At times Colin Campbell’s decisions are real cornea scratchers.
Campbell, the NHL’s head disciplinarian, is in place in part to police the game from an office by deciding what is and isn’t suspension worthy. A tough job no doubt, but one that could be made easier with a set of guidelines, however right now the NHL sees no need for such consistency, clearly afraid of negatively impacting the underground gambling communities that wager on the Over/Under of suspension lengths.
Eager’s was for a sucker punch to the eye of Colby Armstrong. As stupid moves go, the sucker punch would be right up there with signing Derek Boogaard to a 6.5mil contract and while tossing in a signing bonus.
This resulted in a 4 game suspension for Eager, I would say a good length for the transgression. The move ended up scratching Armstrong’s cornea, however he may not end up missing a game, as of right now the Leafs are waiting to see. The suspension was handed out before the nature of the injury was released.
Now, move back to December 29th and you have another sucker punch, this time by Shelly on Andrew Alberts. This one was ugly to watch, as Shelly’s fist comes out of nowhere, taking Alberts right off his feet and dropping him like a sack of potatoes. No injury occurred here and received only a 2 game suspension.
Then three days earlier the exact same type of punch was delivered by Milan Lucic on Freddy Meyer and Campbell felt that no suspension was warranted.
Three similar plays, within three weeks of each other result in three different penalties.
The only upside I see from this is that b the time the third transgression came around the suspension length was at least long enough to be a punishment on the play. Let’s face it 2 games out of an 82 game schedule is akin to a scoring 2 goals on Vesa Toskala, there’s just so many those 2 don’t matter.
The more disturbing discrepancy is punishment, or lack there of, for crosscheck to the head.
Yes, Crosscheck to the Head. Or in other words, take a stick hold up with your hands on either end, and smash it straight into the melon of the opposition. Usually with intent of removing said melon to feast on the juicy interior, proving it is seedless.
However, it seems, clearly overwhelmed by Christmas spirit and not sure exactly what present to get the league, Campbell decided on cash by just fining the next two offenders, Curtis Glencross (Dec. 3rd) and Alexander Semin (Dec. 11th). And just to keep the gifts a surprise he wrapped the fines in the “Undisclosed” print paper.
Oh yes, the NHL’s disciplinarians continue their work with the consistency of watered down porridge. Yet still they manage to maintain the belief that a set criteria for punishment is not needed, after all, if the results are to predictable, Vegas will never include it on their betting lines.