The above picture was taken during the game in which I scored my first professional goal. I was unsure if I was going to like pro hockey or not.

As you know, that’s no-other-way-to-describe-him-other-than “goon” Jeremy Yablonski, who we featured last week for throwing an off-ice punch that looks awfully similar to the one you’re about to see in the video below.

At the 1:05 mark, you’ll see the straw that finally broke the hockey players privilege of being allowed to play again this season.

Yup, suspended for the year this time.

At this point, if you were to write out Yablonski’s rap sheet, you’d have to unfurl it like toilet paper to show anyone. It’s bananas.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve played this clown, and it’s honestly scary. Not because he might hit you and it might hurt – that’s just hockey - but because it’s like walking down a long, dark alley at night knowing there’s a mugger hiding somewhere, and you have no idea what said mugger might do out of sheer desperation. Or when he might do it, for that matter. That’s not hockey.

So good for the KHL on the suspension.

It also sounds like it may have spurred on a new rule, as tweeted by Dmitri Chesnokov of TSN and Puck Daddy:

He then clarifies that he doesn’t mean a window of 80-120 games, but that the KHL is in the process of deciding what the threshold number of games will be that has to be reached to qualify.

Craziness. The Yablonski Rule! Couldn’t they just straight up ban him, and/or whoever it is that they don’t want?

He also says it sounds like the rule will only pertain to North Americans.

And as much as I want to stick up for my buddy Kip Brennan (who by the way is juuust on the outside, having played in 61 NHL games)….the sort of thing you can watch below is off-the-deep-end ridiculous.

(Hat-tip to Deadspin for the video)

As ludicrous as that KHL rule sounds (we’ll withhold judgement until we find out the exact details), it seems like they were being put in a position to do something.

We’ll follow up on this after hearing more from Dmitri later today.

Comments (17)

  1. That’s just full blown straight out of Slapshot!

    • Looks like games from the late 70s, early 80s before they put in the “no one comes off the bench rule”. The last 5 minutes of games would turn into 5 v 5 fights.

  2. Isn’t it? No wonder they want those guys gone.

  3. So this rule would basically apply to guys who get to the AHL level but never manage to cross the threshold into the NHL. I would imagine there must be guys at the AHL level who can’t get onto an NHL club but could be valuable to a KHL team if they want to make more money than the AHL pays.

  4. Absolutely, which is why it’s going to end up being a horrible rule. Should be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    • They should just do something based on PIM or fights per game. If you had more than x.xx, you can’t come over. That way a guy like Corey Locke, with his 9 NHL games but nearly a point per game in the AHL, could still go.

      Or they could have a rule like that, need to play xx NHL games, but allow applications for an exception to the rule. So they could deny the goons and accept the mighty midgets or whatnot.

    • Obviously no one wants their league to degenerate into something akin to Slap Shot, but there are better ways to regulate players like Yablonski. I think suspensions/fines have proven effective in the NHL. Look at how Matt Cooke turned his game around after being suspended for an entire playoff series.

  5. Meh.

    That was called “Friday Night” back in the Quebec Semi Pro Hockey League in the 90s.

  6. There’s no one else to blame other than Vityaz and Yablonski for these new rules. The KHL had enough of the sideshows that Vityaz put on the ice. They’re last in their conference with 5 regulation wins and a -33 goal differential. Brennan and Yablonski lead the league in PIMs and average over 14 PIMs a game (!!), while only playing 11 and 8 games respectively. I’m pretty sure that the last thing the KHL is worried about is hurting a few North American players who can’t play in the league because of the sideshow put on the ice by Vityaz.

  7. He did what he was hired to do, in a european league no less that knew exactly what they were doing when they signed him. How many teams did you play on from Vernon thru to Idaho (a place which Yabo is revered) that didn’t have someone watching you and your teammates backs? Probably not one, and on those teams who was the most respected guy in the room? Exactly. Tired of people whining about fighting and “goons”. If you don’t want to see any fighting go play/watch/commentate about soccer.

  8. Im curious if they suspended the coach for this. There was one more video on Puck Daddy that showed one of them (Brennan maybe?) just skate around and stick people and aggravate them, the players literally having to try to shake him off cause he wasnt even interested in the puck or the play. He was chasing guys trying to find someone to fight, then when he doesnt get a taker, he jumps one. If this is part of the game plan, the coach should never be allowed to coach again. Even if its not, and it is a one time thing, the coach needs to recognize this and staple the guy to the bench.

    Head hunting, sucker punches, and jumping guys is not part of hockey!

  9. Very shortsighted, and will be quickly rescinded. If the NHL has a work stoppage next year, the KHL will not want these barriers preventing talented players from playing in their league.

  10. Late to the party i know, but i was talking with a friend about this sort of thing a few months ago when everyone was all about head shots and fighting and concussions. I’ll qualify my position by stating that i like watching a good fight in hockey and i believe fighting has its purpose in the game. With that said, i’m getting sort of tired of seeing NHL teams ice guys who have no business playing the game, but they can throw a punch and/or are just freaking huge. The guys who’s sole roll is to go out and fight the other team’s big man.

    Anyways, i’m sort of liking the idea of the goon rule, not necessarily the way the KHL is doing it. Implement some sort of fight or penalty to game time ratio rule. Something along the lines of, a player needs to have more ice time per game than penalty minutes per game. Maybe the stats are checked each week. Essentially, force coaches to play their 4th lines more frequently, which would likely wind up forcing coaches to line up guys that can play the game rather than just fight.

  11. What Yablonski does has no place in hockey. I’m all for fighting for sticking up for a teammate or when two guys drop the gloves and are willing combatants. That is part of the game, and it should stay that way. That is not what Yablonski is doing though. He is jumping people and should have been suspended long ago.

    The new rule they are going to implement isn’t the way to do it though. What if some North American player wanted to go to the KHL for more money than they would make in the NHL? The KHL officials should be handing out unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and the league should suspend people for those penalties.

    Why wasn’t he suspended for 3, then 5, then 10 games for his antics in the past? It’s kind of like letting a child get away with something that you both know they did, then all of a sudden throwing the book at them when they do it the millionth time.

  12. Yabo and Kip got screwed is not thier fault these Euro KHL pussies can’t fight or stick up for themselves. Russian fags.

  13. So now I know I saw JB’s first pro goal live. While there were many games Yablonski played where he didn’t really fight, he mostly fought the other teams’ goons. In that game, I remember an Aces forward who happened to be really good (in that game at least) was also being extra physical (I think it was Schmidt). I believe that was what precipitated the fisticuffs and Yabo wasn’t leaving until he took his pound of flesh. That was the end of Yabo’s season and with him out of the way, I think the Steelheads won the cup that year.

    I regret that I was a blood-thirsty meathead fan at the time since I pretty much abhor all but the most necessary fights now. If guys want to fight just to see who’s tougher, they can do it at the bar later. In shame, I admit to cheering Yabo on as I felt Schmidt had it coming. After seeing Torres’ hit on Hossa, I lost my desire to watch that crap. Violence for the visceral excitement never plays out well for anyone in the end and after a while it’s pretty fucking boring and i’d rather watch skilled hockey players since there is already MMA for the fighting types.

    The ECHL was (is?) known for abject goonery and I remember one game when the Steelheads’ very young and rookie goalie was concussed and knocked out by the other goalie who skated the length of the ice to get to him. The Steelheads’ goalie was a child and turtled the entire time. Maybe the much larger and veteran goalie felt that was an initiation that needed to happen for the kid or maybe the guy was just a mean cunt who knew his pro playing days were coming to a close. Whatever. Steelies didn’t have a backup worth mentioning and that game was over. Mired in the ECHL, I probably would question my motivation as well.

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