Smurf forward Ryan Callahan and Stockholm defenseman Zach Bogosian, both natives of New York state, had a little disagreement on Saturday as the teams were battling in the third period of their game in Sweden. The two pushed each other in front of the Eagle net after Brayden Holtby covered the puck to get a whistle and then they started yapping at each other. Callahan stuck out his tongue and Bogo responded with a well-executed spear to the groin. Bad move by Zach. Callahan was injured and had to leave the game. Bogosian had to leave too, by decree of referee Hans Eilenberger of Switzerland, and on top of that, Berlin scored a goal nine seconds into the ensuing powerplay.
The bad news for Bogosian continued Monday when Sepp Blatter, the EURO League’s director of player safety and discipline slapped him with a one-game suspension. Bogosian will miss Stockholm’s game in Lisbon on Tuesday.
Asked if he was satisfied with the one-game suspension, Blatter replied, “No. The value of discipline seems to be dropping. The GM’s of Stockholm and Berlin were not very willing to talk about it and it was not a very rewarding experience for me.”
Over in Stockholm, Blatter’s decision was met with furry, with the injured Callahan taking verbal shots in addition to the spear he received.
“I guess this brings a whole new meaning to Smurf balls … errr, i mean blue balls … errr, i mean get a bigger cup next time,” said General Manager Michael Sauer, showing no sympathy for the Berlin player.
Sauer’s boss is apparently fine with the comment. For his own part, owner Fredrik Andreas Larsson added, “Well, you see, with Berlin, it’s a soccer city first and foremost so I’m sure he just dove and jabbed himself. What a soft pecker Ryan is.”
Bogosian was just as unrepentant. “I just gave him a little love tap going into the corner,” said the defenseman. “… he hasn’t been touched there in a while and it shocked him and it hurt him. Next time I’ll just give him a hug and see if he is out day-to-day with physical softness.”
And then there was the media in eastern Sweden, who also saw the suspension as an opportunity to poke fun. “Callahan’s Groin Spearheads Bogosian to Rafters” read a headline in Monday’s Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet.