It seems like people are trying to make their case for fighting vs. no fighting by using this incident in microcosm. Truth is, Neil (meathead that he is) shouldn't be suspended for a pretty harmless scrum at the end of the play. Likewise, Franzen didn't "use his stick as a weapon" or "poke a bear" and therefore doesn't really need to defend himself.
If we're being honest it probably went something like this. Franzen was having an awesome game and making Ottawa look REALLY bad at home. Neil, being a fan favorite, veteran, and renowned pest didn't like being shown up at home. As such, he decided he was going to give Franzen a little extra attention in the third period. Franzen, not enjoying being buzzed, clipped, and generally roughed up took a couple of whacks at Neil (as almost ALL skill players do when being harassed, see: Kessel, Phil), and Neil did as he's always been known to do and escalated it into a scrum. At which point the refs took control and tossed them both, partially to make sure nothing more serious happened and largely because the game was out of reach and it wouldn't matter.
No harm, no foul. Opponents of fighting (like me) can call Neil a meathead, and proponents can call Franzen soft, yellow, a coward. But the truth is, this incident is really a poor way of making a case for either.
Edited by kipwinger, 01 March 2014 - 06:47 PM.