PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – James Neal is one of the NHL’s elite goal scorers, but it seems he often finds himself in the headlines for his style of play which has now resulted in multiple suspensions for illegal hits.
One person who has seen enough of Neal’s dirty play is former NHL referee Paul Stewart. He joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about what he has seen from Neal and what somebody needs to do to him in order to change the way he plays the game.
Being the team captain, Stewart says Sidney Crosby should do something to get Neal’s attention.
“How many years have they been together?” Stewart asked about Crosby and Neal. “Someone should have taken Neal into the stick room and set him straight. It’s the same thing that they should have done with (Sean) Avery. Someone on his team should have put him into a room, locked the door and threatened him with his life.”
Stewart also called out Neal for his three embellishment penalties which he thinks should have resulted in suspension and the league hasn’t taken stronger action against him.
“They give a lot of those star players breaks, that’s just the way it is,” Stewart said. “I have no time for Colin Campbell whatsoever. And (Brendan) Shanahan, man it up. We see guys running guys from behind, we see them sticking guys in the head, and you know what? Nobody steps up to do anything, and I’m going to tell you right now, the National Hockey League needs to do something and start showing a better example.”
Click the audio below to hear Stewart’s outlook on the league and how they can stop this sort of behavior.