The NHL has issued its rulings, with Martin Hanzal getting a one-game suspension for his hit on Dustin Brown, but with no supplemental disciplined issued to Shane Doan, Derek Morris or Mike Smith for their respective hits. Members of the Kings’ front office, perhaps not surprisingly, are said to be privately seething that the players weren’t punished further.
Regardless, once again the focus today is on hits, not hockey. The placement of Brendan Shanahan in the league-discipline chair, and Shanahan’s video explanations, were supposed to improve the issue, but it hasn’t. There is still way too much uncertainty and debate. Where there needs to clarity, there are questions. Unfortunately, in this case the league might also have to deal with questions about fairness, given that it has been owning and operating the Coyotes.
Should Hanzal have received more than one game? Two wouldn’t have been out of the question. Should at least one of the other players have been suspended? Perhaps, but therein lies the problem. Not only have those types of hits not been eliminated — even in the playoffs — but the uneven and questionable supplemental discipline has taken the focus off where it needs to be: the ice. What do you think?