Sunday, February 13, 2011

NHL Suspends Honor For 10 Games; Sociopathy To Sit Out 9 Games; Cowardice Gets 4 Games

By Artistry

The NHL waited until around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night to announce punishment for Friday's debacle on Long Island in a transparent attempt to bury the news and try to push this story under the rug. But nothing the league does is going to make us forget what happened, and its discipline czars certainly can't logically explain this: Eric Godard's automatic 10-game suspension was upheld because he prevented his goalie from being attacked by a kid who was called up from the minors the same day as part of a clearly premeditated attempt to injure Penguins players; Trevor Gillies only got 9 games for trying to drive an unsuspecting Eric Tangradi's head through the glass, concussing him, then taunting him; and Matt Martin got a paltry 4 games for a blindside attack on Max Talbot that instantly caused every hockey fan who witnessed it to think of the Todd Bertuzzi assault on Steve Moore. Oh, and the league fined the Islanders $100,000. I'm sure Charles Wang, the owner who signed Rick DiPietro and Alexei Yashin for something like a combined $130 million, is really going to sweat that. Didn't really think this one through, did you Colin?

Still Thinking

3 comments:

  1. I, personally, think they got it right this time. Should they have gone out of their way to rescind Godard's suspension? He left the bench to fight, and it wasn't as if Johnson was being mugged. Should they have suspended Gillies for more than 9 games? It's already the longest non-automatic suspension handed out this season.

    I was much more angered by the lack of suspension given out to Andy Sutton last year, or to Ovechkin after his knee-on-knee on Gonchar. Here, it seems to me the suspensions were both proportional and deterring.

    Plus, the $100K fine is a really good move. Campbell realized that suspending these guys will not hurt the Islanders in any way, so fining the league's cheapest organization is clever. In European soccer leagues they take points off in the standings, but that would have only increased the Islanders' chances of getting a lottery pick. So hit them in the pocket, why not. I imagine it will be Garth Snow who will have to decide where to bring the money from rather than Charles Wang signing another check.

    I hope the Pens get their revenge on April 8. Not for the fights, but for the embarrassing 9-3 loss. I would like a stat-padding goal fest similar to last year's season finale better than a blood bath. If the Islanders were a legit NHL team this game might have started a long-term rivalry, but they are not, so there's nothing really to care about from that game (other than Tangradi's health, of course).

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  2. I think the only thing that the NHL got wrong is that the Martin suspension is too short. His attack on Talbot was the most ridiculous play of the evening. Godard had to be suspended, just to set the precedent that there is no excuse for leaving the bench.

    I give the NHL credit for recognizing that there wasn't 50/50 blame for what happened. In fact, it was nearly 100% blame for the Islanders. I would have liked to see the owner fined more than 100K, but we have to remember that Bettman works for the owners and these guys don't want to be on the hook for this stuff.

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  3. It strikes me that any view on whether the NHL's response was appropriate is necessarily linked to your comfort with the current disciplinary paradigm, with all of its precedents and distinctions between automatic and discretionary suspensions. To me, the notion that Eric Godard - who, no matter his offense, only felt compelled to leave the bench because bumbling NHL officials couldn't do their job and escort Haley off of the ice - ended up with more games than Gillies and Martin is nonsensical. The league acknowledges that those two deliberately attempted to injure defenseless opponents, and what's more, the whole thing was clearly premeditated. How are they less culpable than Godard, exactly? If it's about automatic suspensions being considered necessarily more severe than discretionary ones, I'm just not buying that model.

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