James Wisniewski is making headlines in New York, but they're not the type of headlines he would like to be making. The NHL handed down a two-game suspension and will forfeit $79,268.30 in salary for directing an inappropriate gesture towards the always controversial Sean Avery.
"It's pretty obvious what the guy was doing," Avery said after the game. "I'm sure nothing will happen to him. Nothing ever happens. It's interesting he'd get a warning for something like that. Imagine what would happen if I did it. They (the NHL) sent me to rehab," Avery went on to say, referring to when he was sent to anger management by the NHL after he made comments about ex-girlfriends dating other hockey players.
Wisniewski is considered a repeat offender after his hit on Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook last year, which resulted in an eight-game suspension. The money that he will forfeit will go to the Player's Emergency Assistance Fund.
After receiving the suspension, Wisniewski said, "A lot of actions on the ice are regrettable. I've been given a suspension from the League and I'm going to accept it and move on from here."
This is another instance of a professional athlete acting like a child. You may remember two weeks ago when New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs threw his helmet in frustration and the helmet wound up 10 rows into the stands behind the bench at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Hockey players are usually the most down to earth, mature athletes when it comes to professionals. They aren't the ones being criticized for having egos bigger than their contract and are often outstanding people in their communities.
The gesture he made towards Avery should not have been made on the ice where cameras can and did catch what he did. To make things worse, Wisniewski did it during the Columbus Day game, where a lot of kids were attending because school was out.
Young athletes look up to professional athletes and the last thing any youth hockey organization needs is for one of their players to make that gesture towards another player and say that it was OK for him to make that gesture because he saw it on television.