Daniel Paille: Boston Bruins Forward Gets League-High Suspension For Illegal Hit
Daniel Paille Suspended Four Games for Hit to Head of Dallas Stars' Raymond Sawada
Lost in the shuffle in this week's Super Bowl action was a little bit of NHL news that is still making waves around the hockey community.
That would be the illegal hit by Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille that got him suspended for four games, the longest such suspension that the NHL has issued to enforce Rule 48, which was created to crack down on dangerous hits.
The hit in question occurred during the Bruins' game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. As you can see in the attached video, Paille hits Stars right wing Raymond Sawada right around his head in the second period, and the fists started to fly a few moments later.
The hit was undoubtedly pretty nasty, and it certainly seemed like Paille came in with the intent to do some damage, so it's hard to argue that his suspension is not well-deserved.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that his four-game penalty represents a new high for Rule 48. Mike Brown of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes both got three games for illegal hits this season, and Matt Martin of the New York Islanders and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks each got two-game suspensions.
To be sure, illegal hits are a real hot button issue these days, and not just in the NHL. As with the NFL, there are no doubt plenty of NHL purists who would prefer that the league just let 'em play. But the line has to be drawn somewhere, and that's exactly what's going on here.
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