The NHL has issued a suspension of two games to New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski for making an obscene gesture toward New York Rangers ultra-pest Sean Avery during Monday night's game between the Islanders and the Rangers.
Now, as much as I do not support Wisniewski’s actions, given the fact that he gave the gesture to Sean Avery (who is a complete idiot at the best of times), one has to believe that the NHL may have given Wisniewski a little leeway.
Where the suspension becomes laughable is when you consider the actions of Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Cammalleri, who, while provoked by New York Islanders rookie forward Nino Niederreiter during preseason action, should have received a much longer suspension than just one game for taking a swing at Niederreiter’s face with his stick.
The point gets magnified when you consider the NHL handed out a two-game suspension to Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for his devastating hit on Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville, forcing the injured Player to be carted off on a stretcher with a concussion.
So, in a nutshell, the NHL is saying it’s alright to swing at a players head, alright to throw a dangerous hit, but if you flip someone off, well, that constitutes a longer (or in the case of the Hjalmarsson hit, equal) suspension. Please!
Say what you will about Wisniewski being a repeat offender, the punishment of the gesture still does not fit the crime, end of story.
I have seen NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell drop the ball before, but this one takes the cake.
Next time Wisniewski wants to send a message to Avery, I suggest he take a swing at his head rather than making a gesture; clearly the NHL thinks that’s alright.
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