Thursday, April 12, 2012
Justice swift, but not necessarily balanced or equal!
Who would have thought that when Thursday morning came around that Brendan Shanahan would be reviewing video from Nashville and Vancouver.
Considering all the hype and anticipation of the Flyers/Penguins series opener, most hockey fans probably thought that Mr. Shanhan's video selections would revolve around any number of misdemeanours and capital crimes coming out of Pennsylvania.
But nope, there he was viewing this interesting approach to the fond farewell from Shea Weber, a move worthy of inclusion in any WWE highlight reel.
The Weber shot was one that many thought was worthy of some suspension time, but in the mind of Judge Shanny was deserving more along the lines of a fine and stern warning.
The main thrust to the decision being that the Red Wings advised that Zetterberg was not injured and would be back in the line up for game two. A rather strange barometer for NHL justice that seems to suggest the theme of no hospitalization, no foul.
Clearly the Red Wings need to view the Fortune Cookie in their off day, to get a better understanding as to how to gain a favourable ruling.
For his end of the game swipe and shove combined with a turnbuckle twist, Weber will surrender 2,500 dollars to the Player's Emergency Assistance Fund.
Though in the spirit of message sending that stupid play after the whistle and in this case, after the game incidents would be punished, would it have been too much to ask for at least a one game suspension?
Of course, the opportunity to send a more forceful message to the hockey world was available to the Judge, with the disciplinary hearing for Byron Bitz, the fourth line Canucks' right winger who drove Kyle Clifford's head into the boards in the second period, an ugly hit that despite the thoughts of the Vancouver crowd, should have been punished, as it was by the officials with a game misconduct.
In fact, in this incident a suspension is warranted there for a dangerous play, and if the league is to set the tone of punishment for dangerous play this is was as good a chance as any, and set an example they did with the announcement early Thursday night of a two game suspension for Bitz.
No quarrel with that bit of justice, though it is confusing compared to the events in Nashville, clearly they missed a chance with Mr. Weber's rather flagrant disregard for player safety as well.
We can't help but wonder if Mr. Bitz had been named Weber, if the punishment wouldn't have been a little less severe.
I guess in the end, despite the much ballyhooed declaration at the start of the season that the league wanted to reduce head shots, there's one set of rules for the star names and another for the Bitz players...
It's a situation that has not gone un-noticed in the world of Twitter, where the tweets were flying with indignation all day long and into the night.