Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Allen faces suspension

Canucks defenseman Bryan Allen faces a 4 game or less suspension for his leg-breaking slash on Henrik Zetterberg in Monday's game. He is scheduled for a hearing with the league today so we'll know for sure later. I'm glad the league is actually going to do something but Tom Benjamin of Canucks Corner makes a good point in their NHL blog today:
"......Obviously, punishment is warranted - how hard do you have to slash someone to break a bone? - but the case still illustrates the problem with NHL discipline. If Zetterberg was not hurt, Allen gets off scot free. He was not even penalized. In other words, Allen is not being suspended for a vicious slash. He is being suspended because the slash hurt Zetterberg. Until the NHL starts penalizing the act - rather than the result - there is no deterrence. A slash is okay, a slash that hurts a guy is not. Bryan Allen will chalk up any suspension to bad luck and learn nothing.....[more]"
One solution to the bad stickwork going on is the league being more tolerant of fighting. The instigator rule has ruined hockey. It used to be, you touch a star, the team's toughguy would get you. It doesn't happen any more and so players have to get their frustration out my other means, like slashing and other cheapshots. But the league will never allow fighting, even though it's what every new fan wants to see. UPDATE - 8:58 PM - Bryan Allan has been suspended two games without pay for slashing Henrik Zetterberg. He will lose $11,916 of his $1.072 million salary. Good job, NHL. I just wish it was for a little longer.


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