As we are ready for a big Valentine’s Day game at Madison Square Garden as the Philadelphia Flyers take on the New York Rangers there are a lot of issues coming into this game that involves both sides. While Rick Nash will not be available with a big bruise in his leg and of course the most talked about cheap shot in the NHL when Wayne Simmonds threw a punch at Ryan McDonagh who wasn’t ready to fight and fell down with a concussion.
To add insult to injury NHL Department of Player Safety Stephane Quintal refused to suspend Simmonds because he felt for some strange reason it wasn’t a punishable act. There are two folds to this argument and starting off with Simmonds that goes first. This kid is a very talented player that has shown to skate strong and score as much as possible as he grew up in the LA Kings system.
When he was starting to show his offensive skills he was a future superstar and spending three seasons with Los Angeles he played in 240 games and scored 39 goals till he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2011-12 season for Mike Richards and after the lockout continued to play strong and hard scoring over 100 goals, but as always when you get traded to Philadelphia somehow a talented player has to change his way.
Simmonds has acted like a goon since coming to the Flyers and whenever a talented player has to change his game when coming to Philly something different has to happen. And while he has done a good job sticking up for his teammates and himself, there has been at times where he has crossed the line and nearly got suspended for his actions with cheap shots and this case is no different. Getting ejected for that sucker punch on McDonagh got him mad and threw his stick at the referee’s was the only punishable thing he received from the league office as Quintal decided not to continue that direction on what happened to McDonagh.
Since former NHL Defensman Stephane Quintal took over for Brendan Shanahan in the Player Safety Department he has thrown his punishments around like there is no tomorrow except for what happens to the New York Rangers. Derek Stepan was a good five to six feet away from the boards after making a long pass or a clear out of his zone when he got blindsided on Thanksgiving Friday in Boston at the Bruins.
Shoved into the board with an injury and Stepan missed significant time with some rib fractures as well, but instead of giving a proper suspension Quintal has decided to allow the incident to pass and that did not sit well with the Rangers front office as well as the fans.
Now we go to the sucker punch by Simmonds and Quintal has also said that won’t be charged either. Since Quintal has taken over the Director of Player Safety Role it seems too many that he is intentionally targeting the New York Rangers.
Stephane Quintal who played defense in the NHL and born in Boucherville, Que`bec played in over 1,000 games in the top league and scored 63 goals as a solid Defensman and started his career with the Boston Bruins in the 1988-89 season. Played three seasons in Boston, then two with St. Louis, two in Winnipeg, seven years in Montreal but two seasons in-between with the Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks.
But it was that 1999-2000 season with the Rangers that showed the most troubling in Quintal’s career as rumors were that he never wanted to be in New York when the Canadiens traded him there. He begged to the front office he wanted to go back to Montreal and when he disagreed with the Rangers front office then President & GM Neil Smith and head coach John Muckler suspended him for a few games.
Now it looks like Quintal who has the power taking over for Shanahan as Brendan is the President & GM of the Maple Leafs, has decided to take on some form of revenge on the Original six club because of his one season of influx wearing the Broadway Blueshirt. Someone needs to tell Quintal that both Muckler and Smith are no longer running the Rangers as the positions of President, G.M. & Head Coach are Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton & Alain Vigneault.
All these men want is a fair punishment for those two players from Boston & Philadelphia after what happened to Derek Stepan on Thanksgiving Friday and at Philadelphia on what Simmonds did to the Captain of the New York Rangers. But for some reason Quintal has decided not to give this current team any chance of feeling vindicated and since the NHL is trying to get rid of the goonery as well as trying to get rid of John Scott from the all-star game as we already know didn’t work and he won the MVP of the game, the NHL’s message is confusing and questionable on what they are trying to do to make the game better.
But sadly Stephane Quintal is stuck in the past as this hockey club has no attachment to him and he has none towards the Rangers as he works in the League. But because of that one year of angst he is acting like he won’t pull the trigger on a proper suspension that got two players injured for a significant period of time. Guess this means once again the Rangers are at the mercy of the NHL and this has to stop from Quintal’s end.
All we are asking from Quintal is to do your job and stop making a personal vendetta against the club you spent a year at who wanted you to perform at a top level and then would’ve done something right to send you back to Montreal because that was the place we all knew you wanted to go back to. Instead you acted like a brat and tarnished that shield for no reason, now you’re tarnishing the league shield and the funny thing is that no one cares anyway.