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Video: PHT Extra — are longer suspensions the answer?

Dec 10, 2013, 5:31 PM EDT

Last weekend wasn’t a banner one for the NHL.

When the dust settled, three players — Dion Phaneuf, James Neal and Shawn Thornton — all faced disciplinary hearings for incidents in their respective games. Phaneuf and Neal have already learned their fates — suspended two and five games, respectively — while Thornton will learn of his punishment for attacking Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik on Friday.

But will the punishments be enough?

That’s one of the questions we answered in the latest edition of PHT Extra. Jason and I spoke with NBC’s Kay Adams about suspension lengths, the optics from this weekend and what — if anything — needs to be done to correct on-ice issues.

So, onto the video…


  1. joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    We need head shot rules combined with suspensions. The NHL GMs decided against rules for head shot in 2011. Difficult to find the balance without affecting the fabric of the game is a challenge. Speed and the physicality of the game can be compromised if the proper balance is not struck. I also believe they need to assess whether or not softer shoulder and elbow pads could prevent some percentage of concussions. We know helmets don’t prevent concussions otherwise the NFL would already be using them. Hits from behind should lead to longer suspensions. We also have to look at how the kids are being taught to play the game. What can be done in the early development stages to help the kids grow to protect themselves more and how to become more respectful and mindful of other players? Ultimately they are the ones responsible for their acts on the ice. We can’t let the players police themselves either. The anti-fighting and pro-fighting individuals should lock themselves in a room with researchers and the medical community can share their data on causes and long term effect of concussions. If they need more data, than fine, lets put a plane together to get us at a point where there are no doubts in anybodies mind with respect to what and what doesn’t causes concussions. Let the data speak for itself and use it to guide your decisions. Stop focusing on profit for the greater of the game.

    • pepper2011 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Am I the only one that think the league does a pretty decent job?

      hear me out; there have been a few instances where the ball was dropped, but overall Everyone is going to think the guy who hit the player they root for should get more than they did, and that the player they root for didn’t really “mean” to do it.

      I’m a B’s fan; so lets take the two most obvious incidents prior to this one.

      Chara/Pacioretty- Intent on a play like that is nearly impossible to prove. There was no baseline for something like that. Agree or disagree that play could have turned out 100 different ways, and IF it were in another building; it probably doesn’t happen. I do not want to open up this discussion again, but the reasoning behind the decision.
      The league basically said the exact same thing. They changed the rinks across the league – to make the jump that it was done 100% on purpose is a huge stretch for the reason that there were two parties involved. 99% of the people in Boston thought no suspension was warranted. 99% of people in Montreal thought he should have been. Someone was going to be upset.

      Lucic/Miller- I think he should have received a game, maybe two. If it were Tuukka that got hit I would want 10. again, not trying to open argument on intent, but it’s hard to prove intent. Could he have avoided the hit? Yes, but he also didn’t really expect to see him there. Lucic doesn’t pick his head up until the very end. Again, could he have avoided it, Yes but it seemed more reactionary than an intended act. I am sure Lucic haters disagree – the other side to that would have been Miller swinging his stick at Lucic. If you suspended Lucic, you would have had to suspend Miller. Yes, what Lucic did was wrong, but as we have seen in recent events retaliation isn’t always the best thing to do. I expect to take some heat for this, and I don’t blame Miller – I would have swung my stick at him too, but it is still a suspendable offense. If he had broken Lucic’s ankle Sabres fans would be saying “good, he deserved it”, but it is still against the rules to use your stick as a weapon.

      I hate the fact that Cooke wasn’t suspended for the Savard hit, but I get it. It wasn’t a rule.

      I think as fans we tend to get overly emotional when the guy who gets hurt is wearing the sweater we root for.

      I’d like to run a little experiement….see how bad it is. I expect Pitt fans to be heavy on the games, but if 29 other fan bases are thinking the same thing maybe it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

      How many games should Shawn Thornton be suspended.
      leave the team you root for too. it will be interesting. I see a lot people call for his head, but the guy has been in the league over a decade doing the hardest job in the league, and never crossed the line before. It doesn’t excuse him, but it it is clear he isn’t Torres or Cooke who clearly spent most of their careers trying to injure guys.

      10-12 games – Bruins fan.

      – no history
      – intent (the action was wrong, but that punch was not designed to have the effect it had. It did, so there is that, but that was not a punch that was meant to concuss a guy. If he isn’t concussed, 4 minutes roughing and a 10 minute misconduct).
      – his obvious remorse (he knows, that wan’t PR. look at the immediate reactions from Neal and Thornton and tell me who you think really regrets their actions)

      lets see how bad Shanny is…

      • joey4id - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        I personally think Shanny is going the job that is expected of him considering the CBA, rule book, guidelines, and Dept. of Player Safety’s mission. There are so many factors to consider when assessing the length of a suspension that we the average fan is aware of. We tend to only look at the infraction and compare it to previous infractions, and whether or not the offender is a repeat offender. And! Yes! Intent is extremely difficult to prove. However, I disagree on one point. It seemed to me that Thornton hit Orpik with his elbow twice and not his glove. If Shanny sees what I think I saw then he may come down a little harder on Thornton. Thornton will have to explain why he used his elbow, which is protected by a hard cup made of fiber glass, as opposed to punching with his glove. It’s a long wait to hear from Shanny, and I suppose no one feels worse about the waiting than Thornton. I’m sure he’s feeling bad about the results of his action and is looking forward to put this incident in his rear view mirror.

      • pepper2011 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        He caught him on the bridge of the nose with the underside of his punch. He intended to lighten the punch. It obviously didn’t work.

        Orpik says he doesn’t remember anything after the anthem. Being the punch seemed a little light to concuss a guy, is it possible Orpik did some damage to himself with the Eriksson hit and Thorton’s punch pushed him over the edge?

        Doesn’t excuse what he did, but I think everyone outside Pitt has a hard time understanding how that punch knocked a 220lb man out. It was a sucker punch, no doubt, and I know everyone react differently, but with the way Orpik hits I would have expected it to take a bit more. I have heard the punch described as “brutal” and I just don’t see it. It was stupid, but if you have ever watch Thornton play or fight; the guy could have broke his nose, Orbital or jaw if he wanted to. Again, not defending the action – we can all agree there is no place for it, but the thing I have a hard time with is what happened to Orpik. I have legitimately bumped into people harder than that punch.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    This is probably not a realistic possibility at this point, but I think the only way people will take longer suspensions seriously is if they are decided by an unbiased third party arbitrator.

    The league has done a terrible job setting any kind of standard with Campbell and now with Shanny. The only way to bring respectability to the process is to take it out of the league’s hands. They’ve proven they’re not capable of providing actual deterrents to reckless hits, and eventually something exceedingly tragic is going to happen.

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      These decisions are not being made in a vacuum. The NHL is working within the guidelines of the CBA,NHL Rules, and Department of Player Safety. When is anything perfect? However, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we’re only looking at the their current way of handing out suspensions, then we’re not dealing with the root cause of the problem. They certainly need to assess how they are doing, but again, what is the root cause of the problem? There doesn’t appear to be any signs that the NHL is willing to do that, and I’m afraid that if they try to fix the problem at the NHL level only, then they will continue to apply band-aid solutions.

    • hazlydose - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      There is a system in the CBA for a Neutral Discipline Arbitrator that can be appealed to by the Player’s Association for suspensions of more than 6 games.

  3. drewsylvania - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I agree with the need for a system where the player is letting his team down by committing atrocities.

    However, longer suspensions would also work. You guys say that we already have 20-30-game suspension, but we don’t. You virtually never see those–they’re big outliers in a system that normally gives 1-5 games.

    Take the obvious intent to injure acts and give them half the season off without pay. Also, decree that his roster spot cannot be filled. You’d see the deliberate thuggish behavior go away likethat.

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      There is a serious issue with longer suspensions which the NHLPA may never accept to be included in the CBA. Loss of revenue. I know. I know. Losing some revenue to protect your fellow members from serious injuries sounds like a sane thing to accept. But! I doubt 30 games suspensions will be the norm. I think the provisions in the CBA allow for 30 game suspensions only if a players is gravely injured as in the case of Moore.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        But the NHLPA doesn’t lose that revenue…..It goes into the players relief fund…..The more money that goes into the fun the more former players can get help which is a major part of why it exists…..Players should have no issue with this if there is already a set percentage on what goes into it……Think about it this way……How many “Clean” players would like the fact they put in less because of loss of wages for someone else dirty play?

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        It is the players themselves that is not paid while he is suspended. He loses a piece of his earnings.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        Joey that is my whole point…..The NHLPA actually makes more money because of suspensions……everyone already pays and equal part whether suspensions happen or not so it is only a PLA bonus when players are suspended and coughing up entire game checks!

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        Hmm! I don’t understand. What is PLA bonus? The player’s pay check will be smaller if they get suspended. What does that have to do with the NHLPA?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Joey the bonus is the fact that instead of a percentage of a players game check they get the whole check…..In Neals case that is a good chunk of change!

        Jererster21 …..lets not forget Jesse Boulerice and his 25 gamer for the cross check to Kessler’s face!

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        Right! The player loses that money. Right? “Based on each player’s average annual salary, salary will be forfeited for the term of their suspension. Players’ money forfeited due to suspension or fine goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, while money forfeited by coaches, staff or organizations as a whole go to the NHL Foundation.” Are we saying the same thing?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        Joey….You are missing it……Some of every players money goes to the NHLPA to conduct its’ business……But when a player is suspended “ALL” of his money goes to that fund not just the percentage that was already accounted for!…..Thus a higher fund balance at the end of the year!

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        I think I get what you’re saying. So. monies from suspension + some monies from player salary equals a larger emergency fund. Right?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        Yes….It is why the NHLPA has no ground to limit player suspensions…..The individual player loses out while the PA fund is increased….As it always should have been….The guilty pay more for their infractions

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        Right! But! The player’s bottom line suffers a dent nonetheless. Though the emergency fund is not managed by the NHLPA and any money in the fund is used to help ex players who are down on their luck. The players are members of the NHLPA and would have to approve any changes made to the CBA with respect to the length of suspensions. The emergency fund seems to be doing very well, so I doubt the players would be willing to forfeit a bigger chunk of their salaries.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        “so I doubt the players would be willing to forfeit a bigger chunk of their salaries”…..Joey that is the whole idea…..Don’t want to lose it then don’t commit the offense!

    • jernster21 - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      And when was the last time a high profile player received a huge suspension? Never that I recall. Downie got 20 games before but he’s not exactly an all-star. The players/coaches/GMs around the league might take note when a James Neal gets 20 games, but no one cares when it happens to a guy like Thornton since his role is to toe the line of what’s legal and controversial.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:33 AM

        I agree to some extent – I don’t agree with handing out huge suspensions just to prove a point, and most high-profile players are such because they don’t commit horrible penalties. But there is definitely a bias in review (or lack thereof) skewed towards high profile players.

        It’s hard to prove to your fourth line checkers that headshots are to be removed from the game when it’s not illegal for your first line.

  4. steelers88 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    What the NHL should do is suspend the player they need to fine them as well also they should fine the organization that the player plays for and if the hit is bad enough the organization should lose a draft pick.

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Again! Three letters. CBA. The owners participate in the CBA negotiations. What is the likelihood they will accept to pay extra fines for their employees actions on the ice let alone include such language in the CBA? The very players they are paying millions of dollars.

  5. alicesrightfootesq - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    If you want someone to stop doing something you raise the cost of it. I will never understand why people think having to “answer the bell” with a 14 second fight is adequate punishment for dirty hits.

  6. steelers88 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    My fear is that NHL won’t wake up and realize that changes need to be made until it’s to late. I think it might take a player to actually die on the ice for the NHL to change it’s ways. I hope thats not the case.

  7. chanceoffleury - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    How about making sure they actually talk to them in the first place!? Why is Rinaldo getting off scot-free for what he did? It was essentially the same exact thing that Thornton did except he missed his suckerpunch attempt and Thornton didn’t. Same with Emery, why was there no suspension then? At least Neal, Phaneuf, and Thornton are in the process of paying some sort of price. In other cases teams and media seem to laugh the hits off. Philly freaking made Emery the third star of the game when he assaulted Holtby, and then has continued to look at it like some sort of joke. The lack of respect with postgame comments like his and Neal’s is one of the most disappointing aspects of the whole thing. And they aren’t the only ones. Many, many players from just about every franchise have show the same nonchalant attitude about hits like that: Chara, Brown, Doan, etc. They’re all guilty of dirty hits with absolutely nothing sincerely apologetic to say about them. And fans need to refrain from the continuous pointing fingers at other franchises and focus on doing the right thing which is owning up to your players dirty hits instead of the easier thing which is blaming the other side. Reading how many fans validated the Thornton or Neal hits because of what the other one did was sick. Those hits were so dirty and unnecessary. There was no reason in the entire world to throw either one. There are no organizations with their hands completely clean in the fight for more accountability from players when it comes to discipline from sneaky hits, either. In the last few years it’s just turned into an all around s***show of players blaming each other or brushing it off as a hockey play or some other stupid excuse and it needs to change. It’s hard to watch your favorite players skate around acting like neanderthals and then following suit with even-worse primitive excuses for it afterwords.

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      chance, they were no suspensions because the rule book doesn’t have the language necessary to allow Shanny to suspend players in these instances. Do you remember what GB asked Emery while at the White House? “Would you have fought Holtby if there was a 10 suspension?” His response, “What, are you crazy”

      With respect to what Emery did; GB said the following; “There was no rule that was violated to elevate things to the level of a suspension. It’s something we’ll continue to discuss.”

      • chanceoffleury - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Yeah and I thought that was a pretty BS answer that Bettman gave.

        Rule 28:

        Supplemental Discipline- In addition to the automatic fines and suspensions imposed under these rules, the Commissioner may, at his discretion, investigate any incident that occurs in connection with any Pre-season, Exhibition, League or Playoff game and may assess additional fines and/or suspensions for any offense committed during the course of a game or any aftermath thereof by a player, goalkeeper, Trainer, Manager, Coach or non-playing Club personnel or Club executive, whether or not such offense has been penalized by the Referee.

        Emery was the aggressor and instigator in that fight. Not to mention he admitted to unsportsmanlike conduct after the game. You are not allowed to try and bait other players into penalties under the unsportsmanlike conduct rule. Emery: ‘I said, basically, protect yourself. He didn’t really have much of a choice.’ It doesn’t matter if Holtby did get a penalty or not, because by him not removing his gloves or helmet he did not submit to fighting Emery. So there are 3 penalties, that under Rule 28, Bettman is allowed to induce further supplemental discipline on if he feels it is appropriate even if the supplemental discipline is not listed under the rule.

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        chance, I understand. However, in the grand scheme of things, that incident between Holtby & Emery, as bad as it looked really was nothing. The commish need not get involved in these minor incidents. He will and should get involved if he feels Shanny is not doing his job within the established guidelines. You can’t ask the CEO of a company to run every dept. He’s too busy with planning for profits in the short term and several years ahead. However, if the situation gets out of hand then he must interfere and will be held accountable. They have an army of attorneys crafting and reading, and rep-reading the rules in an attempt to minimize the risks of lawsuits and getting dragged in front of congress.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I dont think we have agreed much but that was an absolutely brilliant post…….Notice as a Flyers fan i had no problem using Rinaldo and Emery as examples…..They were perfect examples for the argument….Both Guilty and Both should have received 5-15!

  8. blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Thorton should not be suspended…..Ready for the reasons why?
    1. No history
    2….No suspension for Ray Emery…..He attacked a non willing participant
    3…No suspension for Zak Rinaldo who drug Rousell to the ice and assaulted him.with gloves off
    The only difference in the last two reasons and Thorton/Orpik is injury
    Is the NHL saying it is all good as long as there is no injury?…….That would prove Collusion and possibly start a class action lawsuit…..Does the NHL need another one to be filed to get with Reality?
    This is not a hate post as everything i posted is fact…and for those that did not see the Rinaldo/Rousell incident here it is…..

    • hazlydose - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      Number 1. Is worst argument I’ve ever heard. Think about it, if no history meant no suspension, then no one would ever acquire a history. Therefore, no one would ever be suspended.

      2 and 3. The league is woefully inconsistent with its punishments. Rinaldo absolutely should receive punishment and the only reason he isn’t is probably because the league is too busy trying to sort out the debacle that was that Pens/Bruins game. Emery attacked a non-willing participant, but the context was different. If Thornton would have attacked Orpik the first time he approached him, he probably wouldn’t be getting a suspension at all. Instead, he picked his spot to skate 30 feet down the ice slowly and deliberately, slew footed Orpik, and proceeded to pound a defenseless and grounded player.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        ” if no history meant no suspension, then no one would ever acquire a history. Therefore, no one would ever be suspended.”….Exactly and part of the reason i use the term “Collusion”….Why are some players suspended and others not?……Not all but most of the time a “Star” type of player gets nothing…..But the average Joe starts his history…..Again what was different between what Rinaldo did and what Thorton did?…..And as an employer of how many (hundreds/thousands) with that kind of revenue lost the Rinaldo incident amongst the rest of the weekends events?

      • hazlydose - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        I’ve already explained the difference between the Thornton and Rinaldo incidents. Guys get “jumped” in the flow of play all of the time. Not saying that it is right, but it does happen. Thornton’s actions were a pre-calculated ambush after the whistle. Is it so hard for everyone to see that?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        ” Is it so hard for everyone to see that?”….Seriously?…….My eyes show that both instances are the same with the only difference is Orpiks injury…..Would you say they were the same exact thing if Rousell wound up in the hospital like Orpik?……..That would be like having a black right eye after getting punched in the left eye!

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      1. It doesn’t matter
      2. Nothing in the rule book could have been used to suspend emery
      3. No injuries, and there refs dealt with it. No one was hurt, and according to the CBA and rules, nothing he did warranted a suspension

      The CBA has provisions allowing the NHL to determine the length of a suspension based in the seriousness of the injuries sustained. This was agreed by the NHLPA and owners. How is it collusion if it’s part of the CBA?

      • hazlydose - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        Nothing in the rule book? Funny that you mention the CBA though. Read CBA article 18A-2., Bettman has complete discretion to suspend or fine…

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Of course. But this is a provision that must be used as an exception. This cannot be used on a day to day basis to address issues. If the exception becomes the norm then the NHL is not running their operations very effectively. GB has other things to do on a daily basis.

      • hazlydose - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        An exception such as there being no rule in the rule book for the incident?

        Whenever the Commissioner determines that a Player has violated a League Rule applicable to Players (other than Playing Rules subjecting the Player to potential Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice
        The exact wording of the clause that I mentioned. It is designed for exceptional cases and can ONLY be used in exceptional cases.

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        And! That’s my point. It’s not a free pass. Must be used on an exception basis.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        Joey Hazly is 100% correct…..The NHL could go the NFL route and suspended him for conduct detrimental to the league!

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      I should add i didnt make this as a “Pens/Orpik” hate post nor as a pro Thorton post as i think he should get 15 to 20 as should have Rinaldo……Just pointing out a fact….A sad but true fact!

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      Me thinks you don’t like the Pens and are ok with what Thornton did…which is good by me.

      This is a very high-profile issue right now, and the perfect scene for the NHL to send a STRONG message with a very, very lengthy suspension.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Hockey…While i despise the Pens i didnt make this as a hate post….Read Chanceoffleury’s post just above this one…..He said the same thins (sorta) only phrased it differently……The point i was making is considering Emery and mostly Rinaldo committed the same offense then what grounds do they have to suspend Thorton?….Injury alone?…..That is the pot i was trying to stir……Not the thumbs difference between this and CoF’s post….It is what happens when people see a name instead of reading the contents of the package…..Read every one of my posts and you will see that i think Thorton and Rinaldo along with Emery should have been suspended…..If Thorton files an appeal to his suspension what grounds would the NHL have to support the suspension?…….None!

  9. sabatimus - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    The biggest problem with changes in rules/enforcement is that the NHLPA will step in to “protect” it’s players…which, in this case, would be the precise OPPOSITE of what they’d be doing. Is everyone going to wait until someone gets killed as a direct result of injuries sustained on the ice (again…it’s happened before, but many years ago)?

    • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Again. They would have to re-open the CBA and change the language. Are they allowed to do this now? Do they have to wait for the next negotiations? Will the players agree on a CBA that allows for longer suspensions and more lost of revenue?

      • sabatimus - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        Correct. The CBA is the problem, and there’s no way the NHLPA would agree to a new one with considerably longer suspensions and teams being forced to roster one man down. The League wouldn’t agree to it either. It’s all about protecting the money of both the players and the League. The problem is that both parties are more interested in money than health, and with people like Eric Lindros and Marc Savard having severe post-concussion syndrome (to name just two examples), the health issues ought to be impossible to ignore. And yet they continue to be ignored policy- and punishment-wise.

        The NHL is going to wait until someone gets killed again. It took the AHL to mandate visors only after a member of the Portland Pirates lost all vision in one eye due to a puck to the face. Policy-changing after the fact is the norm, and it’s not in any way acceptable.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Did the players Union agree to the Bertuzzi suspension or at least lost the argument in front of an arbitrator? …..Sorry Joey but you will have to link me to the CBA where it sets a maximum suspension length as i have yet to see it!

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        “It’s all about protecting the money” = the Collusion i mentioned above but wanted someone else to make that comment!

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        Of course. It’s all about the money. The world industries evolve around profit and loss. Why do you think the NFL published medical papers with inaccurate information about head trauma in football? They were afraid that 10% of mothers would suddenly remove their kids from the game which would have led to a loss of revenue

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        I didn’t say there was any language in the CBA that didn’t allow for longer suspensions, and perhaps I wasn’t clear. My comment was based on the assumption that the NHL/NHLPA would agree on a formula which would provide clear direction with zero judgment for the disciplinary czar of the NHL. Ex: First offense check from behind = 2 games; 3 = 5, 4 = 10, etc…. In the current CBA there is much left to judgement including, and what seems to be very important in factoring the length of a suspension, and that is the seriousness of the injuries.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Joey are you saying the NFL and it’s owners purposely hid information and spread misinformation in order to maintain/garner revenues?………Look up the word “Collusion” and it’s meaning…….And im not jumping on you just pointing out you are making my points for me!

      • joey4id - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        You may be using collusion in an incorrect context. “Collusion as about parties who reach an illegal agreement to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage”.

  10. steelers88 - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    The only way that anything is going to get changed in the NHL is penalizing the team organizations that employ these players. If you fine the head coaches, the GM’s and even the owners things will change. I also think if there are a certain amount of suspensions for a team in one year that team would lose a draft pick.

  11. hsnepsts - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I know this is an unpopular idea, but I still think suplemental discipline should take into consideration the repercussions. its an imperfect science, but its what the rest of us face.

    This is the classic example: you run a red light and get caught, you get a ticket. You run a red light and kill somebody, you go to jail. For the rest of us, we are held accountable for our illegal actions.

    I love the high sticking rule, because its black and white and it makes the players accountable. You high stick somebody, you get a penalty. its not a question of mind reading and intent, its a question of taking ownership for the stick in your hands.

    if you make a clean play and a guy is injured, then obviously you did nothing wrong. But you throw that elbow or knee out, and they guy is really hurt, well, OWN IT. you knocked him out for the season? sorry. You’re the one who decided to stick your knee out, nobody else. So what if the guy is made of glass – you still could have just made the clean play.

    We want players to be more responsible and accountable, yet the rules are protecting them. you run a guy from behind, and you hurt the guy way more than you intended, you sit for 2 games. big deal.

    Truth is, the villains in the NHL like marchand and tootoo sell as many tickets as the stars. the NHL is a circus.

    • hazlydose - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      I believe that the repercussions should be taken into account, but they should only be used to increase a suspension, not to decrease one. A player should not get off the hook because his dirty play did not result in an injury.

  12. greenmtnboy31 - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    The NHL has an opportunity to show they mean business by suspending Thornton for the rest of the season.

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