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Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports
Jared Spurgeon

Simon: NHL gets it wrong...again!



I'd like to congratulate the NHL on its consistency.  The National Hockey League is consistently the worst run major professional sports league.  The six game suspension of Gustav Nyquist is the latest example of the league's own mismanagement.

I'm not even angry about Nyquist getting such a light suspension for a vicious act.  This is what the NHL does.  They always under suspend players when they have a chance to make a statement about how you should or shouldn't behave in their sport.

Going by the way they conduct their business, you'd almost think the NHL was trying to drive away its own fans on purpose, their version of a tank, so to speak.

I fully expected Nyquist to get five or six games despite the fact my first thought, after seeing the replays on twitter, was a suspension for the rest of the regular season.

I was appalled at what I saw.  Which is really saying something when you consider some of the heinous acts of violence that have taken place on NHL ice over my 40+ years as a hockey fan. 

The six game suspension handed down by the NHL is wrong on so many different levels.  You can't have that play in the game.  It show no regard for the safety of a fellow player.  I don't care if Nyquist has no prior history of violations.  He has to be held responsible for a brutal act. 

The NHL always takes into account what happens to the player who is the victim of the attack.  Why?  Should it really matter that Jared Spurgeon was able to return to the game?  What Nyquist did was an egregious mistake that should carry a significant penalty.  What if he connected with one of Spurgeon's eyes and it cost Spurgeon his eyesight?  Would the NHL then throw the book at Nyquist?

The league's own explanation on its reasoning behind the six games is laughable too.  Nyquist tried to say it was an accident and not intentional. He told league officials he was going to cross check Spurgeon and was attempting to get his stick around to do that when the blade jabbed Spurgeon in his face.   I guess I should give the NHL credit for not buying that pile of you know what.  In a video at their own web site, the NHL noted it was not accidental or inadvertent.

They went on to state "Nyquist is completely responsible for using his stick to deliver a blow that was extremely dangerous and easily could have resulted in a major, if not career threatening injury." 

How could you possibly give that explanation and then attack a six game suspension?  I'd say it boggles my mind but it doesn't, its the NHL.

Here is the NHL explanation of the play and the suspension:


02/16/2017 10:45AM
NHL gets it wrong...again!
Please enter your comments below.
02/16/2017 11:03AM
bottom line
never should your stick go above the waist except when taking a shot at the puck not at a player
02/16/2017 11:51AM
WWE
Just more from the WWE on ice.
02/16/2017 12:05PM
Horrendous
Not only have they under-suspended on most of these cases (Marchand being the worst), but they OVER suspended players like Pat Kaleta, which drove him right out of the league prematurely. Great job NHL! You suck!
02/16/2017 12:18PM
SHAMEFUL
The aggressor perpetrator is being allowed to "profit" (via reduced suspension) by the fact that his victim -- purely by LUCK and the Grace of God -- wasn't injured as badly as he could have been. He should get NO "CREDIT" (via muted suspension) for the fact that the injury ended up not being "as bad" as it "could" have been, because the lesser resulting injury is NOT the result of the aggressor perpetrator suddenly realizing what he has done and then UNDERTAKING SOME HEROIC AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/MEASURE at the last second to MINIMIZE the IMPACT of HIS ACTIONS/INJURY HE WAS IMPARTING to his victim. For example, a basketball defender who commits an intentional foul on an opponent soaring in the air on a breakaway layup by crashing into him and then wrapping his arms around him to carry him back to the ground for a safe landing (thereby preventing him from getting injured) will be penalized far less than a defender who recklessly and violently blasts a defenseless player in mid-air on the same sort of layup and allows him to cartwheel crash onto the court/into the crowd beyond the basket without attempting to minimize the impact of the illegal contact. In this case, it's clear from the video (and to anyone who has played hockey or any other competitive sport) that this was a very DANGEROUS action on the aggressor/perpetrator's part BECAUSE HE was FILLED WITH RAGE and LOST SELF-CONTROL ... it was a retaliation, and he then INTENTIONALLY used his stick AS A WEAPON !!!!!! No matter what injury or what type/extent of injury he intended to inflict (if any), this much is crystal clear: (1) he CLEARLY was OUT OF CONTROL/RECKLESS, (2) he CLEARLY INTENDED to USE HIS STICK AS A WEAPON, (3) he CLEARLY INTENDED TO STRIKE his victim opponent WITH THAT STICK, and (4) he did, in fact, SUCCEED IN STRIKING his victim with the stick. Even if the aggressor perpetrator had a previous "clean" disciplinary record in the NHL, this type of deliberate and intentional blow with the stick as a weapon merited an automatic ejection and a much longer suspension. I wouldn't necessarily make it an "automatic" suspension for the "remainder of the season," but I would make it an automatic 20 game suspension (minimum) for deliberately using a stick to strike an opponent anywhere on/near the head (we're NOT talking about a high stick that results from accidental inadvertent tipping in a scrum where players are tangled up)... and then additional suspension time can be added on to the baseline of 20 games if the perpetrator is a repeat offender and/or if the perpetrator actually succeeds in causing far worse injury to his victim). If it's so late in the season such that the 20 game suspension might carry over into the playoffs and/or the following season, so be it. On another note, the game of hockey is a fantastically exciting sport when the rules are properly enforced. To generate more scoring and higher fan interest, the NHL does NOT have to institute new rules or gimmicks: it merely needs to make its officials/referees enforce the rules as written!!! (And if they resist/refuse, fire them). If interference and holding were actually called every time they occurred, it would eventually (after the period of adjustment hallmarked by frequent whistles/play stoppages and overflowing penalty boxes -- at least in the first couple of games) cause teams to modify their style of play to eliminate "clutch and grab" hockey -- thereby opening up more pure skating, creativity, and scoring. And it would NOT mean the elimination of good, hard, clean, physical hitting ... or even the occasional fight ;)
02/16/2017 1:18PM
The Major Sports Leagues Have Become A Complete Joke...
From this assault in the NHL (Nyquist should be facing criminal charges for what he did) to watching NFL defense-men looking for the highlight reel, career-ending hits on the opposition, we're seeing the devolution of sport to barely controlled barbarism. And, the fact that league executives do nothing to prevent or sufficiently penalize these actions only reinforces the fact that it's a business over athleticism. I've lost virtually all interest in this garbage and simply don't watch either of these sports.
02/16/2017 3:13PM
What a Goon
I wonder if he would have gotten 7 games if he beheaded Spurgeon. League wants to remove fighting but cheap shots like this are fine.
02/16/2017 6:16PM
Joke
Nyquist should be gone for the remainder of the season.
02/16/2017 6:16PM
Not nearly
Long enough. The suspension should be at least the rest of the season. The place that kind of thing should happen is in a rerun of Slat Shot. The league is a joke. I love hockey, but...
02/16/2017 9:37PM
Canadian Idiots
What do you expect rom a sport policed by a third world country! Canadah!
02/16/2017 10:16PM
6 is about right
6 seems fine, I think the NHL has gotten horribly wrong before, this was just a stupid incident from a guy who doesnt play that kinda game.
02/17/2017 9:23AM
NHL - The Old Boys Network
What do you expect from a league whose owners support the likes of Colin Camppell, Stéphane Quintal and George Parros. All 3 were goons when they played and of course they are going to cater to the old boys who love that sort of hockey. Until the ownerscan have the insight to fire and clean house at the top nothing will change. And it should start with Bettman. Mr. Pegula needs to take a front runner position with this embarrassing situation to move the NHL out of the ice ages and into the 21st Century.
02/17/2017 1:33PM
NHL
The league is a joke, plain and simple. Honestly, stuff like this would be far less likely to happen if fighting took the role it one had. I can't stand the soccer on ice I see today. Boring! The NHL has always been the worst officiated league of all professional sports.
02/17/2017 4:04PM
I Like Tough, Physical Play ... BUT
This incident was NOT "tough physical play" at all. It was a GUTLESS, COWARDLY, DIRTY FACE-SPEAR with a stick!!! It happened because Nyquist apparently couldn't control his anger after being cross-checked, and -- RATHER THAN HAVING THE GUTS TO DROP HIS GLOVES AND CHALLENGE Spurgeon to a FIGHT right there if/when he believed Spurgeon had so greatly wronged him that he needed to stand up for himself and make Spurgeon answer for it (or, alternatively, if Nyquist was unwilling/afraid to fight, perhaps simply file away the act in his memory for future "repayment" via cross-check of his own or a big (but clean) hit on Spurgeon later in the game) -- Nyquist instead chose to CHEAP SHOT Spurgeon in the face with his stick right then and there. This was NOT an "accidental" high stick that often occurs in the flow of a game. And by Nyquist's OWN ADMISSION, he INTENDED to "RETALIATE" WITH his STICK !!!!!!!!!!!!! Case closed: a stick is NOT to be used as a WEAPON, period. All such actions MUST be met with IMMEDIATE HARSH DISCIPLINARY PUNISHMENT -- even "if" the victim player (fortunately) wasn't severely injured by the stick. I agree with @ bottom line, @ horrendous, @ shameful, and @ the major sports leagues. I agree with an automatic 20 game suspension (even for a first offense) for using a stick as a weapon above the shoulders. That's just under 25% of a regular season -- not too steep a penalty at all for such a reckless act that could potentially blind, concuss, or kill a player. If a player uses his stick as a weapon above the shoulders a second time in his career, that should result in an automatic full season-long suspension at a minimum (i.e., a full 82 games or whatever the regular season becomes in the future). And if a player uses his stick as a weapon above the shoulders a third time in his career, he should be banned for life. There are better ways to "get even" with an opposing player than to potentially blind, concuss, or kill him with your stick -- and if you're too unwilling to accept that lesson after two previous harsh suspensions, you "don't get it" and you don't belong in the game.
02/18/2017 8:48AM
NHL - Nothing professional about this
Brutally blatant, He could have done so many other things to retaliate. Drop the stick and the gloves and take care of it. 20 game Suspension and 20 hours volunteer work at a trauma center. Maybe the dumb a#& will learn something.
02/19/2017 10:07PM
Re: The Joke
How have the leagues all of a sudden become a joke? They have always been this way. I don't like these rare cheap shots either, but I am not going to stop watching hockey and take up knitting because his suspension should have been 20 games and not 6 games.
02/20/2017 11:32AM
Re: The Novel "Shameful" above
The league has cut down on "clutch and grab" but certain fans can't comprehend this. You do realize you are allowed to check, right? That means when the player comes by you can get in front of them to hold them up to play the body. If they get rid of the puck, you get called for interference and the refs are quite adept at making this call. However, players have become very good at back-checking and harassing the other players by tapping their opponents sticks, trying to disrupt their puck-handling (again, without slashing or breaking the rules). Watch a game from the free flowing 80's. Small goalie equipment, hardly any shot-blocking and players didn't come back nearly as much, and players didn't trap. I saw one game recently where the two defenseman had a 2-on-nothing! That would never happen today. But it has nothing to do with clutch and grab.
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