. State's season is over. It was over the moment this assault occurred, guaranteeing a season sweep at the hands of Michigan and resigning State to last place in the CCHA. If this penalty is the only one levied, there will be no lasting impact to either the Michigan State program or the careers of Conboy and Tropp. The net penalty to the program and the players: NOTHING. Zero. This is cosmetic. It is not enough. It is not 10% of enough.
As a reminder:
At an absolute bare minimum of acceptability neither of these players can ever be suffered to play Michigan and Steve Kampfer again. If this is the only penalty levied the CCHA has basically abstained on serious repercussions.
Some legitimate points are lost in the analysis of "what Conboy was thinking." Probably just "wanted to fight" -- and, of course, the way players usually express this desire is to punch a guy in the head from behind while the play is continuing. I don't disagree that you can/should distinguish the actions of Conboy and Tropp -- but Bertuzzi also was a "goon" who "did what goons do," and that doesn't really provide much of an excuse for his assault (without using a stick, by the way) on Steve Moore, does it?
that, as someone who was at the game and saw Conboy's entire "body of work" throughout the night, I'm going to have a hard time viewing it as "unfortunate" that he's being "lumped into this" with Tropp. He instigated the entire incident, after being involved in several other run-ins without the (typically incompetent) refs taking appropriate action. Then, to top it off, they don't deem it appropriate to give him an immediate DQ after his assault, but send him to the box with a couple of minor penalties (and it then occurs to them eventually that, at a minimum, they should probably send him to the locker room for his "minor" infractions).
There is a difference between intent when there is violence in a hockey game vs elsewhere. When two boxers swing at each other in the ring, the intent is clear because that's the game after all. Would they sue each other afterward? No, there is explicit consent to the consequences because that is, after all, the point of the game.
In hockey there is also an implicit consent by players to certain degrees of fighting, pushing, cussing, etc., and other forms of violence and assault, which, like it or hate it, does serve a point in the game, typically meant to prevent the opposition from crossing certain boundaries in terms of roughness, especially against star players. This is, after all, why hockey teams have had goons for decades.
My point is, from watching the tape, while the actions of the MSU players may have fallen outside the boundary of what is typically consented to among hockey players, i.e., a punch in the head from behind and a modest slash to the arm while down, it is absurd for anyone to to say they think the intent of the MSU players was "pretty clear" beyond anything other than the standard intent of goons in hockey, which is to enforce lines.
The fact that immediately prior to the punch Kampfer took a run at, and spilled an MSU player in a pretty violent collision, is default evidence that this is exactly what Tropp and Conboy were trying to do - draw the standar hockey line that a goon might which is to say "you can't do this to our players."
Their problem of course, is the way they went about enforcing this intent, crossed the line, and thus they were rightly suspended.
But those of you howling that they were "CLEARLY INTENDING SERIOUS BODILY INJURY" in my opinion evidence a general lack of hockey knowledge.
OK, I've overlooked the "poke" (now upgraded to "modest slash to the arm" (?)) administered by Tropp -- but can you please stop with the bit that Kampfer "took a run at" Tropp? "General lack of hockey knowledge" -- yep, sounds about right.
cocked his stick back and aimed for kampfers head. and was successful at that. he made a b-line to him, from behind, saw him motionless on the ice, and took a swing. then swung AGAIN.
his intent there was not to 'forecheck' and thereby potentially gain possession of the puck... as in every other rule-book defined acceptable hit. it was not to send 'a message' to michigan or kampfer. it was to strike kamfers skull with the blade of a hockey stick. the intent there was WELLLLLLLLLLLL beyond the acceptable boundries of the field of play.