Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sick and Tired of the Double Standard

I've never been one who's shy when it comes to critisizing Gary Bettman and his NHL administration for many things. Things such as not putting US franchises on life support back in Canada and his adversion to continuing Olympic participation after the 2010 Olympic games but now I have a new bone to pick: The Double Standard. What I'm talking about is the obvious double standard when it comes to supplementary discipline handed down to players for major infractions. This problem has once again reared it's ugly head this week on two seperate occasions, with two Russians in Evgeni Artyukhin and Alex Ovechkin and then Tuomo Ruutu and Mike Richards.

Artyukhin was suspended three games by the NHL earlier this week for slew footing Dallas Stars dman Matt Niskanen yet the next night Alex Ovechkin did the same thing to Atlanta's Rich Peverly and he merely got a 2,500$ fine. It was the exact same infraction and the looked the exact same yet here we are, Alex Ovechkin got away with it because he is the NHL's best player and a guy who sells tickets.

Even worse was the later example of Ruutu and Richards. Both hits delivered serious injuries and were clear attempts to injure the opposing player yet the NHL chose to only suspend Ruutu. Ruutu's hit was one that was delivered from behind that knocked Darcy Tucker out of the game and out of conciousness last week and indeed clearly deserved a suspension. Richards hit was a late blindside hit where he caught Florida's David Booth coming across the middle watching the puck long after he'd dished to his line mate, Richards lowered his shoulder and then drove it into Booth's jaw knocking him unconscious. If had been any other player then the Captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and the face of hockey of one of the NHL's flagship franchises he definitely would have been suspended but since he put's butt's in the seats in Philly the NHL doesn't have the ball's to suspende him. This problem will only get worse until Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Colin Campbell are relieved of their duties.

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