The Stanley Cup Playoffs have taken a backseat to all of the mindless violence that seem to occur as soon as the puck hits the ice. Things continued spiraling out of control on Wednesday night, when Vancouver's Henrik Sedin decided to bust Los Angeles' Dustin Brown in the mouth with his elbow.
At some point we have to stop wondering what the NHL is going to do about all these violent hits and start talking about what a great example the league is setting by severely punishing these players for their actions.
There has been outrage among fans and analysts about the inconsistencies the league has had with fines and suspensions during the playoffs, but you can't continue allowing these incidents to happen without telling everyone that these things will not be tolerated.
Hockey is a game where you are acting more on impulse than anything else, so it's understandable that emotions running high. But just looking at Sedin's actions, it was clear that he went at Brown with the sole purpose of trying to injure him.
A three-game suspension was considered to be too excessive for New York's Carl Hagelin, who does not have a reputation as a dirty player, so what is the NHL supposed to do with Sedin?
It is time to take action, serious action. The players clearly do not fear suspension, nor do they seem to have any respect for each other.
You can't blame them for not fearing suspension, especially when head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan makes idiotic statements about how a player's injury helps determine the length of time the aggressor will be sitting down.
Applying that rule, Sedin would get off from this shot scott-free. The NHL has to make the players aware of the fact that their negative actions have consequences. It is time for the league to take back control of its players, or else someone is going to suffer a long-term injury.
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