So, Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson gets a two-game suspension for a very questionable hit that sent a player out of the game on a stretcher. The Islanders’ James Wisniewski gets the same punishment for…an obscene gesture directed at an opponent. What?
Sorry, but this is a joke. Here’s the Hjalmarsson hit.
Now here’s the Wisniewski gesture.
Are you going to tell me that these “plays” warrant the exact same punishment? If the NHL wants to really clean up the game, Hjalmarsson has to get more than two games. He drives his shoulder right between Jason Pominville’s numbers, sending him head first into the glass. It’s not a direct head shot, but it’s a hit from behind that resulted in a head injury.
Wisniewski’s childish act was stupid, but that’s about it. Another Chicago defenseman, Nick Boynton, received a one-game suspension for making a throat-slashing gesture in a preseason game earlier this month. I guess a sexual gesture is worse than a violent gesture in the eyes of the NHL. Either fine Wisniewski and tell him to grow up, or give him a game – the same you gave Boynton.
I’m not saying the Hjalmarsson hit was dirty. What I am saying is the League was supposedly going to take a stand this year on violent hits. This was a chance to prove it was serious. Instead, the NHL has taught us that a simulated BJ is on par with a violent hit from behind. Just great.