The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Nashville Predators forward Forsberg for three games after a hit against Rangers, proving they are a joke.
Word spread yesterday morning. The NHL Department of Player Safety was going to hold a hearing regarding Filip Forsberg‘s hit on New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey. Then, an announcement came and the Nashville Predators will be without Forsberg for three games.
This is a problem. And it is not because I believe the hit was clean. Nor is it due to the team missing their best scorer. The Predators have already played without Forsberg and won. Suspending Forsberg for three games is out of line with the precedence set by the league just last week.
Forsberg levied a big hit. It was a bit late and contact was made with the head. I understand these facts and can agree to Forsberg being fined. He probably deserved at least two minutes in the penalty box. But three games?
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First of all, Forsberg has a clean record when it comes to discipline. Does he like to mix it up and bit or stir the pot? Sure. It is hockey and players do that regularly. Just look at Anthony DeAngelo on Saturday night against the Predators.
There is only one reason Forsberg received three games: Andrew Cogliano. The Ducks’ forward leveled Kings forward Adrian Kempe, and was called for interference.The DPS then assessed a two-game suspension ending Cogliano’s streak of 830 consecutive games played.
However, the hits were different. Cogliano skated straight toward Kempe, lowered his shoulder, and laid Kempe out. The puck was long since off the stick of Kempe, and Cogliano watched the entire play. Still, he threw his body at Kempe. Forsberg’s hit was not as late, nor did he lead with the shoulder to the head. Yet, three games was determined the punishment.
I get it. Vesey bled. Contact was in fact made with the head. But I am not sure it is worth the three games.
Let’s add the following items: Ryan Johansen was hit by Will Carrier in the head after playing the puck. No punishment. Sidney Crosby slammed P.K. Subban‘s cranium into the ice repeatedly during the Stanley Cup Final. No punishment, nor a statement about the NHL’s golden boy from the league. Evgeni Malkin speared Dustin Brown in the groin – likely in retaliation to Brown cross-checking Justin Schultz – and was only fined $5,000.
And, my favorite, after the whistle was blown and played was stopped, Johan Larsson of the Buffalo Sabres cross-checked Panthers’ forward Vincent Trocheck in the face. If there was ever a case of pure intent and a non-hockey play, it is this. What does Larson get? A two-game suspension. Like Forsberg, Larsson had no record of discipline.
So, a hockey move during gameplay gets a higher suspension than a non-hockey action when a play is stopped? That is hilarious. Well, done Department of Player Safety. Once again you prove to be ridiculous.