So yesterday the Habs’ Tom Kostopoulos was given a three-game suspension after he demolished Mike Van Ryn from behind along the endboards, which was a perfectly reasonable suspension.
But how is there no action being taken against the Canadiens for the way they treated former teammate Mikhail Grabovski?
I hate to be the one that is constantly calling for this player or that player to be suspended or fined or whatever and I’m not doing so here, but it’s pretty clearly a team directive to punish Grabovski for the crap he pulled with Montreal last year. Not that he helped his own cause by taunting various Habs players over the course of the night, but again, this strikes me as something that came down from the top.
Watch that video around 1:10 into it. Right before Koivu gets in his face about something, he makes a point to not pull up short of Grabovski even though he is clearly prone on the ice after having been drilled just after the whistle on an offside call.
For those that don’t know the full story here, Grabovski spent much of the season as a healthy scratch and one day, before a road game in Phoenix for which he was once again going to be watching from the press box, he flew to Los Angeles instead to meet with his agent. Neither the Habs players nor front office types took too kindly to that and now that Grabovski has been traded to the Leafs, even his lifelong friends the Kostitsyn brothers are lining up against him.
“He is not my friend anymore,” said Kostitsyn on Monday. “I do not have respect for him. He’s not even a team player.”
”I have a good memory, we’ll see each other again,” when thinking about the next game between the two team on January 8th.
Other pertinent quotes followed.
Alex Kovalev: “No, don’t talk to me about him. He’s in Toronto and I am here. I’ve got nothing to say.”
Chris Higgins: “He’s not here anymore. I don’t care about him.”
Guy Carbonneau: “He’s playing a lot and he’s happy in Toronto. Good for him.”
Now I’m not saying Grabovski’s actions were justified because they weren’t, but they were taking run after run at him on Saturday with very little recourse from the Leafs and surprisingly no action from the league, especially in light of that second Kostitsyn quote. Even Grabovski seems to imply that he believes the orders came down from Carbonneau.
It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out on Jan. 8.