When his elbow hit the head of fellow swede Daniel Alfredsson, Rangers rookie winger Carl Hagelin knew he'd miss some time. While it wasn't intentional, it was certainly reckless, and worthy of a suspension.
3 games for a hit to the head - seems fair, right?
Well, maybe it is. My only question though, why is the NHL so reluctant to treat all players equally?
In the very same game, Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators ruthlessly, UFC knockout style, attacked Rangers forward Brian Boyle. Boyle, who had just thrown a clean and pretty routine hit on an Ottawa player, was taken off guard by Carkner, who did not challenge Boyle, but instead, came from behind and started throwing punches Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rattle Snake style straight to the dome piece.
I believe we've seen something like this attack before in the NHL, right? Oh yeah, Todd Bertuzzi ending the career of Steve Moore on March 8, 2004.
Now, obviously, it wasnt as gruesome as the Bertuzzi, Moore incident, Boyle was OK on the play, and Brandon Dubinsky got a game misconduct for trying to pull Carkner off. The Rangers would inevitably lose two key players for the game. Ottawa lost one peripheral player who is lucky to play over five minutes a game. No surprise then, that the Senators went on to win and even up the series at one 1 apiece.
Let's also not forget about the Nashville/Detroit series. By now, if you've watched any hockey at all these playoffs, you've no doubt seen Shea Weber's "Mortal Combat Finish Him" move on Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg.
Weber's actions resulted in only a $2500 fine. Basically pocket change to an NHL player of his caliber.
Add in the violent disregard for the game shown by San Jose in St. Louis, and you have an NHL that is not holding its players accountable.
I'm not on here, as a Ranger fan, to say Hagelin did not deserve a suspension. I believe the game needs to clean up its act and that the punishment fits the crime. What I don't agree with, is that his play, was any worse than the other discipline worthy plays happening lately.
So to Brendan Shannahan: it's time to step up and do the right thing. You are one of the greatest, most honorable players to ever play the game. The rule book has become filled with too many gray lines. Clearly the other league executives have influenced you, and the guys on the ice know it.