Shalhoub: Ference deserved 1-game; nice cover-up

Posted By: CJAD Sports · 4/22/2011 11:32:00 AM

The NHL has fined Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference US$2,500 for making an obscene gesture. Why am I not surprised that he got off that easily?

Ference should have known better and who really buys his equipment malfunction explanation after he gave Montreal Canadiens' fans and a North American televison audience the 1 finger salute? "The coach showed it to me and it looks terrible, but that's not my style." said Ference after game 4 on Thursday. Minutes later, "I haven't even had a chance to talk to Andrew....." said head coach Claude Julien. Way to be on the same page in the cover-up, but don't worry, the guys in Toronto bought it after their "investigation" of the facts

Ference, Boston's player representative, cut his club's deficit to 1 goal in the second period of its comeback victory, 5-4 in overtime at the Bell Centre. He decided to set a fine example for the kids by celebrating classlessly. Ference's backhanded attempt at an apology (listen to track 1) just doesn't cut it and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should have slapped him with more than a fine. Bettman needed to step up and do the right thing for the NHL's brand.

"Yeah I talked with Murph, Mike Murphy this morning...." said Ference after the ruling. Isn't it nice to know that he can refer to the guy handing out "the punishment" by his nickname. Murphy handed down the decision, because Colin Campbell's son Gregory plays for the Bruins, not to mention that he has enough on his plate right now. He's busy handing out insufficient suspensions or none at all for head shots, which continue to plague hockey this post-season. The optics for the NHL just keep looking better by the day, don't they?

Montreal defenceman James Wisniewski was suspended 2 games for his lewd gesture at the New York Rangers' Sean Avery, while Wisniewski was playing for the New York Islanders earlier this season. Fans, including many parents, weren't too thrilled with trying to explain away what "Wiz" was simulating.

As for Ference, weren't you happy to answer why did he do that daddy (or mommy)? Thank you to the NHL for encouraging Ference, and others from this point on, to open the lines of communication about self-gratification for a mere $2500.

With the NHL's playoff discount, then Ference's you're #1 move warranted a 1-game suspension plus a $2500 fine and don't give me the argument: "it's not as graphic as what Wisniewski did."

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney was recently suspended 2 games for dropping an F-bomb at a camera after he scored a goal. Still need a few more reasons why anybody, who pulls what Ference did, should be suspended "in the best interests of the game."

Is a player disrespecting an opponent more worthy of a suspension than a player showing fans where they can go? They simply line the owners pockets and pay the players' salaries.

The league has not tolerated players laying a finger on fans, nor should it have put up with Ference, or any player, giving them the finger. Bettman has now allowed a precedent that fans can be shown the finger and disrespected anytime or anywhere or is it only in the playoffs? This was a no-brainer for the commissioner, no matter what Bruins' owner Jeremy Jacobs may have tried to tell him to downplay the bush-league and crude gesture by one of his veterans.

Another Bruins' veteran, forward Shawn Thornton, also creatively explained (listen to track 2) that "sometimes your glove gets stuck, whatever." Yeah, whatever it takes to get Ference off the hook. The old equipment malfunction gets you every time.

Come on. Do Ference and Thornton really think they're fooling anybody, including some in the Boston media? Like Chara on Pacioretty, this isn't a Montreal vs Boston issue (I picked the Bruins to win this series). It could have happened between Nashville and Anaheim for all I care. This is about the integrity of the game, which at last check wasn't supposed to be a dog and pony show like the WWE or the UFC.

Ference is not the reason the Habs let the lead get away 3 times to allow the Bruins to even the series at 2 games apiece with game 5 set to go in Boston after tomorrow's Habs Show at 5 p.m. on CJAD 800 and CJAD.COM; however, he should not have the privilege of playing in game 5. Wearing an NHL uniform is not a right, it is a privilege. Isn't it?

If the Canadiens want to win the game and this series, they have bigger fish to fry than the issue that Ference has created. He's not going to be the difference maker, but Bettman could have made a difference by doing the right thing for the youngest generation of fans and their parents.

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  1. miz posted on 04/22/2011 12:24 PM
    instead of complaining about ferrence's hand gesture, why don't you complain about your teams epic collapse. or the fact that your goalie looked like absolute dog___. you keep whining, and the bruins will keep on winning.
  2. Izak KOrc posted on 04/22/2011 02:44 PM
    After watching yesterday's game I came to a conclusion that the Montreal team does not possess the KILLER INSTINCT. They let boston off the hook and as a result they will loose this series. But their misfortunes began when their GM decided not to participate in the trade deadline. Today it shows big time. This team played to their full potential in the first period and in my opinion, this is the best that you are going to get from them. I think that Carey Price played well the entire season, however, in these playoffs he is not the same netminder. As for the finger, if the Montreal team would have won, the finger issue would not be discussed. Good luck habs.....
  3. Andrew Ferrence posted on 04/22/2011 03:05 PM
    Where is your article about the classless Hab fans booing the USA National anthem?????? What a bunch of sissys!!!!!!!
  4. Mark Shalhoub - CJAD 800 Sports posted on 04/22/2011 09:34 PM
    2 wrongs don't make a right, Ference. Those are a few pockets of yahoos, who don't wear an NHL jersey and who have been called out before. The finger issue would have been discussed regardless, Izak, because this isn't about winning or losing, it's about setting an example for kids and respecting your NHL customers. The complaint about the Habs blowing the lead 3 times (see last 2 paragraphs) were made, miz, and this is so not a Habs vs Bruins issue (please read 3rd to last paragraph).
  5. Bill posted on 04/23/2011 08:02 AM
    If my team folded like that, I'd focus on Ference too.
  6. neutral posted on 04/23/2011 08:10 AM
    Get over it if the habs had won this would not be an issue. Habs fans boo the US & CDN national anthem all the time and yet you say nothing. I usually turn you off when you are reporting because all you do is whine.If you had it your way every team that beats the habs should be suspended The habs are not without their dirty tricks. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..
  7. Mark Shalhoub -- CJAD 800 Sports posted on 04/23/2011 08:17 AM
    It's not my team, Bill, and I picked the Bruins. Please read the whole blog and did you hear our chats with Stubbs, Sergio and Bean, yesterday or on the Dagwood's post-game show when I specified that Ference is not the difference between winning and losing in this series and that the Canadiens have bigger fish to fry? Ference's finger is a league issue not a Bruins-Habs issue or "a hockey play". Listen at 8:55 this morning when Moff and I will be happy to talk about other issues and the one that is on everybody's lips. Neutral, as I commented below, I have called out booing the U.S. national anthem before, but you're mixing apples and oranges. My Canadian grandfather served in World War 2 alongside our U.S. allies. There are some brain-dead fans in every city, who need to show more restraint and respect in various instances. Instead of focusing on the anthem, based on what I have presented as precedent and other arguments, can you (and others) please make a case whether Ference should be suspended or not? The NHL can't suspend a few yahoos, but it would be nice if it could stand up for its fans when they are insulted. After game 4, Ference said: "Coach showed it to me. It looks awful." A few minutes later, Julien said: ''I haven't spoken to him about it, but......". Nice coverup boys, but the NHL bought the equipment malfunction when nobody else did. What bush-league handling of this issue all around. It won't matter come faceoff tonight. Ference isn't Bobby Orr, but it's the principle. It would be nice if that still mattered, regardless if a Predator flipped the bird to a Duck or a Bruin told Habs' fans they were #1.
  8. Bill posted on 04/23/2011 08:28 AM
    Not your team? LOL! CJAD makes Jack Edwards look neutral.
  9. neutral posted on 04/23/2011 09:19 AM
    Sorry got carried away, in answer to your question NO Ferrence should NOT have been suspended. Fans that boo anthems, riot in the streets and destroy public property do NOT care if they are flipped the bird.Hell they even boo their own team mates.
  10. Jim posted on 04/23/2011 11:05 AM
    I believe the issue is clear, regardless of who is playing. The fact that it is the play-offs should not matter. Lets insist on accountability from the league regarding proper conduct on the ice; whether it be violent head shots or unsportsmanlike conduct. It isn't brain surgery and, despite the head shots, I am sure that the players do have a learning curve if significant consequences are applied. For some players making tons of money, a fine may not bother them so much and they may feel its worth it; however, missing games affects both them and their teams. I can't help but continue to think that nepotism is still at play when the Wiz can get a 2 game suspension, but Florence loses no games at all. I second the statement regarding the importance of being a good role model for the kids. Hey Ference...my 10 year old kid was very much impressed by your display when I allowed him to stay up to watch the pros play! Additionally, I feel strongly that deliberate hits intended to injure (such as the most obvious head shots) should be dealt with in the courts as premeditated assault with intent to seriously injure. The fact that hockey players (and the league) are above ther law just because it takes place on the ice (WITHIN THE REST OF SOCIETY) does not give them immunity from the law. Things need to change and I strongly believe that there should be a neutral board established with no direct connection to hockey to review violence on the ice. It must be taken out of the hands of the league because their very inconsistence points to negligence, nepotism, conflict of interest or all of the above. As for the fans who may say otherwise because they like the violence...why don't we bring back the collesseums and gladiators too. Anyone who truly appreciates hockey will say that its okay to be physical in the game within limits and it would allow the truly skilled players to show their stuff.
  11. Bill posted on 04/23/2011 11:07 AM
    Don't agree with you Mark but kudos for showing up to respond unlike your colleagues.
  12. Terry posted on 04/23/2011 03:35 PM
    First of all, flipping the bird is "junior hockey type behavior". The league constantly struggles with what should and should not warrent a suspension. Too bad the guy can't just be honest and say he got carried away. I'd respect him for that, it's an emotional game. Secondly, If I was told Montreal would be tied 2 - 2 after 4 games when the series started I'd have taken that gladly. True being up 2 - 0 and now being tied hurts, but I'm a fan and I won't jump off the ship now. If they win the series most of the people crapping on the Habs now will "forget" they said all that they did. Lets hope the Bruins keep their losing tradition alive. GO HABS!!
  13. Rick Moffat posted on 04/23/2011 03:48 PM
    To Bill and others who weren't listening to the Dagwood's Postgame Show or CJAD's Ric Peterson Show Friday I did state for the record that Ference should have been suspended for such obviously rude behaviour. I also predicted correctly, as in the Chara Affair, that no suspension was going to result. A minority of Bruins fans have tried to post some of the rudest comments received by CJAD 800 since the Chara Incident. Don't know why that is. Trying to keep the game clean of stupidities like Ference's wardrobe malfunction is every hockey fan's business.
  14. Andrew posted on 04/23/2011 04:10 PM
    To flick the bird was a childish response. I expect more form a adult but maybe Ference is still going through puberty. Then to say a wardrobe malfunction is an lame excuse like a kid would give. I rest my case
  15. Declan Hughes posted on 04/23/2011 05:12 PM
    Is there any truth in the rumour that his other cover story for flipping the bird that he thought Montreal fans were # 1? That was reported elsewhere but not sure if they were serious when they did so.
  16. Allan Binsley posted on 04/23/2011 06:56 PM
    Get real Mark. (No, I'm not angry with you). Suspension? This from the same league and commissioner who said Chara didn't deserve a suspension for smashing Pacioretty's face into the glass. Let's face reality here. Gary Bettman is totally useless.
  17. Ray Bourque posted on 04/24/2011 04:55 PM
    Sadly, Charlie Sheen understands the difference between the Bruins and the Habs better than you do...while the Bruins keep WINNING, the Habs keep WHINING! Flop, flop, flop...keep trying to get calls...we'll keep trying to get goals.
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