Hanover, NH

Zanleoni Suspension

Jan 31st, 2013 11:50 PM
The suspension to Jay Zanleoni has been excessive and unfair to both him and the rest of the Whalers team, and I'd like to ask for an explanation as to why he has been required to sit out the last three games.

Jay did the appropriate thing in coming forward and stating that he went hard on the play that injured Will Meyer and took responsibility for his actions. The play itself was a hockey play. It happened in the course of the action, and I saw it in the offensive zone as I manned the blue line. It was not penalized, nor did it strike me at the time as something that clearly needed to be. However, it still resulted in an injury to Meyer, and all of us understood the fairness of a short suspension for the sake of keeping the league clean. However, three games has been far too long for such a play.

As an example, I like playing against Marshy. He's a guy that puts forth the effort every game and brings a good, upbeat, competitive attitude that fits the concept of men's league hockey. I'll use him as an example, however, because he's a bigger, stronger player that goes hard. If a similar play happened where he crashed into me behind the net and I suffered an injury, I wouldn't think he'd be suspended for three games.

There are a few factors that contribute to this.

- The first is that Meyer is one of the league's best players and I'm just some average guy. It seems to me that by taking a stand on an injury to one of the best players in the league, it's designed to make a point that it's never ok to take a shot at another team's best player. That's not to suggest that Jay did such a thing, and this never seems to be a problem due to the integrity with which UVHL players approach the game. However, I think that an injury to me could be easily swept under the rug since I'm a relative no-namer, and that Jay was penalized for the quality of the player that was injured, not the play itself.

- The second factor that contributed to this is that the Whalers have the image of a happy-go-lucky team and we haven't spoken up. You needn't watch more than the first 60 seconds of the Nordiques-Whalers game on Tuesday to realize that if a Nord got suspended, the team would have chirped and complained until their player was put back on the ice. We, the Whalers, have accepted this suspension for three games with relatively little feedback, and it's time that someone on our team speak up and request an explanation.

I won't blame either of the two recent Whalers losses solely on Jay's absence. However, he shows up every single week and is a big contributor to the team. It was evident in the way we lost momentum on Tuesday with five forwards and three defensemen that an additional skater, especially of his caliber, would have helped our performance.

We've sat quiet for three weeks and tried to let this play its course, but by this past game, the suspension became something that seemed excessive and unfair, not just to the player or the team, but the league as a whole. We deserve an explanation as to why the suspension was so harsh, and I hope that such criteria will be noted for any future reference (although I hope we have no similar such instances).

Should a similar instance ever arise, it would make a lot more sense to determine the suspension before the following week's games are played. This one has seemed to be off-the-cuff and loosely based on whether Meyer has been healthy enough to play, which he has not. (Let's say a player breaks a bone on a questionable play and misses two months. I can't see it happening that the player that hurt him misses all that time as well.)

I'll close be wishing Will the best. I enjoy playing against him, and I hope he is close to returning. Head injures aren't something to be taken lightly, and I know everyone on our team, especially Jay, was disappointed to find out he'd gotten hurt.



BY: kpark
Jan 31st, 2013 @ 11:15PM

Get all of your information before you start running your mouth here. It's not as cut and dry as you think, and you're assumptions that the league won't protect you because you are not an "elite" player are absurd and honestly fucking insulting.

I'll gladly contribute more information to this story in the morning.

Thank You

BY: JTStally
Feb 1st, 2013 @ 12:14AM

I would very much appreciate more information to help us all understand how the incident has been addressed and how it's being resolved. I'd also prefer that profanity not be used, as it only detracts from a serious discussion.

I enjoy our league very much, because the teams tend to play a respectful game. My hope is that by gaining an understanding of the incident, we can help avoid another such one in the future by creating a sense of consequences for a player's actions.

BY: PMayhew
Feb 1st, 2013 @ 9:13AM

Here are the facts, this was Kelly's email to the captains after this happened:

Just a heads up that the league will be suspending the Whaler's Jay Zanleoni for for an undetermined amount of time for an incident that occurred last week against the Gamblers. The incident occurred as Zanleoni & Meyer were criss-crossing behind the net, Zanleoni reached out to get a piece of Meyer to slow him down despite the fact that he didn't have the puck. The contact resulted in a concussion for Meyer who will be missing at least this week. Now this is the tricky part, neither referee nor myself saw the incident and Meyer doesn't totally recollect the contact but feels it must have been an elbow since he is significantly smaller than Zanleoni. Now wait, it gets even more interesting that Zanleoni reached out to Meyer and apologized, then sent me an email saying that he leaned into Meyer with the sole purpose of giving him a bump to slow him down but knows he was wrong and accepts a suspension.

As the commissioner, this would have been a play that I couldn't suspend for since we haven't installed our instant replay streaming yet and since both referees missed the play. Zanleoni's transparency is greatly appreciated, seeing as I think most guys would either deny the incident or push it under the rug. That being said, Meyer wasn't able to work the next day and will miss some time on the ice and these are the types of things that I do NOT want to happen in the UVHL.

Zanleoni suggested that I suspend him for the length of Will's injury plus one game. I think that is a fair ruling, but I would also like to%u2026not reward, but show the league's appreciation for Zanleoni's transparency on the issue. I truly believe that, while Zanleoni pushes the envelope on the ice, there was no malicious intent to inflict damage or pain on Meyer but to get under his skin and slow him down. So a suspension to injury is the ruling that I have come to. If you have any thoughts or issues, please feel free to let me know.

Zanleoni is now on the books and is being warned to cut the bullshit, a second offense will not be tolerated.


As you can see he mentions nothing about Will being one of the better players in the league. Kelly also left this open for feedback from all captains. I agree that with a long-term injury, this type of suspension would not work (and with a head injury nobody knows how long it will be). When we were talking about the suspension, I don't think that any of us thought it would be longer than 3 games. As with anything, you have to put yourself in Kelly's shoes when making these decisions. There is always two sides to every story and it is hard to have a suspension system set in stone as there are too many variables. Maybe we should have Kelly make a Brendan Shanahan video explaining his thought process....

BY: Z-Skate
Feb 1st, 2013 @ 9:38AM

First and foremost, I will admit that I play on or near the edge and try to bother/frustrate folks on the ice.

The play with Will never had any malicious intent. I was trying to get in his way and slow him down, as I often do with him. That being said no one (outside of Will) feels worse about the resulting injury than I.

In the subsequent days after the incident, I reached out to Park to discuss the play and a suspension. The suspension that was handed down was more my doing than Park%u2019s.. as detailed above.

That's it

BY: The Dark Canuck
Feb 1st, 2013 @ 4:30PM

I'm suspending myself for NOT taking your head off behind the net Stally...

Thanks, Everyone

BY: JTStally
Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 7:02PM

I appreciate Pierce sharing his insight. While I don't expect Parky to share the extent of his email with the whole league, I think a small recap of how the incident was handled and when we could expect Jay back would have been helpful for me. It was mentioned in the Gamblers-Whalers recap, but left the suspension length open, which caused my eventual frustration. The unpredictability of concussion length certainly didn't help anything for anyone. As I said, I hope to see Will out there again soon ... despite how much of a pain he is to try to defend, ha ha!

In regards to the actual play, I did see it, although the contact happened behind the net, so the action of it was obstructed. It didn't strike me as blatantly malicious, and I think that's why the refs didn't whistle it for a penalty. When I asked Marrazzo what happened to Will and he said a concussion, I didn't immediately think of that play, so it's understandable that it didn't stand out to them at the time it happened. As we know, they have a lot to pay attention to at one time. It doesn't change the fact Will got hurt on a play that didn't need to happen and deserved a penalty, but Jay certainly didn't go in with those intentions.

Marshy, I'll keep my head up on the breakout next time we play you guys, lol. Thanks again to everyone for helping to clarify this issue.


Thanks Pierce

BY: kpark
Feb 1st, 2013 @ 9:31AM

Pierce, thank you for posting that. I was trying to keep the suspension a little bit low key out of respect for Jay's transparency.

Stally, please review the Player Conduct page which was posted over the Summer I Believe and is a link at the bottom of every page.

Player Conduct
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