When Brendan Shanahan became the “league sheriff” I thought, great, someone who is going to lay down the law properly. At the beginning of the season it appeared that thought was not far off. Shanahan was handing out suspensions left, right, and centre. Five games here, eight games there. But then, things changed and the penalty for being careless on the ice became some nice little time away from work. Two games for a hit from behind or three for almost taking a fellow players’ head off.
Suspending Duncan Keith five games really doesn’t make any sort of statement. All it says to me is, we are playing it safe still because.. Exactly, because of what? It makes absolutely no sense to avoid making a commitment to putting a stop to these types of plays. The NHL is failing to protect their best players. Keith is now going to get a rest before his team attempts to embark on a long playoff journey. Meanwhile, the Canucks will be without one of their best players as they attempt theirs. Yes, the league has to take in factors like, is he a repeat offender? Was there intent to injure? I get that, but when are they finally going to say enough is enough and go NFL on their butts. I’m not saying suspend players for whole seasons without pay, but do make them think twice before they make a stupid decision. In this case, I would of loved to have seen Keith in the press box for the remainder of the regular season and three playoff games. (I can dream, right?)
I believe until the league actually cracks down on nasty incidents, the so called, “head-hunting” will continue. When they decide to though is really up in the air. This isn’t the game I fell in love with. If I wanted an injection of drama night in and night out, I’d watch The Bachelor instead.