PHILADELPHIA Andrew Ference wont play against the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday afternoon as he serves out the first suspension of his 12-year NHL career.
The veteran defenseman has been suspended three games for a charging hit on New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the overtime session of Saturdays loss to the Blueshirts.
Steve Kampfer will play in Ferences place.
Ference wont be playing today. Hes going to be suspended. The one thing they havent confirmed to us is the length of it, said Claude Julien. You never want to see a player suspended. But at the same time there are rules in place and its a game thats played on the edge. Whats clear is that Ference isnt a dirty player. Hes a player that supports what the league is trying to do.
Julien referenced Zdeno Chara getting hit from behind during Saturdays game as well, and the lack of supplementary discipline for that dangerous play because the 6-foot-9 defenseman was able to walk away from head-first impact into the glass.
Not every time a player is suspended is it meant to be intentional. We saw that with Henrik Zetterberg last night. He got kicked out just for putting a hand on somebodys back and sometimes guys are going into the boards at a fast speed and theyre off-balance. It just goes to prove that it doesnt always have to be a dirty play or meant intentionally. Chara got hit from behind yesterday and it he was 5-foot-10 then hed probably be down on the ice. Its a lot about what comes out of those kinds of hits the injuries and everything else that the league seems to be looking at. You respect what theyre trying to do and you move on.
Ference had a phone hearing with NHL VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan on Sunday morning about the hit. He explained the suspension in a video for NHL.com.
Ference accepted responsibility for the hit following Saturdays game and admitted he came into the collision with too much speed to keep things under proper control.
Jae Crowder praises what it's like to play for Brad Stevens, and how playing for him has rejuvenated him as a player.
WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”
Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . . he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”