Bruins Andrew Ference Suspended, Length Unconfirmed: Why This Was the Right Call

Scott AbusoCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 04:  Andrew Ference #21 of the Boston Bruins skates during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 4, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Late in Saturday's battle between the Bruins and the Rangers, Andrew Ference dished out a nasty hit on Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh barely made it off the ice on his own power and was down for quite some time before even attempting to get up.

Recent reports have been released stating that Ference has been suspended, though the length of time is unknown.

Being that it was an over-the-phone hearing, it cannot be longer than five games, but I honestly wouldn't see it being more than one to three games.

Before you run to the comments section to attack me, hear me out.

I am a die-hard New York Rangers fan. I love McDonagh and all of the work he's put into the team this season.  It's unfortunate that he was injured, and i wish him a speedy recovery.

I watched the replay countless times.  My first, biased reaction was that it was a dirty hit, a very rough boarding, probably deserving of a multiple game suspension. After a few extra looks, however, I began to see that it wasn't as dirty as I had first suspected.

Yes, it was brutal and, in my opinion, quite unnecessary, but it just didn't seem Ference was "out to kill" McDonagh, so to speak. 

Ference came extremely fast, and he put too much body on McDonagh.

The result was tough to witness, but I can't call the play dirty.

Stupid? Yes. Reckless? Absolutely.

But dirty? I can't be convinced.

I'm giving Ference the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Let's just hope McDonagh isn't severely injured and that Ference avoids that kind of play if he is ever in that type of situation again.

I would be content with Ference receiving a two- to three-game suspension.  It's long enough to show the league and him that dangerous, unnecessary hits should be avoided at all costs, but not long enough to be considered an overreaction.

I'd love to hear your opinion on the matter, so feel free to comment and give your input!