Gourde and Draisaitl battling for the puck.
Photo credit: Toronto Star

Seattle coach blames McDavid for Yanni Gourde's hit on Ekholm

Published January 20, 2024 at 5:37 PM
Yesterday night, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced a two game suspension for Yanni Gourde for his hit against Mattias Ekholm. All game long, the Kraken were clearly trying to physically antagonize the Oilers, especially pestering Connor McDavid.

When asked about Gourde's suspension and the rough game against the Oilers at practice today, Seattle coach Dave Hakstol made an unbelievable comment by essentially blaming McDavid for making Gourde go postal. Hakstol complained that the referees were intentionally ignoring penalties by McDavid against Gourde, which led to Gourde trying to police the game himself with dirty hits and dirty plays.

It's a bizarre statement from Hakstol, considering that anyone watching that game clearly saw the Kraken's priority of agitating McDavid to try to gain an advantage. Gourde and the Kraken simply went too far, and the suspension against Gourde was completely justified.

Hockey is undoubtedly changing, but it's still a physical game played by professionals who do become emotional. Blaming McDavid and the refs intentionally ignoring calls against him for Gourde losing his cool is a ridiculous look on Hakstol, and will definitely be remembered when these two teams meet again.
January 20   |   893 answers
Seattle coach blames McDavid for Yanni Gourde's hit on Ekholm

Did the referees ignore calls on McDavid because he's a star player?

Yes27831.1 %
No24927.9 %
The ignore more penalties taken against McDavid29533 %
See Results718 %
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