Netcrashing: Should injury determine severity of suspension? Staff

2/5/2011 1:09:57 AM

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.

Player Team Date Suspension
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