I have to admit that when Campbell issued a "warning" to the Flyers last season about injuring players I was pretty pissed. The spent the rest of the season paying for it with penalty after penalty. Pretty brutal to put a team under the microscope a month before playoffs. I thought that they were getting too involved but figured it was a one time thing.
Needless to say I was pretty pissed when they decided to make an example of the Flyers in the first playoff game. Say what you want about the hit but it was minor. Similar things happened in other games. It's hockey..sometimes things get out of hand at the end of the game (ie Montreal/Boston). The only message they were successful in sending was that they wanted to punish someone early to try and keep teams in line for the rest of the season.
It's no surprise that it was Carcillo...the guy leads the league in penalty minutes...but it wasn't called as a penalty...and Talbot wasn't hurt (not to mention it wasn't a hit on Crosby or Malkin). He made himself an easy target. He was stupid but i would hardly called that a suspendable hit. Especially since Cammalleri's hit on Havlat would have been a better example. They could have waited but they were too trigger happy.
Now today I was PISSED when I read Colin Campbell's explanation. Under fire from the national press he shot back and what did he say : In short what Carcillo did was wrong because it was done at the end of a game that had already been decided. Apparently Cammelleri won't be suspended because he got a penalty and there COULD HAVE been "ramifications". Which ever NHL publicist let Campbell go out and make his statements (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=418808
) should be fired on the spot.
So now it's apparently okay to take cheap shots as long as you can get a penalty during which time someone could POSSIBLY score and you MIGHT be punished.
He's only adding fuel to the fire. The NHL is ruining their credibility by picking and choosing what is "message sending". How do you decide? Truly? I'd like to know what the exact qualifications are for suspension. They need to cut the crap and stop with the suspensions unless someone really earns it. It's a little hypocritical to say "no message sending" and then use a weak example to send a message that you mean business to the rest of the league. Do they really want to be evaluating plays in every game to decide if someone should be suspended?
Hockey is a rough sport and things like this will happen...I'm not saying what Carcillo did wasn't idiotic (so back off pens fans)...but I am saying that I've watched alot of games so far and I've seen worse than that hit. The NHL is interfering where they shouldn't and making themselves look bad on a national stage. Not very good publicity for a sport that already lacks the same popularity as baseball, basketball, and football.