More and more I find myself in a position to defend actions and players of rival teams and often just shake my head at the NHL. Let me say I'm a Devils fan who is about to come to the defense of a couple of Philly players. Well, not so much to their defense, but more wondering out loud whether they were hung out to dry.
I'm not going to justify Jones or Hartnell and their actions. I think they were wrong and should have been punished, just as I believe Downie should have been punished. I'm also not going to get into a debate over length of suspensions as it is purely opinion at this point in time. I would like to see a detailed list of suspensionable actions and results so all teams, players, agents, fans whoever knows what the minimum suspension would be for an offense. Let's face it, when it comes to the law for the most part we know what the minimum or maximum sentence will be for killing someone.
Anyway, I can't help but wonder if Steve Downie was hung out to dry by the NHL. Suspended for what seems now like an extreme amount of games. Again I'm not saying that the length isn't deserved, but at the time he was suspended did Colin Campbell not say things like the NHL is finally making a stand. Headshots and actions like these will not be tolerated.
Jones and Hartnell both delivered hits which were suspendable, however in both cases the suspension amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. If I'm Steve Downie, I'm sitting at home wondering why the hell the NHL choose to punish me severely and others are getting away with minor suspension for actions that aren’t far off what I did.
Again I'm not debating whether suspensions were deserved, but I am wondering where the tough action is that the NHL said was forth coming. Boulerice is another issue all together as his actions went into the dimension of stupidity, but Downie's suspension the "last straw" according to Campbell and the NHL seems now to be nothing more than hanging a young player out to dry.
Not to jump on poor bluey in Toronto, but yesterday on TSN Damian Cox was talking about getting someone in the GM roll now to start making moves to help the future. I agree, either crap or get off the pot. Waiting until the off season just puts your organization another year away from success. However he mentions trading players like Sundin and getting the "motherload" for him.
While I agree that Sundin is a huge asset to any team, one has to wonder if Toronto is going to find out what Brian Burke did. When teams know that you have to move a player, you won't get anywhere near what you want. In the end it may just be that Mats is traded for a conditional 1st round pick.
Really, if you are a GM of one of the other 29 teams and you know this guy is out there are you going to give up the 2 prospects and 2 draft picks that Cox is claiming he's worth. Knowing that he's a UFA at the end of the year?
I don't think so, and for that I feel bad for bluey. With no significant prospects in the pipe (other than Tlusty and Pogge) and no draft picks (remember you gave them all to San Jose for Bell and Toskala) i fear the might Blue and White may be destined to bottom dwellers