I am deeply disappointed that the Flyer's Randy Jones has been given a slap on the wrist for nearly killing Patrice Bergeron. NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Cambell said, "There have been suggestions by some that this hit was comparable to incidents earlier this season where players received significant game suspensions for blows to the head. These comparisons and suggestions are wrong."
No Mr. Campbell, you are wrong.
What is the difference Mr. Campbell? Were the earlier instances the result of intentional acts to harm? If so, then this is an admission that the players involved should have been kicked out of the NHL altogether and assault charges should be filed!
Is it because Jones has a clean record? Like someone else so succinctly put it, "not any more." What happened on the ice was inexcusable. When a person exercises such negligence off the ice which results in serious injury they are put in jail. Just try intentionally shoving someone into a concrete wall on the sidewalk from behind and see what it gets you. Do you think the excuse, "We were playing roughly," will get you off? But in hockey they get a slap on the wrist and a list of excuses! Hockey players are supposed to be professionals. This was not the action of a professional.
Not only should Jones have been suspended for much longer, but the entire Philly franchise should be fined a large sum of money for the wanton disregard their players have shown for safety this season. That would get their attention and might have a real impact. This slap on the wrist--it amounts to little more than saying "it's a rough game boys." This should have been a 30-day suspension. And the "other" incidents should have been for entire seasons or more. I fear for what is going to happen now that not only are players from other teams going to be incensed about the Flyers, but the NHL has made it clear that they will give you a slap on the wrist unless it is obvious that you intentionally try to kill someone!
Some people will say that I'm just overreacting as a Bruins fan. But I've given that a lot of thought. What if it were my Bruins who were going around carelessly injuring people? What if it were my Bruins who were being suspended every few weeks? The answer is that I would be ashamed!
Mr. Campbell: as of this moment I am ashamed. I am ashamed to be an NHL fan.