Since the beginning of the season, there have been some controversial calls by league regarding suspensions and fines.
Let’s start with the slew foot ordeal. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was fined $2,500 by the league for his slew foot on Rich Peverly of the Atlanta Thrashers. The following Thursday Evgeny Artyukhin was suspended for 2 games for the exact same offense. Here is what Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, said about each offense:
"It is unfair to draw any parallels [about the two slew-foot incidents] other than the players that [Ovechkin and Artyukhin] tripped both fell down," Campbell told NHL.com. "Artyukhin was suspended [for two games] last season for a kneeing incident in which a player was injured. He was also fined during this preseason for slew-footing a player who didn't have the puck. Fast forward three weeks, he, in our opinion, did slew-foot Matt Niskanen, causing Niskanen's skates to fly up well above the boards and half up the glass. It resulted in an injury for Niskanen and he has missed one game so far."Campbell then went on to say that Ovechkin is not a repeat offender and did not injury Peverley. Okay, so he does have a point about the whether the receiving players were subjected to any injury, but Ovechkin not a repeat offender? I’m sorry? Being a Pens fan I’m probably bias, but wasn’t it just this past season’s playoffs that Ovechkin charged at Sergei Gonchar hitting knee on knee causing Gonch to have to sit out of a game. Again there was a situation that nothing was done, not even a fine. How long is it going to take the league to stop using the double standard for certain players?
On to our next argument, Mike Richards’ hit on David Booth vs. Rob Scuderi’s hit on Jason Chimera. I’m sure everyone has seen both of these hits. Now please tell me which is worse. Richards knocks Booth completely out and get’s nothing but a slap on the wrist. On the other hand Scuds causes a guy to get a few stitches and gets a fine?
Here is what Campbell said regarding the Richards hit:
"He was going through the Bermuda Triangle, or Scott Stevens Triangle of heavy traffic and Richards hit him," Campbell said in trying to put into perspective what has become a very controversial topic. "He did not jump. He did not elbow him. He did not hit him in a place where he wasn't expecting it. It was an area where you expect to get hit, both the player passing the puck and the player doing the hitting."
Here is what he said about the Scuderi hit:
"Scuderi went really low and I felt it was a clip," Campbell said Hockey Night in Canada Radio. "Fortunately, he didn't injure the guy. He did hurt him on the play, as far as receiving a cut. But he came back in the game, Chimera, so I didn't think it was a fair play and we fined him."I don’t know about you guys, but this just makes no sense to me. I guess it was fair to David Booth that he was knocked out, taken off the ice on a stretcher, remained in a Philly hospital overnight, and will be missing a few games. And all Campbell has to say is he should have been expecting it? Maybe I'm over-thinking.
What do you feel?
***quotes used from NHL.com and TSN.ca