Friday, April 2, 2010

Colin Campbell: A Top-Notch Idiot

Players like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby get special treatment from the NHL because they're superstars. The refs keep a special eye on them at all times to make sure that no opposing player is intentionally trying to injure them because, after all, they are the face of the league. I have disagreed with giving certain players special treatment for a long time, and I still do. But I do see the reason for trying to protect the NHL's most valuable assets. What doesn't make any sense at all is how the NHL hands out its punishments.

Take a look at these hits...
Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard

It's a blatant cheap shot elbow to the head of Savard. It was basically the last straw that forced the NHL to implement a new "hits to the head" rule. "A guy like that has to be suspended," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "That's the way I see it, because it's an elbow to the head from the blind side. That's exactly the examples they show of what we've got to get out of this game. We have a guy who's got a concussion. Our best player. He's going to be out for a while. He was [unconscious] on the ice for a bit. That's unacceptable."

Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell's decision: No suspension. "I know Matt Cooke is a repeat offender, he's been suspended twice in the last year," Campbell said. "I can't suspend Matt Cooke for being a repeat offender, I have to find a reason."

So, Campbell isn't suspending Cooke for the hit, but he gives out a two game suspension for this?
Dan Carcillo high stick on David Clarkson

According to Rich Chere, a Devils beat writer for the Star-Ledger, Carcillo verbally apologized to Clarkson right after the incident while the two were still on the ice. Carcillo could even be seen patting Clarkson on the back after he noticed that Clarkson was cut. Clarkson is quoted by Chere as saying that Carcillo shoved him and his stick got a little high, and that he didn't know if Carcillo would be suspended for it. This was, according to the suspension given out by Campbell, an obvious "intent to injure." No, I don't think so.

There's no denying that Dan Carcillo is a repeat offender. He has four career suspensions totaling 12 games. But Campbell said he can't suspend a player for being a repeat offender, right? Well then I would love to know his reason for suspending Carcillo but not Cooke if it's not because he's a repeat offender. Maybe it's because he's missing his front teeth or maybe, and more likely, it's because he's wearing the orange and black.

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