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2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Why Rome, but Not Ference, Chara or Burrows?

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 06:  Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins gets lifted off the ice by members of the staff after being check by Aaron Rome (not pictured) #29 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Three of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Alex MamalisCorrespondent IIIJune 7, 2011

Vancouver Canucks journeyman defenseman Aaron Rome laid out a check that ended both his and his victim's Stanley Cup playoff.

By now you know, the victim was Boston Bruins' forward Nathan Horton, who was diagnosed with a severe concussion and will be forced to miss Games 4 through a potential Game 7.

Aaron Rome's playoff was ended for an entirely different reason- suspension. The National Hockey League—as numerous critics say—got it "right" by suspending Rome four games, thus ending his own playoff.

So, did the NHL get it right this time around?

My take is no, simply because the player suspended is Aaron Rome, not Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic or Alex Burrows.

No insult is meant for Rome, but it'd be a stretch to say he's a even an NHL-regular (at least not yet). He's a steady seventh-man, who has hit a stride going into the playoffs. If he continues his ways, he could most definitely be a steady NHL-level contributor, but his lost impact on the ice would be nowhere near as devastating is the Canucks lost Burrows for a game or two.

So, why suspend Rome on a very suspendable hit but allow Burrows to continue to play after biting another player? I'm sorry, I am a believer Burrow did commit the crime, simply because I find it hard for a soft-spoken player like Bergeron to all of a sudden think of a such a disrespectful act. Added to the fact you can clearly see the Canucks' winger clearly chomping on something. Was it Bergeron's finger or not? Like I said, my personal opinion is, what else could it be?

That's not a clear-cut example, so why don't we jump over to the Bruins' offenders? Andrew Ference laid out a typical check from behind and received no attention at all. Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi stuffed their fingers in other Canucks' forwards mouths in efforts to taunt Burrows and received no significant attention.

Why suspend Aaron Rome for four games when you're not willing to suspend an impact player for even one? Until the NHL treats everyone equally, they'll receive no respect and get no message across. Because surely, suspending Burrows or Lucic for one would have stuck it to their respective clubs and sent the message across that the NHL "gets it".

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