Brian Hayward didn't have a Hall of Fame NHL career, but the former goalie was around the block a few times.
Since hanging up the pads. Hayward has worked for various outlets as a television commentator. His most recent gig has been with the Ducks on Fox Sports Prime Ticket/West and their local television rights-holder, KDOC.
While Hayward has held multiple gigs with national outlets, he seems most comfortable working as a "homer," or local broadcaster.
His homerism may have crossed the imaginary line Wednesday night at Honda Center, as the Chicago Blackhawks came to town.
Let's go to the videotape.
"Is Seabrook selling this?"
I know players take dives in the NHL and all around hockey, but this is ridiculous.
Rule No. 1: When a player doesn't get up after taking a brutal shot to the head, don't accuse that player of taking a dive. It's just bad form.
Rule No. 2: When in doubt, see Rule No. 1.
I'm all for homer announcers. The local viewers in southern California are watching the game with a certain color of shades over their eyes, and they don't need the local announcers sticking up for the Blackhawks (or whoever) all night. A little character and some candor is a must when taking on a job like this.
Hayward's willingness to say nice things about the Ducks was tested and proven over the years, as the Ducks gooned their way to a Stanley Cup and have made a habit under Randy Carlyle of playing dirty hockey.
This cheapshot is just the latest example. This time, however, Hayward went too far in defending his team's player.
James Wisniewski deserves a suspension for this hit. It was high, directly to the head, Wisniewski took a run at Chicago's Brent Seabrook, and he nearly left his feet. How that was a two-minute minor is beyond me, because it was a flagrant hit that deserved a five-minute penalty.
Hayward was just doing his job. Blah blah blah. He's speaking to an audience of Duck fans. I get that.
Doesn't give him the right to say something really stupid and embarrassing.