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Tailing the Komets


He receives five games off for his elbow against Konstantin Shafranov.

Posted in: Komets


Tue, 11/17/2009 - 2:58pm

I think the League is trying to send a message. I sure hope the players get it! Most of them will. Cement heads like Big Snake will totally miss it.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 3:22pm

Blake, can you tell us why when fines are issued by the league they are not made public. Punishment that is not common knowledge has very little deterrent value. When Lawmaster was fined, did he pay the fine or did the team?

Blake Sebring
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 3:56pm

No, I can't because the league does not talk about the specifics of fines even when asked, but I've never heard of any minor league in any sport that announces what the exact dollar amount of fines are. Only the major leagues. Sometimes the amount of fines are stipulated in the rule book.

I'm sure the players pay the fines originally, but there's no way to know if they are reimbursed or anything like that. Even if the players say they do, there's a canceled check and any other proof you'd like, there's never going to be absolute proof. You just have to trust the integrity of the players and the teams because essentially there's no other choice. There's no other way to enforce it.

That said, I've seen it in the past where a player was fined and teammates then made up the fine for the player. There is no perfect system.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 4:20pm

According to the IHL Rule book it's $25 for each game misconduct, $50 for illegal stick first time and $100 the second, $100 for injury to head or face as the result of a major stick penalty, $100 for misconducts, $25 for an elbowing major, failure to clear the area of a fight is $50. It looks like everything is $25 to $100 with most majors being $50. Not sure why a misconduct is $100, but a game misconduct is $25 but that's what it says.

There also is a rule, 70.10 that includes In addition, any club that is deemed by the commissioner to pay or reimburse to the player or goalkeeper the amount of the fine or loss of salary assessed under this rule shall be fined automatically $500.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 4:54pm

Blake, thanks for the information. I think that the fines need to re-evaluated. It looks like the dollar amounts should be at least 4-5 times higher than they currently are if the league really wants to make a statement. While a $25 to $100 fine may make players complain a bit, it certainly isn't going to stop them. Anything less than the loss of a whole night's wages is really inconsequential. For major, recurring infractions the penalty should be even higher. Unless we want a league full of goons, we need to have an effective way of reining in the trouble makers. In my opinion these fines look like something from the days of the old IHL, not the current one.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 5:16pm

So here is a good question. What does the league do with fine money?
Most of the major leagues use it for charity purposes.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 5:37pm

The money goes into the league account which helps off-set league expenses.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 6:05pm

Ah....so that is how they pay for the exotic dancer who jumps out of the cake at the office Christmas party ;)

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 6:11pm

Blake--If you know, Is the payroll still handled by the League or am I thinking of the UHL?

I know the League fined players $25.00 who fail to get off the ice before the end of warmups. They also fined them and the goaltenders for failing to remove facemasks and/or their helmets during the National Anthem. We still have a sheet we must fill out each game for those infractions. It must be signed by one of the linesmen.

See if you get the answer to that question. Thanks!

Frozen Water
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 6:27pm

Maybe the teams help the players pay their fines by helping them to land commercials for local businesses around town. I just saw Brad MacMillan in ANOTHER commercial tonight, this one for a car company. His line where he tries to explain some hockey terminology at the end is a little overkill, but still a good appearance for him. If he could only land one endorsing the "Big Mac" I don't think he'd ever have to worry about how much he would be fined again.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 6:42pm

My only concern here is this... Why is 5 games OK for what he did to Shaf? Shaf is going to be out for (from what I hear) 30 days on the IR and with that said he is going to miss roughly 12 games. This all being said under the assumption that no other complications arise. Lets not forget any possible long term (and I pray there are none) issues that may come about as a result of the elbowing. This is even getting out of hand in the NHL and it has been a huge topic as of late. Five games is a joke compared to the his actions on the ice. Five games is like a vacation. If you think the league should take a stand and nip this in the bud now then by all means, he should have to be suspended as long as Shaf is able to return to the ice. We lost a great and respectable player so why should the guy that did the dirty get a small slap on the wrist? Again... Please, some one explain to me how 5 Games is any where near a good punishment for what transpired.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 6:57pm

You have to take the emotion out of it. You also have to base it on precedent and five games is fair because that is what the league has established as the punishment in these circumstances. It's the same penalty Brad MacMillan got last year for an elbow against Glenn Detulleo. My educated guess is that Shaf would be ready to play by the time the five games is up, but the Komets chose to put him on the 30-day IR because they needed the roster spot. You can't punish an opposing player for that.

You can't give Labenski more than five games when you gave MacMillan five for the same offense. Now, if Labenski or MacMillan do the same elbow again, the punishment will be stiffer. Labenski is also a very good and respectable player. He is the Gems' captain and he's never been suspended before in 10 years as a pro.

I'm not sure if the payroll is handled by the league any more. It would not surprise me if it were.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 7:32pm

Blake- what happened to the autograph booth at the Komet games?

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 7:47pm

Blake- Another tough question. I was asked and I don't know the answer. Sunday in Muskegon Schrock and Warner teamed up for our first goal. Has there ever been two Fort Wayne natives combine for a goal in Komet history? As close as I could come was John Baldassari & Colin Chin 1988/89. However I don't know if they ever teamed up for a goal. I know 1-0 Joe Franke had one assist but I have know idea who scored the goal. That was 02/03 Chin had retired. Can you hel?

Frozen Water
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 8:13pm

I'm kind of lost on the idea of the Komets putting Shaf on the 30-day IR to clear a roster spot? Who would be out there available to us that is better than Shaf? Isn't Shaf one of our more offensive players? From reading the posts of several bloggers on here, it seems many believe we have an offensive shortcoming currently with the team and I'm just not seeing how putting Shaf out of the game for 30 days if he doesn't need to be makes any sense?

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 8:37pm

FW, I think what Blake means is that it makes more sense to put Shaf on the shelf not knowing when he will be totally over the concussion.....we know Syro is coming back, and someone will have to be cut loose. Huk and Warner both just came-back, and Saidachev was cut loose, Bertram is next to come back, and someone has to go for his spot. MacMillan must stay on the active roster during his suspension....which makes it that the 19 other players on the roster are all we have, outside of putting someone on 30 day IR or more. So it doesn't make sense to keep Shaf active on the roster, knowing he is out at least 5 games or so, we would have to skate a man short at least every night....and it makes zero sense to waive someone right now with knowing he is hurt, and Whitehead has a knee problem as well as Stayzer a shoulder.

I hope I explained it well enough. Think I did.

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 9:45pm

The Komets were already at the roster limit of 20 before Shaf got hurt. Now he is on the IR and Huks came in, so we are still at 20. If Bert comes back, then the team will have to let someone go, or maybe put a banged up player (whitehead, stayzer) on the 30 day to free up a spot for Bertram. Boucher is not on the IR and is active, but is not playing and MacMillan is active but suspended. Thus the roster issues. If Syro comes back, then more decisions will have to be made.......

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 9:51pm

Hit--Add this, Shaf has an injury to his wrist that can only heal with some rest. They were reasonably curtain that he would need at least several weeks to recover from the concussion. Add the wrist injury and they are very smart to protect him on the IR. Hope that helps you and Frozen Water.

Frozen Water
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 10:03pm

Sure does. Thank you both. Good thinking all around.

Hit Somebody!!!
Tue, 11/17/2009 - 11:37pm

I knew about the wrist.....I just forgot to mention it....thanks DS.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 12:18am

I don't know for sure, but I would guess it had to be John Baldasarri and Colin Chin. The only way to tell would be by going through every box score. Great trivia question.

Frozen Water, to be able to bring Huk back on Sunday, which they absolutely needed to do knowing Whitehead was limited and Danko was out, they had to put Shaf on IR. They didn't have any other choice unless they wanted to play four players under the roster limit for that game, which is very hard to ask them to do on a three-in-three-nights. It would not have surprised me if there were salary cap implications as well, but I don't know that for sure. Hope that helps.

Don't know what happened to the autograph booth but I will try to remember to ask.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 1:47am

Frankly I'm more concerned about Lawmater getting away with what he did to Shaf than Labenski. Labenskil's mistake was just that--He will pay his dues.
Sure hope Shaf is OK and sorry he's had these confontations right now. Lawmaster's attack was intentional. Timining is everything.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 2:51am

99.99999% of the time, IMO, an elbow to the head is intentional... EVERYONE knew what Big Snake and Lawmaster were coming onto the ice for and the K's chose to keep who we had on the ice....the Labenski hit on Shafranov happened during the course of the game and Shafranov had no idea what was coming... IMO, the league handled these two situations perfectly in regards to suspensions, fines, etc...

It will be a travesty if someone doesnt go after Labenski the next time these 2 teams play and use the no instigator penalty to thier advantage...

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 4:55am

So you are now blaming Al for not changing the line? Come on! That is ridiculous, you go back and try armchair this thing but it happened rather quickly and who would know that the coach from Musky would pull something like that.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 5:26am

Blake we could start by asking Colin Chin. He might remember. Chaser might remember. I just don't have time to go through every box score.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 12:00pm

Next time? Labenski should have been fed a fist on-site.

Hit Somebody!!!
Wed, 11/18/2009 - 5:35pm

GHockey....The funny thing is I knew what was coming when I saw Kromm huddle is players around him during the break in action while the ref was sorting out penalties on the initial scrum....I specifically recal watching Lawmaster and Big Snake instantly hop off the bench and over the boards onto the ice just before he huddles the team around him, and I even commented to everyone around me at the game, Al better put some big-boys in the game or someone is going to get hurt. I am sure I am not the only one that said that or thought it at the time....and then Big Snake goes to the faceoff circle??? Uh, duh??? Al could have called a time-out instantly. But I think he would have been well-served to not have sent out Chaulk, Shaf, and PC in that situation....all's he had to do was watch what the Musky bench was doing. And it was obvious to the majority of the people in the MC what Kromm was setting up. I am not real sure how you didn't see it coming GHockey??? And if we saw it coming, how did Al not? I like Al, people make mistakes, and people in sports are second guessed all the time.....but you have to call-it what it is....it was a mistake. I bet Al would stand-up and say it wasn't the best decision. He could have sent Stayzer, Rodger, Thomas, and whoever else you want to throw out there after those guys. I doubt things wouldn't have ended the way they did if he had reacted this way instead of sending out the #1 line to the goons.

And Labenski....you don't connect with an elbow like that unless you are trying to. And he did. He gets 5 games. And I agree with JM, he should get a fist in the mouth for it when we see him again.

I think I am starting to agree with some people about needing another big guy that can throw 'em. Too many teams are taking shots at our players and getting away with it. We need someone larger than Mac and Shrock to help police the ice. I don't know who, but someone. It ain't gonna be Stayzer or Bertram either, they need to play hockey. I lean both ways on this issue normally, but I am seeing a need for a heavyweight this season as the league stacks up this season. Mac is a great enforcer on the ice, but he can play a darn good shift of hockey on the ice too. He just needs someone to help is all. That way Schrock can play hockey and won't have to be counted on as much for the rough stuff. He is good, and is a good player too.

Blueline Baby
Wed, 11/18/2009 - 9:05pm

I think the only reason I could not see that whole "send out the goons" incident on Halloween night (my seat was right behind the Muskegon bench) was because I was waiting in the tunnel with all the kiddos for the costume parade. Otherwise I'd have lost the rest of my voice getting my section to yell for the guys to get off the ice. Not that I'd made a difference, but they'd have heard me holler.

I say send out Brad McMillan's little one to be the enforcer....that kid can wave a hockey stick like no one's business....he nearly took out kneecaps in that tunnel while his dad was taking down Lawmaster!

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 9:08pm

On another note, any truth to a rumor I heard that it was Drouin that broke Boucher's finger in practice last week? If it's true, then he's put Komet goalies out for several months in the past 2 years, with the 3 or so months of the collar bone and finger injury that Laplante was out with last season..........what's with that?

Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:41am

I hadn't heard that rumor, but I did wonder about that, given his track record! :D Still, I figured that Blake would have said as much if that were the case.