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Marty McSorely.  Todd Bertuzzi.  Brad Marchand. Tom Wilson. Dale Hunter. What do these players have in common? They have all been disciplined by the NHL for reckless and dangerous incidents that have severely injured players of the opposing team. They did their time but the actions of these players will never be forgotten. This type of play is not what the NHL, or any other hockey league, is about. The NHL, although rivalries do exist, is about respecting your opponent.

Brendan Shanahan, leader of NHL player safety, has adjusted to his role, although some may argue that he’s been light on suspensions and punishments handed down. Marchand and Wilson, the NHL’s most recent offenders, have been suspended more than once. Marchand was recently suspended by taking actions into his own hands and fighting Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadians after Eller celebrated a goal being up 7-0. Wilson was suspended 20 games by the league for a blindside hit against the St Louis Blues.  Marty McSorley was suspended for hitting Donald Brashear in the head with his stick, Dale Hunter was suspended after hitting Pat Lafontaine full force from behind and Todd Bertuzzi was suspended after sucker punching Steve Moore from behind and knocking him unconscious

The NHL board of player safety needs to be more consistent on the suspensions and base it on the players history. The players are relying on the NHL to keep the game safe. However, if these light suspensions and punishments continue what are they left with? Do the players have the right to settle the score if this continues? Or is the NHL causing more harm than good by not giving more severe penalties?


Photo: NBC Sports
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