Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 09/29/11 at 07:44 PM ET
From Tony Gallagher via the Times Colonist:
Many are applauding vigorously and treating Brendan Shanahan as some sort of hockey saviour, but it represents the NHL offices in New York, which are so sensitive to media pressure in the area of game violence, simply instructing him to start making the suspensions longer. Colin Campbell would have done the same had he been given the same instructions, the only thing different really is the better explanations for the reasoning behind the individual decisions.
Nothing structural has changed really. The league still pulls all the strings and Shanahan talks to the same people Campbell did on a daily basis —only there are longer suspensions for more and different types of hits, which is fine as long as the lawyers who run the league know the risks.
With long suspensions going to players making a lot of money comes the risk that they will look at the whack in the pocket book and not only reduce illegal hits (which almost always happen unintentionally) but also legal ones as well. Every time such a player goes to hit somebody he’s going to consider whether it’s worth the risk of that guy turning the wrong way and he’ll end up suspended again as a repeat offender.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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