Now that we've had a couple days to think about the donnybrooks between the Komets and Jacksonville Icemen, I have a few opinions to share.
- To be clear, I don't agree with the ECHL not giving out any punishment to Dajon Mingo for his check on Brady Shaw on Thursday night. While I understand the ECHL's perspective on it being a legal hit, I still feel Mingo made an unnecessary extension of his hands to the head area that warranted, at least, a fine or a one-game suspension. Even if that had happened, however, I think things would have gotten out of hand on Friday because the Komets felt their players weren't being protected by the league (and that's about more than just the Mingo hit; there was a hit on Stephen Baylis on Thursday and a Cody Sol swing of the stick Wednesday).
- I'm all for players policing things on the ice. That doesn't mean I think a dust-up during warm-ups is OK – it didn't quite happen Friday but almost did – and I don't know that we need anything other then legitimate one-on-one fights. Anything other than that is just asking for the league to get involved more and for players to be suspended.
- Ironically, Mingo never really had to answer for his hit did he? That does make you wonder a little: What was the point?
- By the way, what's it going to take for the ECHL to have officials on the ice during warm-ups. I know they say, well, if the players would act like adults then it wouldn't be necessary. But we're seeing these things happen too often and at least, when you know something could happen, what's the harm in having an official out there? Do they have to pay overtime?
- There has been a narrative out there that I think Jacksonville's Emerson Clark is the only player who deserves to be suspended from the brawl in front of the bench (shown in video above). That's not the case. I just think Clark was the biggest offender because he was going at it with an official and there's no league on earth that's going to stand for that. And if you start trying to take on the whole bench of the opposing team, which Clark pretty much did, then you cannot rationally expect the players on the bench to not start throwing haymakers like Kyle Haas and Chase Stewart did.
- So what suspensions do I think will come? Here's what I'm thinking: 13 games for Clark for what he did to the official, charging at a goaltender coming off the ice on a delayed penalty, and slashing him to incite the whole thing (one could argue, however, based on the scoresheet that it's an automatic 20 games); 7 games for Haas for fighting from the bench and hitting a guy who was in a defenseless position; 7 games for Stewart for fighting from the bench, while a linesmen was in the fray (which could also carry more automatically); 2 games for Patrick Munson. It's hard to say what impact the league's preemptive warning about nonsense will play, but I did factor that in. It wouldn't shock me if the respective head coaches get a game each. And there will probably be some fines.