It's a newsy day in the NHL with several items demanding that you stop working and comment on a blog.
The first is that Shea Weber has been cleared to play after practicing the last two days with the Nashville Predators. Like Claude Giroux and the Flyers, he's their best player and they'll get a big emotional lift from his return. Also like Claude Giroux, he is returning purely by coincidence against these Dallas Stars.
The other big news is that former Dallas Star Krys Barch has been suspended one game for "insensitive remarks" allegedly made toward P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.
It has been confirmed by a couple of news outlets that Barch said something along the lines of "did you slip on a banana peel?" after Subban fell down in the aftermath of a scrum during a stoppage in play. Barch told the media, paraphrasing Colin Campbell: "If there was any question that this was racial, you'd be done five to 10 games, and (the decision) would be done the day after."
So here we have a situation where the league is saying "we agree it wasn't racial," and Krys feels he's exonerated to a certain extent, but they're suspending him anyway?
A banana peel is a sensitive issue on a hockey rink near a black player. Let's not pretend otherwise. Wayne Simmonds had a banana peel chucked in his direction during a preseason game in Ontario and that may have entered the official's mind upon hearing it. Barchy could have and should have chosen his words better, just to be safe.
It's still another mixed message from the league, who had no evidence other than the testimony of a linesman. Subban said he didn't hear anything. It's either racist, and worth MUCH more than one game, as Campbell allegedly indicated to Barch himself, or it's not and it's worth nothing.
The intent of Barch's words are debatable. Unfortunately for him the damage that will have been done to his reputation represents a much more enduring punishment...earned or not. I think most NHL players would tell you that "did you slip on a banana peel" wouldn't make a top 10 list of the most shocking things said in a game on any given night.
It will be interesting to see if the league makes a statement. The implication is that Barch was suspended for nearly being racist and flying too close to the proverbial sun.
After the jump... what would you give up for Rick Nash?
Yesterday the news hit Twitter that the Ducks would entertain offers for anyone on their roster not named Koivu or Selanne, in part because those two have no-movement clauses. This sparked speculation and fanboy trade scenario's unlikely to ever come true. It's entirely possible that it's merely a form of public flogging for Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan.
Today more speculation comes as Rick Nash answers a hypothetical about rebuilding and insinuates (if you twist his words as much as you can and squint really, really hard) that he would waive his no-movement clause if asked. You can read the verbiage here.
"The city of Columbus deserves a winner and deserves a good product on the ice. If it comes to that - like you said, all speculation - but if they don't want me here, they want to move me? I'm not going to do something where it's going to hurt the franchise just because I have that in my contract." [Blue Jackets Xtra]
That boy isn't going anywhere, but it has sparked trade talk galore out there on the interwebs.
What would you give up for Rick Nash if he were willing to come? In any of these scenarios Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson would be front and center in a list of demands. Do those that believe the Stars need a big acquisition realize this and could they cope with it? Wouldn't the Stars be better off continuing to build with what they have?