Let's start off with the initial report from the Hershey Bears website:
With the BEARS leading 5-4, Chris Bourque was tackled from behind as he tried to shoot into the empty net, and was credited with his 15th goal at 19:46 although the puck never entered the net. HERSHEY took a 6-4 lead on the goal and essentially clinched the victory. Norfolk forward Steve Downie then returned to center ice for the face-off and slashed linesman Mike Hamilton across the right shin. Referee Jeff Smith assessed a game misconduct on Downie for physical abuse of officials under ruler 41.2 category one. The ruling calls for an automatic 20-game suspension. Norfolk has just 21 games remaining.Now let's go to the viewpoint of Hershey Bears broadcaster John Walton.
"The two teams came to center ice for the face-off, and Downie stepped into the face-off circle. Linesman (Mike) Hamilton prepared to drop the puck. Instead of trying to win the face-off, Downie took a baseball-like swing with full wind-up and struck Hamilton across the right shin. Watching the replay no less than 20 times myself during the postgame, I was appalled not only at the lack of respect for an official, but the sheer violence from one man to another"But is it really this cut and dry? Not so fast says Norfolk Admirals GM Mike Butters.
"The linesman was really not even part of this," Butters said. "The centerman across from (Downie) was yapping at him. "(Downie) went to swipe at the stick. He swung in a downward motion and hit the puck. The intent was there to hit the puck. He may or may not have clipped the official's skate."Those are certainly two rather conflicting reports, aren't they? And of course, at about the time that a YouTube video would come in handy in determining what really happened, no one has posted anything. And where is the official who was slashed in all of this? Where is this replay that Walton saw over 20 times. Is Walton exaggerating to try to get this guy away from hockey forever, because, as we all know, this is not the first time he has done something vicious. Is the Admiral GM just trying to save his player's ass because he knows he is guilty yet since there is no video to prove it, he is just trying to get his guy a lighter suspension? Who's telling the truth? Come on people, what is the truth?
I'll keep you updated on this, but for now, enjoy (or rather, cringe) as Steve Downie knocks Dean McAmmond senseless.
It is safe to say, that he is not missed as a Flyer.
Steve Downie Ups the Ante, Slashes AHL Official to Earn Another Suspension (The 700 Level)