Alexander Perezhogin In BIG Troubles?
Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Alexander Perezhogin has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the American Hockey League after a stick swinging incident in Hamilton on Friday night. The league will likey hand down a more definitive punishment on Monday after further reviewing the incident.
Criminal charges are also a possibility…
Cleveland Barons defenceman Garrett Stafford was taken to hospital after Perezhogin hit him in the head with a baseball-style swing of his stick. Stafford lay bleeding and convulsing on the ice after the hit. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for a grade three concussion and facial lacerations. Stafford was later released and was scheduled to head back to Cleveland.
”I’ve been doing hockey my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said enraged Barons coach Roy Sommer, who talked about an NHL incident in 2000 when Marty McSorley hit Donald Brashear in the head with his stick.
”That makes the McSorley-Brashear thing look like girl scouts.”
Sommer said he hopes Perezhogin is punished to the full extent possible.
”I don’t think this guy should ever play again in North America,” he said. ”That’s a travesty.”
”I saw it on tape … and it’s even worse on tape.”
To be fair, the tape also shows that Perezoghin’s swing may have been in made retaliation. During the play in question, Stafford and Perezoghin fell to the ice in front of the net. While rolling over to get up, Stafford appeared to take a swing at Perezhogin with his stick. Stafford’s stick appeared to clip the top of Perezhogin’s helmet. Perezhogin then turned and swung his stick at Stafford, hitting him flush in the side of the head.
Hamilton police Staff Sgt. Mike Campbell confirmed he had sent an investigator to Copps Coliseum to investigate. This does not mean that a complaint has been filed, or that charges will be laid, Campbell said.
In March, Vancouver Canucks player Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the NHL regular season and playoffs for attacking Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore from behind.
Vancouver police have finished their investigation in that case and it is now up to the Crown to decide whether to lay charges.
Perezhogin was the Canadiens’ first round pick, 25th overall, in the 2001 draft. He signed a three-year deal with Montreal in 2003 and was assigned to Hamilton for his first year of pro hockey in North America. In 77 games with the Bulldogs, he scored 23 goals and 27 assists for 50 points. He also had 52 penalty minutes.
The 20-year-old Russian is considered to be one of the Canadiens’ top prospects.
Stafford, a 24-year-old from Los Angeles, is also playing his first professional season after signing a free agent deal with the San Jose Sharks following four standout years with the University of New Hampshire.
The defenceman had an excellent rookie year in Cleveland, scoring 12 goals and 34 assists for 46 points. He had 71 penalty minutes. Stafford was named as a member of the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL Second All-Star Team. The Los Angeles, California native also appeared in the 2004 Pepsi AHL All-Star Game and was named the January AHL Rookie of the Month.
It saddens me to hear this because this sound like a stupid stupid move that has not it’s place in hockey and also because he is one of the best prospects of the organization. Hopefully his NHL career isn’t in danger after this, but I unfortunately did not see the incident in question so I’d like to hear the comments of someone who saw it. Also if anybody somehow has the video on his computer, please let me know.