Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

No Suspension for Boston Bruins’ Milan Lucic is a Travesty for NHL

As expected, the Boston Bruins went all-out on the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night with their physical play.

However, Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic went too far when he speared Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser in the crotch in the winding seconds of the second period in Detroit’s 1-0 win.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Lucic received a $5,000 fine:

The NHL Department of Player Safety is supposed to protect the players, right? That’s why there are suspensions for shots to the head and other dirty plays, right?

How does Joel Quenneville get fined $25,000 for an obscene gesture, but Lucic gets fined $5,000 for a potentially harmful play?

This is a non-hockey play. DeKeyser laid a clean hit on Lucic, and Lucic was no doubt frustrated with A) The game still being tied at that point and B) Being taken out by DeKeyser.

How does the Shawn Thornton slew foot on Brooks Orpik get a suspension, or the James Neal knee-to-head on Brad Marchand get a suspension, but this doesn’t?

Do we only suspend players if an injury results? Is that the difference between the Thornton and Neal plays and the Lucic plays?

I’m so sick of the NHL basing their suspensions on whether or not a player was hurt. The intent was still there. Because DeKeyser was lucky enough to not sustain an injury doesn’t mean Lucic should be let off the hook.

Here’s the best part. This is Lucic’s excuse for the dirty play, which he has committed before:

Oh, it was the heat of the moment? OK, Milan. I guess we’ll just slap you on the wrist. Clearly, you were under the influence of “the heat of the moment” and you weren’t thinking clearly.

What a lame excuse. Lucic has done this before. How many more times does he get to use that as an excuse before the NHL does something about it?

Before you start calling me out for being a homer and only wishing a suspension on the other team, David Legwand did something very similar to Evgeni Malkin earlier in the season, which I also thought had no place in the game.

Plays like this are outside the game. They are frustration plays and fining players minuscule amounts of money isn’t going to deter them from doing it again.

Ask any player. I can guarantee you they say losing the opportunity to play a game or two will hurt more than losing a few thousand dollars. Especially in the middle of a playoff series, where a one- or two-game suspension could cost your team valuable wins.

These players make millions of dollars — a small fine isn’t going to scare them. But losing playing time — losing the ability to play the sport they’ve dedicated their lives too — that’ll hurt them the most.

This play is eerily similar to Shea Weber smashing Henrik Zetterberg’s face into the glass, and Weber getting a small $2,500 fine.

Does the NHL not learn from past mistakes? Are we going to let players do whatever they want because it’s the playoffs and every game matters that much more?

I don’t care if it’s the playoffs or a preseason game — you look at each event on its own and take the proper action necessary to deter it from happening again.

This is a travesty for the NHL. Stephane Quintal, who recently took over as head of Department of Player Safety for Brendan Shanahan, made a huge mistake early in his tenure.

But hey, at least he got twice as much as Weber did. Some might call that progress.

Next Red Wings Game Full schedule »
Wednesday, Oct 2929 Oct7:30at Washington CapitalsBuy Tickets

Tags: Milan Lucic

comments powered by Disqus