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January 22, 2019
Nobody Asked Me, But...
by Jim Iovino, Ace Reporter
Flyers Moving To Florida?
What other explanation could there be for Bobby Clarke's tirade last week on TSN regarding Steve Downie's sucker punch on Jason Blake.
Downie, who was suspended for the first 20 games this season after railroading Dean McAmmond as he was skating behind the net in the preseason, apparently didn't take kindly to Blake's comments after the incident. Blake made mention about how Downie should be suspended for the year or longer.
Proving that everything said to him doesn't go in one ear and out the other, Downie let Blake's words stew inside his melon until the two finally met on the ice. On Saturday, Downie tried to get at Blake, but two linesmen stepped in. While Blake's hands were at his side as a linesman held him against the boards, Downie got one hand free from the linesman who had him and clocked Blake in the eye when he wasn't looking.
You stay classy, Stevie!
So if the classlessness of the Flyers didn't shine through enough then, check out what Broad Street Bully Clarke said a few days later.
It was reminiscent of the movie "Slap Shot." Clarke seemed to want to rally his team around violence. Hell, it will bring in more fans. And more fans boost the value of the franchise. And if we boost the value of the franchise, someone will want to buy it and move it to Florida!
Doing his best Reg Dunlop impersonation, Clarke said he "loved it" when Downie went after Blake.
"Blake was a guy who had no problem going out and saying (Downie) should be suspended for life or suspended for the year," Clarke told TSN. "When you say something that stupid, why shouldn't this kid go after him for it?"
Umm, yeah. There were a lot of people who said the same thing, however. If Clarke's right, I believe half of Canada is now hiding in their attics out of fear of retaliation by Downie. Hell, if someone went after the Bush Administration every time they said something stupid ... oh, never mind.
But wait, Clarke's not done yet.
"If a player like Blake who's been around as long as he has, wants to criticize a player then he has to go on the ice with him and suffer the consequences," Clarke told TSN.
So veteran players can't talk smack on a rookie who hasn't accomplished squat in the NHL? Here's an idea, maybe this kid should respect his elders and not try to put all of them on a stretcher by the time he plays 10 games in the league.
Oh, but wait ... Clarkie's got more. He apparently has his own vendetta against veteran players in the league -- those who have played the game the right way in order to last 10-plus years in the NHL.
"McAmmond was a veteran player who was skating and watching his pass and got nailed," Clarke told TSN. "Sorry for it, too bad he got hurt, but it was his own fault as much as it was Downie's."
Granted, McAmmond was watching his pass. But he was already around the other side of the net when Downie came flying in. Not like he was expecting to get hit in that position. He was nowhere near the puck.
And then there's the simple fact that Downie left his feet. McAmmond is not Zdeno Chara. There was no need to jump to make the hit. His sole purpose on the play was to knock Dean the F out in order to show off for the front office and make the team.
For most clubs, that wouldn't be tolerated. For the Flyers, however, that's apparently the kind of player they love ... and breed, considering the number of goons, thugs and cheap-shot artists that are on the roster.
Maybe Clarke is trying to generate more attention for the franchise's possible sale and move to Florida -- if the Sunshine state would take them.
If not, I know a nice rink in Johnstown, Pa., that would suit them just fine... War Memorial, here they come!
More On Downie
If you want more examples of Downie's punk behavior, just search for him on YouTube. There are plenty of examples out there.
Or, just click here and watch the first 10 seconds of this video. It's pretty much all you need to know.
Oh, and Steve, if you're gonna do this kind of stuff in the NHL and start swinging at people, here's some advice: Take off the visor.
This ain't the OHL anymore, kid. If you want to punch with the big boys, the shield's got to go.
Fun With YouTube
Since we're on the subject of "Slap Shot," here's a great scene as the boys try to find out who the owner is and why they're "moving" to Florida...
Ahh ... just imagine Reg as Mike Richards, Simon Gagne as Denis Lemieux, and Paul Holmgren as team general manager Joe McGrath.