For those who haven’t seen, initial reports indicate that Anaheim’s James Wisniewski will receive an eight-game suspension for his hit on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook last night. If that’s the case, Wisniewski’s first game back would be against the Kings, on April 3 at Staples Center. It’s still not known whether Seabrook will play tonight against the Kings.
Terry Murray has been a critic of similar hits this season, so his take on the Wisniewski hit was not surprising this morning…
MURRAY: “There’s an intent to injure. You’ve got a defenseman pinching from the offensive blue line, to below the goal line, to hit another defenseman who doesn’t even have the puck, and never did have it — I think it went off his leg — and leaving his feet. There’s a lot of pressure, right now, to make the right calls. It doesn’t necessarily have to fall on the shoulders of the officiating crew on the ice. As we know, with the reviews, there has to be a message that’s going to be sent to the players in the game. The players, themselves, have a responsibility to start talking about this, discussing in their PA [players’ association] and bring attention to this.
“Everybody says we play the hard game and the heavy game, and there’s lots of hitting, and that’s accurate. You don’t want to take that out of it, but when you start putting malicious intent in your play, it’s too costly. We lose good players as a result of it.”