When Boston Bruins winger Daniel Paille was suspended for his hit on Raymond Sawada of the Dallas Stars on Friday, the league's Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy said in a statement that Sawada's injuries played a factor in the length of Paille's four-game suspension.
"Paille delivered a lateral hit where the principal point of contact was his opponent's head," said Murphy in a statement. "Additionally, the injury suffered by the Dallas player was a factor in this decision."
Murphy's statement regarding Paille's suspension makes it apparent that the NHL considers the severity of the victimized player's injuries when deciding the severity of the offending player's suspension.
This leads to a topic that has been a hot button of late in hockey circles. How big of a role should the extent of an injury play in the length of a suspension?
One school of thought is to disregard the injuries and determine the severity of the suspension solely on the play itself. In other words, base the discipline decision on the illegal hit alone, and not the results of the hit.
Another option is go the other way entirely, and wait until the extent of the injury is discovered before handing out a suspension. If the player is out for a long time with severe injuries, then any suspension could reflect that. Conversely, if a player escapes a hit with only minor injuries or no injuries at all, then the offending player could be given a break.
And a third option is to meet somewhere in the middle and take into consideration the act and the resulting injuries, which the NHL has done in Paille's case.
Our question to hockey fans today is: How much should the extent of an injury play in the length of a suspension?
As always, it's Your! Call.
|Michael Cammalleri||MTL||10/4/2010||One game for slashing|
|Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond||NJ||10/10/2010||One game for instigator|
|James Wisniewski||NYI||10/12/2010||Two games for obscene gesture|
|Niklas Hjalmarsson||CHI||10/13/2010||Two games for hit from behind|
|Shane Doan||PHX||10/18/2010||Three games for illegal head shot|
|Rick Rypien||VAN||10/20/2010||Six games for contact with fan|
|Stephane Robidas||DAL||10/27/2010||One game for check from behind|
|Danny Briere||PHI||11/1/2010||Three games for cross check|
|Joe Thornton||SJ||11/5/2010||Two games for illegal hit to head|
|Brent Burns||MIN||11/13/2010||Two games for use of stick|
|Olli Jokinen||CGY||11/18/2010||Three game for cross check|
|Mattis Ritola||TB||11/18/2010||Two games for charging|
|Jody Shelley||PHI||12/13/2010||Two games for check from behind|
|Matt Martin||NYI||12/20/2010||Two games for check to head|
|Jody Shelley||PHI||12/29/2010||Two games for punch to head|
|Ben Eager||ATL||1/8/2011||Four games for blow to head|
|Tom Kostopoulos||CGY||1/9/2011||Six games for hit to the head|
|Mike Brown||TOR||1/14/2011||Three games for hit to the head|
|Shane O'Brien||NAS||1/14/2011||Two games for high sticking|
|Scott Nichol||SJ||1/18/2011||Four games for blow to head|
|Dan Paille||BOS||2/4/2011||Four games for hit to head|