But I don't think anyone can be unhappy with the punishment, especially considering the fact that Kampfer escaped major injury. I realize that the result doesn't change the action--the recklessness was the same whether they killed him or he got away uninjured--but I'm ok with the punishment FYS imposed. I would only hope that both players are on no-tolerance policies from here on out. On-ice, personal life, in class....take a false step and you're gone.
I do feel that if Kampfer had been seriously injured we would have seen at least one Spartan booted from the team. But I'd much, much rather have a healthy Kampfer than have two fewer Spartans on their hockey roster.
Even though FYS's team is awful, the punishment is severe. Both guys are going to miss 12+ games, and they've got a stigma that will follow them for a long time. (Have you ever looked at Todd Bertuzzi the same way after his hit on Steve Moore? I haven't.) Considering that it doesn't appear Kampfer will miss any action, I think it's pretty reasonable. Though I do still question FYS for having a no-talent knucklehead like Conboy on the team.
There's finally a good-quality video of the incident on Youtube, so if you haven't yet seen what all the fuss is about, here ya go:
As one would expect, the Michigan blogosphere exploded about the incident.
-The Ace of Sports, The Diag and MHNet had hilarious beat-downs of the State News writer who essentially split the blame for the incident between Michigan and MSU. I had a similar reaction to the two of them when I read that story. I'm glad they already did it justice. I especially liked that MHNet pointed things out to yet another recipient of the thin letter that no, the second word of the chant was not "State".
The original article (by the way, check out the hyperlink...evidently they've got a Canadian uploading articles or something?) is worth reading, simply to see the writer getting ripped to shreds in the comments.
This is the best part:
With the game all but over, U-M’s Steve Kampfer took a run at MSU sophomore forward Corey Tropp at center ice.
In an attempt to stick up for his teammate, MSU freshman Andrew Conboy went after Kampfer to try and teach him a lesson.
MGoBlog had a pair of typically awesome pieces. One about the incident itself and a follow-up the next day. (Bonus points for the picture of Tropp between Satan and Jim Tressel.) He makes a really great point that the punishment needed to be severe, considering college hockey doesn't allow players to "police themselves" by fighting.
I do agree that the suspension to the players isn't as severe as it would have been if FYS was a decent hockey team, but these have to rank amongst the longest suspensions in the history of college hockey. I wanted to see one, if not both of them, kicked off the team, but the realistic side of me figured that wouldn't happen. It's nice to know that brutally assaulting someone on the ice is twice as severe as saying "Sloppy seconds" about your ex-girlfriend though. In case you were wondering.
Here was MHNet's original take about the game. I can't remember if I linked to it or not.
A really strong take from Michigan Sports Center.
WCH has the FYS chant figured out.
The Ann Arbor News, who has been all over this story, has an account of how Bruce Kampfer made it past security into the visiting locker room. The elder Kampfer called Red Berenson to apologize for his actions and Michigan announced that security will be beefed up in the future.
The Michigan Daily has an interview with Steve Kampfer. He confirms that the slash hit him in the neck and he mentions that no one from FYS has contacted him to apologize and he doesn't want them to.
Some good news: Mel Pearson was on WTKA today and mentioned that Mark Mitera is doing very well and is "probably a couple weeks away still..." It sounds like we're going to get #17 back before the end of the year, which is amazing. Our defense corps is going to be just ridiculous when he gets back. Scooter Vaughan, who had a very solid freshman season, is a healthy scratch already. Hard to believe that we've got the #9 defense in the country without Mitera, without Kampfer for over half the season, and without Burlon for 8 games or so. If that group is completely healthy for the post-season, we're going to be sitting pretty.
I'm glad to see that FYS took action before the CCHA did (even if it was kind of a joint venture). They sent a message that actions like that won't be tolerated, and even if I think it lacked a little bit of a spine not to boot at least one of them, the punishment was quick, it was severe, and they didn't make excuses for the actions, unlike the State News reporter.
I'm also glad to see that Michigan quickly admitted that the security outside the visiting locker room was lax and has taken steps to remedy the situation. It shouldn't be that easy to get inside a team's locker room. Though had there been adequate security around, Mr. Kampfer still could have gotten to Tropp when the team was headed out to the bus, if he really wanted to. Security would have eliminated the "spur of the moment" reaction to run in there, though, and it's good they're going to step it up. It wasn't a great reaction, but Mr. Kampfer has brass ones...
Finally, I have to comment about the language at Yost, most notably the FYS chant. I might take some heat for this opinion, and that's fine. Maybe it's a generational thing or maybe I just have a very high threshold for what is offensive, but I just don't see what the big deal is. I really don't. It's a nice ideal that college games be a family atmosphere, but when you've got a couple thousand college kids in the same place, there's going to be language that you don't necessarily want your kid to hear. Hell, there's probably language you wouldn't want your kid to hear in the dining halls, let alone at the hockey games.
When I was 11, my parents let my brother and I see My Cousin Vinny. I still remember it to this day. We went to the video store and they told both of us, "We don't agree with the language that they use in this movie. You will not use the words they use. But the movie is funny enough that we think you need to see it." We watched it. We laughed a lot. And it didn't corrupt me from having heard the word "fuck" several dozen times. Be a good parent and it's a non-issue. Either your kid knows the word or they're going to learn the word at some point. Don't stop going to Yost because of the language. If it happens, use it as a teaching tool.
I never agreed with throwing the term "C***-sucker" into the penalty chant. I do think that crosses the line. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite somewhat, I'm not sure. I have my own lines and I think that one crossed it. But I never have seen the problem with the rest of the penalty chant--seriously, you can say the majority of those words on TV--and even if the FYS chant would normally cross my hypothetical line, I do believe that it was completely called-for in this situation. Sometimes booing just doesn't get it done. Call me immature if you want to.
For the record, I realize that stuff like that doesn't paint the university in a great light. Would I appreciate it if they wouldn't chant "Fuck the Irish" unprovoked? Sure. But in general, I view people as overly-sensitive about stuff like that. We can have all the violence in the world on TV. But God-forbid we see a covered up breast during the Super Bowl or someone says the F-word. Maybe you shouldn't have to consider what your kid will hear if you take him to the hockey game. But if he doesn't know those words yet, he's gonna learn them soon enough. Probably from you during a Michigan football game. Chances are, unless he's like 4 he probably uses them already when he's out of your earshot.
Lastly, since I have to run, lost in the melee this weekend was how freaking awesome our new second line is. Palushaj, Rust and Hagelin were amazing this weekend. They've clearly got chemistry, Rust is scoring again, and Caporusso proved yet again that he can be perfectly effective without Palushaj on his wing. Turnbull and Wohlberg are playing great hockey. Two scoring lines (and a fantastic checking line) make for a very scary Michigan team moving forward, especially considering how good our defense and goaltending have been. The third line wasn't great, but things don't always gel overnight. If Czarnik gets going--and he pretty much has to at some point--the third line could be pretty good as well.