The Ruutu Hit.


Look, I’m on record as being against the type of hits Ruutu delivered on Kaleta. Personally, I think it should be both a penalty (unsportmanlike conduct) and suspension eligible. But, that’s my personal opinion. In terms of the rulebook, that hit wasn’t even a penalty. Kaleta was not “boarded”. He was hit from the side (albeit blind, but that’s not a penalty), with a shoulder. The fact he was injured is not the makings of a penalty. It was not boarding, it was not elbowing, it was not charging.

Some pundits even went so far as to criticize the fact that Ruutu didn’t try to play the puck, just deliver the hit, as evidence the hit should result in a suspension.

What?

How many hits are delivered AFTER a pass, with the puck nowhere in sight? How many hits are delivered in front of the net, without any attention paid to the puck itself?

So many that, if this were in fact the criteria for suspension, the NHL would be in desperate need of eligible players.

So my issue is this; If Ruutu’s hit wasn’t a penalty, by the letter of the rulebook, how can a suspension be justified, without first altering the rules? This goes to integrity. You cannot create new rules out of thin air, based upon nefarious criteria, criteria I might add, that were not present in the past. In the past that hit has been made frequently, without penalty, so why now? Wouldn’t Richards also have deserved a 5 Minute penalty?  I won’t even get into Kaleta himself through-out his illustrious career.

Change the rule, THEN apply it, but to inject a new rule, without any actual rulebook change, is absurd, and provides further evidence that this league operates in a very ad hoc manner, with no respect for their own rulebook.

Again, I think it should be a penalty, and suspension eligible, but, two wrongs don’t make a right. You can’t scapegoat Ruutu, in order to avoid facing the reality that the league has done nothing official to address this type of hit.

GN

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6 Responses to “The Ruutu Hit.”

  1. I think that pretty well sums it up!

  2. Ruutu was doing fine and realized it was Kaleta and thought I’m going to really give him one!

    The hit was a full body shoulder… side ways, through his shoulder type head pop…helmet and glass rattler…

    The one we want “out” is the blind side, career ending, deliberate direct to the head…”head shot!”

    • Agreed Nik, but it was at an oblique angle, Kaleta was unlikely to have seen it coming. That being said…is that Ruutu’s responsibility?
      Not per the rules.
      Should it be?
      That’s where it becomes very judgemental. Roots could have given Kaleta a heads up he was coming in to deliver a hit, to let him ready himself, but honestly, I would think one of his linemates would have done this, as is ussual.
      Maybe they figured he didn’t merit a heads up, or maybe Kaleta was aware but chose to take the hit, and got more than he bargained for. Who’s to say?
      What bothers me about these hits is the possibility of life altering damage. I know, it’s a physical game, and everyone knows what they’ve signed up for, I get that, I really do, but at the same time, nobody will ever convince me Roots didn’t tag him beyond the confines of the game. It was a hit on Kaleta, a guy who has made a career of doing the exactly same thing to others.
      Does it make it right?
      Absolutely not, but until the league takes it out of the game, players like Kaleta, and to a lessor extent Neil and Ruutu, will create the environment where players see fit to deliver these types of hits, either as a means of making a living, or as a means of “what goes around…”
      I’d like t see it out of the game…because, it is just a game.
      GN

  3. they teach you in minor hockey, from the day you get to the level where body contact is introduced, to play the body first and let the second man play the puck. i agree that the hit was not boarding or elbowing, charging maybe, i didnt see how far he travelled to deliver the hit. either way, i am glad he wasnt suspended, we definitely need him in our lineup.

    • For the record, it was not charging (not implying you’re saying it was). Roots glided from the blue line to the half wall where he delivered the hit.
      GN

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