Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Weight: Tkachuk's been punished enough
ESPN.com news services
On the same day the NHL Players' Association filed a grievance on behalf of St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, one of his teammates came to his defense.
Doug Weight on Monday told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he didn't agree with the team's decision to suspend Tkachuk last week for failing his physical.
"He's been punished enough," Weight told the newspaper. "I'm not always in agreement with the authorities' choices, but it is what it is. The fact is that [Tkachuk] let himself go a lot until February or March and he's got a body that you can't do that. He gets big fast. But he worked his butt off this year.
"He's overweight, yes, but he's in great shape, he's strong," Weight added. "I wish they would've let him test because I'm sure he would turned some heads with his strength."
Blues general manager Larry Pleau, who said he was aware of the grievance, didn't change his stance on Tkachuk.
"Naturally, we're not going to comment on that anyway," Pleau said. "Until he passes a physical, he's suspended."
The 33-year-old Tkachuk is the second highest-paid player in the NHL at $7.6 million. He had 33 goals and 38 assists in 2003-04.