Bad Blood? Head of NHL Dept. of Player Safety, Stephane Quintal’s time with the Rangers

Just like this photo, Stephane Quintal had a down career in NY for 1 season (NHL)

Just like this photo, Stephane Quintal had a down career in NY for 1 season (NHL)

”My heart is in Montreal.” Those 5 words earned then Rangers defenseman Stephane Quintal a suspension for “conduct detrimental to the team” back in 2000. Today, Quintal is the Head of Player Safety and for some inexcusable reason won’t review Matt Beleskey’s late hit that broke Derek Stepan’s ribs.

Neil Smith lost his job thanks to a slew of terrible signings that saw the Rangers tank in the standing back in 2000. At the forefront, Stephane Quintal along with Sylvan Lefebvre were simply brutal on defense.

Late in the season, John Muckler was a bitter angry man behind the Rangers bench and snapping at every veteran on the team, including Quintal who asked for a trade to Montreal as early as November.  The 31-year-old, was $3.95 million and playing like he wanted to get out of NY -bad!

Stephane Quintal (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Ron Frehm)

Stephane Quintal (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Ron Frehm)

Quintal so wanted to get out of a Blueshirt that he even started calling out his own teammates. He told a French paper, La Presse that Petr Nedved was not a #1 center in this league and that the Rangers “had too many chiefs and not enough indians.”

Fast forward to today and he is charge of a department that can impact the Rangers in many ways. Back in October of 2014, he suspended John Moore 5 games for a late and high hit on Erik Haula. However, yesterday he deemed that a late hit that broke Derek Stepan’s ribs wasn’t even worthy of a review.

On the play that Matt Beleskey takes out Stepan, just watch how he pauses for a split second after the pass then decides to nail him.

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Did you see it? He slowed down, Stepan makes the pass and then BOOM! To make matters worse, he does it in the most dangerous spot on the ice, just a few feet from the boards to a prone player.

If the injury to Stepan was not enough, insult was added by giving Dylan McIlrath an instigator penalty that the Bruins tied the game on. Yet somehow this isn’t even worthy of a review?

Let me go back to an article from 2014 that sheds more light from the NHL’s DOPS what is a late hit.

[su_quote cite=”Star Tribune” url=””]Reviewable incidents are inserted into clipping software, to be viewed frame by frame. This enables the league to examine different angles or zoom in and out. The league can tell down to a 10th of a second how long a hit takes place after a player no longer has the puck (0.6 to 0.7 seconds is too late). On illegal checks to the head, the league can tell within a fraction of an inch the main point of contact.[/su_quote]

I timed the hit above three times just to minimize human error and came up with the following:

.82, .80, .81

All three are higher than what the DOPS claims is considered a late hit. Still, we are left asking ourselves why won’t they run through the process and make this determination themselves? We are so concerned that a goalie’s stick blade may have been nicked on a goal against that we instituted a coach’s challenge, so why is that play not immediately reviewed in Toronto? If you want to be serious about the health of your athletes, this should be a reviewable play at the very least.

Apparently, the hit WAS reviewed by the NHL DOPS and they STILL felt no discipline required! This just makes it worse.

via NESN

via NESN

So I have to ask, what’s wrong with Stephane Quintal and the DOPS? Is he still holding a grudge about what happened to him in NY? Yes, I know it’s silly, but still it makes one go, hmm.

Awkward! - Stephane Quintal for a HABS photoshoot

Awkward! – Stephane Quintal for a HABS photoshoot

For more on Quintal’s suspension with the Rangers check out these great stories:

NY TIMES – Rangers, Out of the Playoffs, Suspend Disgruntled Quintal

CANOE, CA – Quintal wants out; Rangers suspend him

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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