Last time we discussed the inconsistencies of the NHL Player Safety department and how if they are really worried about player safety they need to begin to call all hits that are recklessly dangerous to a players safety. This article we’re going to try to tackle a bigger subject, Is the NHL Player Safety Department Bias when it comes to star players? This is a subject that has been lingering for a long time in the NHL, let’s discuss why.
I’m sure we’ve seen the aftermath of the Ottawa/ Pittsburgh game where Sidney Crosby’s slash across Ottawa Senators Defencemen Marc Methot’s hand almost left his finger hanging there. If you haven’t I’ll leave the link below so you can take a look for yourself.
Then the same week Crosby speared Ryan O’Rielly in a retaliation play. The most disturbing thing about this whole situation was Crosby never received a hearing or fine. I want you to listen to the Hockey News Matt Larkin on these same two issues and I quote “If you think Crosby should be suspended, you’re delusional.” (Larkin, 2017) he went on to mention that much worse has been done and if they weren’t suspended why should Crosby when there was no intent to injure. I don’t know about you but an intentional stick to the groin sounds like intent and a slash so hard that it messed up Methot’s finger so much through his glove, sounds like its suspension worthy. I will put the link to both incidents down below. Now let me say this isn’t a rag on Crosby article, this is just one of a few situations we will discuss. But to be fair I need to put everything in the open.
We’ve seen the Brad Marchand shenanigans, licking people, punching players with gloves on that aren’t expecting It from behind. Yet Brad Marchand sits with a very slim record of any discipline, the league has had “stern” talks with Marchand and yet he continues. Another player is Corey Perry, the number of questionable hits that come from Perry is ridiculous. Yet Perry also has a slim record.
Alexander Ovechkin has a mean streak and sometimes he throws hits that are quite questionable. Ovechkin though seems to be one of the few guys who actually gets suspended. Ovechkin has been suspended 3 times.
Then there’s the mysterious Ryan Johansen. He tends to do things that are questionable and even things that are so far across the limit that you wonder if he’s thinking at all. Recently Johansen just got two games for what the league called “unintentionally slashing the Winnipeg Jets player over the head with his stick” or as wet line to call recklessness. I’ll such the video below so you can see for yourself.
All this said is the NHL Player Safety Bias towards Stars? I’m going to say no. More lenient yes, but not bias. But do you blame them? We see the NHL as a sport, they see it as a business and their business is run and held together by these Star players. So yeah you kind of got to protect your investment a bit. I’m saying I agree with it. But it’s how a business works, always got to protect your investment.
I believe as you probably do that the NHL Player Safety Department should call it fair for every player and I get annoyed if I see a player of star caliber get away with something that another player would easily get suspended for. But we’re looking at things as fans and lovers of the sport, we expect things to be fair allowing for better games and more parity. We just love the game. But the NHL is a business and at the end of the day they will run it like a business. It’s why the NHL has been able to expand and keep teams like the Arizona Coyotes or the Florida Panthers and even the Ottawa Senators and bring back the Winnipeg Jets. So yeah I guess you can call it a bias, like these guys still get suspended as I’ve shown you above. It comes across as more of a leniency then anything else.
But let’s keep the conversation going, leave your thoughts. I would love to hear them.