"Was Ms. Sieppi the principal point of contact prior to the altercation?"
[Note for the regulars: Yes, this is a satirical post, but consider it a playoff comment thread if you're watching Flyers-Devils tonight.]
I'm Chris Chelios of the NHL's Department of Off-Ice Player Safety. Saturday night in Helsinki, Finland, an incident occurred in a club between Team Canada and Anaheim Ducks teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and a group of local drunkards.
At 3:57 a.m., Getzlaf and Perry delivered verbal threats to some drunken Team Finland fans following Canada's loss at the IIHF World Championships to Team USA. As the surveillance video shows, after pulling up alongside and talking to former Ms. Finland Sara Sieppi, Getzlaf angrily accosts the fans, and then well after it is established that the fans are drunk and belligerent, Getzlaf escalates the situation by confirming his status as the Ducks captain and telling the fans that "in three minutes all ye are fallen." This is a violation of The Embarrassing Altercation on International Soil Rule, which states:
Embarrassing Altercation on International Soil Rule 98: An embarrassing altercation which involves fans in foreign countries is hilarious and should be made light of, especially if participated in by Good Canadian or American Boys.
As we watch Getzlaf earlier in the evening, he sits down at the bar and legally chats up Ms. Finland. As the locals start taunting Gelzlaf, he displays frustration to Perry and their teammates and even goes to the degree of turning back to the fans to continue making his point.
He then turns back to refocus on Ms. Finland, recognizes one of the drunkards calling him a "Yuungunn Kuubaalinen," which is a Finnish term translating to "man too young to be that bald," begins to verbally pursue the drunkards and delivers a late, reckless and uproariously funny threat to beat up everyone in the bar. Well after the argument has begun, Perry enters the frame to join his teammate in the altercation. The situation escalates until Getzlaf and Perry are given bar misconducts and are ejected by teammates and officials.
One of the questions we ask is, was Ms. Sieppi the principal point of contact prior to the altercation? The answer is no. In spite of the fact that she is sitting down in a conversational posture, the positioning of her body does not significantly change before Getzlaf begins yelling at the fans.
When you look at this episode in its entirety, including the fans taunting, combined with Perry becoming involved, we feel Getzlaf's reckless and hilarious targeting of local fans in their home country is worthy of supplemental discipline.
We've taken into consideration the fact that, although they were in a legal drinking establishment, none of the players were drunk, according to Getzlaf's former general manager Brian Burke, and returned to their hotel and went right to sleep. It is also important to note that Getzlaf has not been previously fined or suspended for any funny verbal altercations involving Nordics in his seven-year NHL career.
- This was a hilarious and embarrassing verbal argument with drunken Finns.
- Getzlaf was seen talking to a former Ms. Finland.
- Getzlaf told the drunk Finns, "in three minutes all ye are fallen."
- Getzlaf is not an enigmatic, disgruntled, surly or inebriated native of Russia or a former Russian state.
The Department of Off Ice Player Safety has decided to fine Ryan Getzlaf one beer the next time we all go out to a bar or club. Corey Perry is suspended for the next two days from getting rides home from the rink in a Honda SUV with non-teammate Nicklas Lidstrom.