Which is worse? Sean Avery's off color comments about Dion Phaneuf and girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, or Jarkko Ruutu's apparent nibble of Andrew Peters' thumb?
You decide. But sticks and stones may break your bones but words may never hurt you.
Avery was given a slap on the wrist after his "sloppy seconds" comment about a month ago. Avery was given a six game suspension, which ultimately was the end of his stay in Dallas.
Now after Tuesday night's debacle in Buffalo another NHL goon is under review in Toronto. Ruutu, a Forward for the Ottawa Senators was in a scrum with Buffalo Sabres' Forward, Andrew Peters when Ruutu appeared to bite Peters' glove. Peters immediately reacted by flailing around to get the referee's attention which consequently resulted in a two minute, unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Peters' reaction reminded me of a youtube great. I'm sure you have seen it.
No penalty was given to Ruutu and fairly so. The scrum lasted only a few seconds and the apparent bite was so subtle it would have been nearly impossible for the ref to notice. But after reviewing the highlight, it is clearly evident to me that he bit Peters.
He broke the skin!
Ruutu is known for not fighting his own battles and 'turtling' when challenged. Earlier this year, Sabres' forward Adam Mair was caught going after Ruutu in the locker room after the game. Ruutu has already served a two game suspension this season after elbowing Montreal forward Maxim Lapierre.
If Avery recieves six games for his comments, shouldn't Ruutu either be punished the same or more? The incident is sure to be under review in Toronto by league officials to determine a fitting punishment—if any for Ruutu's actions.
Suspension or not, there are many unwritten rules in the game of hockey and Ruutu surely broke one of them last night. I am not a fan of cheap shots, or players simply going after other players. But I wouldn't mind seeing Peters' go after Ruutu in their next meeting, February 7.
Players like Ruutu and Avery don't deserve to even play in the National Hockey League. Its as simple as that.