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Morning Flurries: Hanzal is so hot right now, Luke Witkowski is not

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Luke Witkowski is facing a potential fine, Willie O’Ree gets honored, and Brad Marchand scores some more

NHL: Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing like a good, healthy old-fashioned whine fest at the referees to get your name tossed on the NHL DOPS fine short list, eh?

Luke Witkowski had himself a night on Tuesday, when he got into it with two separate Dallas Stars players during Detroit’s 4-2 loss to their Central Division opponents.

His sucker-punch to Stars defenseman Stephen Johns earned him some ire, but he’s under fire for a completely different reason - apparently, he got too whiny in the post-game media scrums.

Following the loss, Witkowski apparently insinuated that one of the two on-ice officials presiding over the game was out to get him, complaining that they had unfairly tapped him with a penalty for elbowing Martin Hanzal.

Hanzal is almost always hurt, so it’s not like Witkowski was targeting a player on any kind of Iron-man streak to begin with - and when you watch the replay, it’s hard to tell if the penalty is valid but soft or kind of a poor call. But either way, the Red Wings bruiser was miffed, and now the league is ready to have his head for it.

He could end up with a fine for the incident. And while that seems a little harsh for whining, it is what it is. [Winging It In Motown]

Do you know who you’d be if you were an NHL player?

According to this, I’m a lottery pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While in theory that means that I’m Rick Nash, I think I’m actually more of a Gilbert Brule? Anyways.

Speaking of who you are for a team, Louis Domingue has some feelings about who he is as an NHL player - and while he’s happy to be where he is right now, some comments about his former tenure with the Arizona Coyotes have come out, and he doesn’t seem thrilled. [Raw Charge]

For what it’s worth, it was reported later that Domingue may have been offered a spot in the ECHL while a trade was being negotiated, and the goaltender declined the offer. But the bottom line, really, is that he’s no longer posting sub-.900 save percentages, and everyone involved can now move on. No, really:

Speaking of moving on - or, more importantly, moving on up:

Now, for some fun Bruins talk:

First, sad news: The Boston Bruins anthem singer, Rene Rancourt, is retiring at the end of this season. For generations of Bruins fans, that’s a huge blow. [NHL.com]

There’s also this incredible piece on Willie O’Ree, who broke down the color barrier in hockey decades before the PK Subbans and Seth Joneses would make their way into the league. He was honored on Wednesday night by Boston. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Oh, and Brad Marchand scored again today. He’s up to 19 goals and 43 points in just 35 game this year, and counting:

Finally, I’ll toss a long read at you if you feel you can stomach it.

ESPN did an excellent write-up on the enablement that may have gone on at Michigan State and in USA Gymnastics for years before Larry Nassar was ever formally charged with child pornography and the sexual abuse he inflicted upon dozens of young gymnasts.

It’s hard to call the write-up ‘excellent’ and use such a positively-connoted word in the same sentence as the name Larry Nassar. And if you don’t have a taste for excruciating anger, this isn’t something I’d recommend reading; it’s a lengthy, Big Mac-sized detailing of all the ways that Nassar was protected by those around him for decades before someone finally put a stop to his power.

The depth and magnitude of the piece, though, truly is excellent. It’s written in a way that doesn’t sensationalize or diminish a topic that needs little embellishment from flowery verbage to reveal how horrifying it is, and it truly helps the reader understand that Nassar was far from isolated as he wormed his way into a world where vulnerable young athletes trusted him with their bodies.

It’s hard to escape the horrors coming out about Nassar - and we shouldn’t, really, let him get away with his crimes fading away into obscurity as if they never happened.

There hasn’t been as much done on the people around him, though, who could have stopped him before he ever really got started. This piece fills that hole in what’s being told, and it deserves to get tossed in here. [ESPN]