Sometimes the NHL is hard to figure to out. They say they want to protect the players, to eliminate dangerous plays from the game.
They on occasion, send a message with a heavier suspension that expected. Phoenix Coyotes Raffi Torres received, after an appeal, a 21 game suspension for his hit on Blackhawks Marian Hossa last season. It was a more than some people expected, but people could live with it.
Then we come to Columbus Blue Jackets Brandon Dubinsky’s hit last night on LA Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi.
(Video of the hit can be seen below if you haven’t watched it yet.)
Every way you look it, Dubinsky skates hard after Scuderi, who has his back to Dubinsky the entire time, and drives him from the numbers into the boards. Dubinsky received a boarding major and a game misconduct.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety decided that the hit only deserved a $10,000 fine, the maximum amount allowed under the new CBA. A $2,500 fine was the maximum under on the old CBA.
Dubinsky has never had any supplementary discipline in the past, and Scuderi wasn’t injured on the play.
This appeared to be a hit that could have easily received a three game suspension, and their likely wouldn’t have been any complaints.
Sure, Scuderi wasn’t injured, but should an injury really dictate if a hit was reckless? If you’ve watched or listened to any of Brendan Shanahan’s suspension explanations, injuries play a part in the decision.
Thankfully for Scuderi, he wasn’t injured, but the NHL dropped the ball on this one.