Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gary Bettman, Get Rid Of This Garbage

Photo: Matthew J Lee/Boston Globe
Hey Gary Bettman, did you watch that Penguins-Bruins tilt last night? Because the rest of the world is laughing at your league right now.

We saw two despicable acts of violence in this game last night. The James Neal knee to Brad Marchand's head was just given a two minute minor. Seriously? A two minute minor for a blatant knee to the head of a player who is on the ice? That's just pathetic.

Meanwhile, in the ensuing scrum from that knee to the head, Shawn Thornton seems to think its ok to run down Brooks Orpik and punch him while he lays flat on the ice. Why does he think this is ok, because you have let this type of garbage play go unpunished.

A month ago, Nazem Kadri took two shots at the head of two Wild players. The first hit he was just given a pathetic two minute interference penalty for running over Niklas Backstrom. The second hit was a shot at Mikael Granlund. The officials finally decided to give Kadri a match penalty after the second hit. Days later, Kadri gets a three game suspension for the hit on Backstrom. It makes no sense.

To sum up how pathetic the NHL has gotten when it comes to plays like this, USA Today's NFL writer Tom Pelissero shares this:

Mr Bettman, this is why no one takes your sport seriously. Its also the only time we see your sport get on SportsCenter. It gives the game and all those who love it a black eye. Its time to end this and start treating this game more seriously.

Please sit down with whoever you need to, and come up with a system that holds players more accountable for their actions. James Neal will get a suspension that is less than five games. Shawn Thornton will not be as lucky when it comes to his suspension, but it still will not do enough justice to what he did last night.

No suspension in the past three years, it seems, has done enough justice to the crime that was committed.

Now that your ridiculous Canadian TV deal is wrapped up, please take a look at what is actually happening in your games. Be the bad guy once again, and clean it up your league. It keeps your best players safe and helps continuegrowing a game that is seemingly in last place among the four major sports in the US.

No one wants this. So send a message with the suspensions from last night's massacre. You may not want to, but it is the best thing for everyone involved.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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