Burke's assessment was on target, but his response wasn't. Playing without Domi for eight games of an 82-game season is no great loss for the Leafs, who can still dress a full complement of 18 skaters during his absence. And Domi's $1,000 fine, the maximum permitted by the collective bargaining agreement, is little more than an icing call to a man making more than $400,000.
If the NHL wants to wipe out intent-to-injure fouls, it has to administer genuine deterrents. Offending thugs like Domi should be taken out of postseason games—suspend him for, say, eight games now and for four more in April, when it counts—and the Leafs should be allowed to dress only 17 skaters for the duration of the suspension. That would take a toll.
In 1971 the NHL instituted tough penalties aimed at the third man to enter a fight. That all but ended bench-clearing brawls. The league needs to do something similar to halt blatant batterings like the ones that are Domi's specialty. Until NHL regulations get some teeth, toothless goons will keep having their way.
A Close Call at the Cup
It's a virtual certainty that Cigar will run away with Saturday's $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic, right? Not so fast, reports senior writer William F. Reed.
Don't be shocked if jockey Julie Krone, the only woman in pro sports history to compete successfully against men at the top level, steals the show at Belmont Park in the world's richest race. Yes, Cigar is the best American racehorse in 15 years and will be looking to close out a remarkable 10-for-10 year. But Krone, aboard Peaks and Valleys, who has won five of seven starts this season, four of them with Krone up, is in a perfect spot to pull off one of the upsets for which the Classic is renowned.
Only three favorites—Ferdinand in 1987, Alysheba in '88 and A.P. Indy in '92—have won in the Classic's 11 runnings. So Cigar, who figures to be as strong a favorite as Easy Goer (1-2) was in '89 when he lost to Sunday Silence, will have history against him. Of course, so will Krone, considering that no female jockey has ever won a Breeders' Cup race.
A win in the Classic would give Krone the career boost she badly needs. In 1993 she reached the top of her profession when her victory aboard long shot Colonial Affair in the Belmont Stakes made her the first woman to win a Triple Crown race. On Aug. 20 of that year she became only the third jockey in Saratoga's 132-year history to win five races on one card. Ten days later Krone was severely injured when her horse went down during a race at the same track. She didn't ride for nine months and was also forced out of action last fall when screws and plates put in after the Saratoga accident were removed from her right ankle. And at Gulfstream Park in January, Krone injured her hands in a fall that sidelined her for several weeks.
This year has continued to be both tumultuous and eventful for Krone, 32. Trainer Nick Zito criticized her ride of Suave Prospect in the Kentucky Derby and took her off the horse. During the Saratoga meet she fired her longtime agent, Larry (Snake) Cooper, and married Matt Muzikar, a onetime track security guard. And because of her injuries and the fact that many trainers had lost confidence in her, she didn't crack the top 10 in the national jockey standings until Oct. 8.
But Krone should not be ignored. Cigar will be on the lead down the stretch in the Classic, then Krone will fly out of the pack aboard Peaks and Valleys to force a photo finish. Will the Classic have another upset? Nope. For a vindicated Krone, it'll be close but no cigar.