I was going to wait till the morning for this but I’m going to be out, so I guess I’ll bring it up now. “The Hit.” If you saw Saturday’s game (which I hope you didn’t) then you know what I’m talking about. If I somehow managed to not rant about or you somehow missed all the talk about it, then here’s what happened. Among the many penalties that Montreal got on Saturday, one was a major boarding call (that’s means 5 mins of power play for the other side) for Tom Kostopolous for hitting Mike Van Ryn from behind (you can see it for yourself <HERE>).I think he ended up with a few other penalties tacked on as well, but it’s “the hit” that has upset a lot of people.
Today it was announced that the NHL has suspended Kostopoulos for three games. According to the NHL: “Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kostopoulos is considered a repeat offender, having been suspended one game last season for a fight, and will lose $32,926.83 from his salary. As a repeat offender, the salary forfeit is based on games in the season (82) rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”
I hope the NHL is prepared to get a lot of hate mail…
That being said, I believe that the decision to suspend Tom Kostopoulos was right. Admit it, if it was a Canadien who had been hit like that we would all be screaming here for the Leafs’ blood. Hits like that should not be tolerated. That being said, I have to wonder why he was suspended for the amount of time that he was. The problem I have with this whole thing however is, there are plenty of similar and worse hits done by other people where either nothing happened or the offender was given less days. I sincerely hope that this decision was not made because 1) Montreal was playing Toronto in Toronto and 2) because the game was broadcast on national television. Either you dole out the suspensions to everyone who clearly deserves them or you don’t. Don’t be picky and choosey just because a certain game might be given more attention nationwide or if it’s between two high profile teams.
If the league really wants to stop this type of thing from happening then they better start applying the rules in the same manner to everyone equally.