IT’S a talking point that won’t go away, writes Bob Westerdale.
Nottingham Panthers’ Kelsey Wilson’s slash on Sheffield Steeler Simon Ferguson earned him a relatively modest three game ban. But while the debate over that penalty has continued, Steelers themselves have come under fire...and from some of their former players, too!
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch the incident for yourself and comment below.
In an unusual twist on the issue, ex Steelers believe the current squad should have stood up for Ferguson - and took revenge on the ice. After Ferguson was felled by Wilson’s two-hander, no other Sheffield player sought revenge.
Andre Malo, an ex Panther who had five years at Steelers, commented: “I was surprised nobody went after Wilson, that would have been a bench clearance in our day.” Les Millie, who wore the Steeler shirt in 150 games added: “There would have would have been a riot.....three games for a cheapshot like that is nowhere near enough.”
And Marc Twaite, a six-season Panther said: “If you are passionate about your team mates you react. A player like Corey Beaulieu would still be pummelling Wilson now. The (www.star.co.uk/icehockey) video showed two Steelers players skate away: we’d have jumped the bench to fight him.”
Steelers’ coach Ryan Finnerty admitted he’d expected reprisals after the incident. “We didn’t have the right guys out there, I guess. But what happened caught everybody by surprise. We do stick up for one another but this happened pretty quick. If the right personnel had been out there and seen it maybe it would have been different.”
Rod Sarich said: “I don’t think anybody saw it. If they had possibly somebody would have gone after him. I was ready to do the high fives (after a goal) looked around and Ferguson was on the ice.”
And heavyweight Drew Fata added: “I heard a commotion, didn’t know who had done what, but was ready (to fight). I was going around but didn’t know who it was. Kelsey’s back was to me. I didn’t think it was him. Normally a statement is there to be made. Obviously we stand up for team mates but we did get two goals on the Power Play; that probably matters more.”