May 25, 2011
DeGray: McNabb suspension didn't fit crime
By RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency
MISSISSAUGA - Owen Sound Attack general manager Dale DeGray still doesn't believe Kootenay Ice captain Brayden McNabb's one-game punishment fits his crime.
The Attack boss is frustrated after watching the big Buffalo Sabres prospect help keep the Western league champs alive at the Memorial Cup while he's unsure when star centre Joey Hishon will be back in the lineup.
Hishon, knocked out by a McNabb elbow last Saturday, didn't play against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors Wednesday night at the Hershey Centre.
"You look at the McNabb thing -- Joey Hishon is one of the most skilled players in the Canadian Hockey League and he's not playing," DeGray, the former NHL defenceman, said. "Joey Hishon isn't enjoying this experience. Do you think Brayden McNabb is enjoying this experience?
"Damn right he is."
DeGray believes Hishon will play again in the tournament. But he doesn't see the justice in McNabb serving his suspension against the Majors.
"I'd rather he played against Mississauga and helped beat them," DeGray said. "What if we have to play a tiebreaker game against them and he (McNabb) is in and Joey's not.
"We're trying to put our best foot forward here and it's tough. We don't have our first-line centre."
DeGray believes there's little teams can do about official screw-ups on the ice. Two of the five-game winning goals at this tournament have been obvious missed offside calls.
"They're mistakes and you just hope they don't lead to goals," DeGray said. "When we make mistakes, (we're) going to end up in the penalty box. The best thing in the world is when a referee comes up over to you and tells you he made a mistake. That's fine. It's human.
"All you can really do is move on. There's nothing else."
There's nothing more on the status of Hishon, the Colorado Avalanche first-rounder.
"He passed the base-line test but that's not the be all and end all," DeGray said. "There's more than just that to consider."
McNabb's Ice will have a better chance to win if Hishon stays out and they meet up with the Attack down the road. But that's not what he's thinking about right now.
"I wish the best for him," McNabb said.