The NHL's supplemental discipline system is an inconsistent, hypocritical mess; marred by politics and accusations of bias, while failing to deter subsequent acts of violence by players or teams after their punishments are doled out. But other than that, it's quite effective.
The "Wheel of Justice/Discipline" gag about Colin Campbell's decision-making (when he's not recusing himself) is now part of hockey fan culture. Puck Daddy reader Pinder Johal (@Pinder on Twitter) has taken that meme to its logical conclusion: The Interactive NHL Wheel of Justice, which can be found on www.nhlwheelofjustice.com.
The formula: Enter two players' names. Determine the type of infraction and the type of injury sustained. Spin the wheel. Find out the punishment. Become slightly addicted.
Coming up, Pinder explains the methodology to the madness.
Pinder is a Vancouver Canucks fan who lives in Vancouver, which obviously speak volumes about distrust in the NHL's hockey operations staff. From our conversation over email this morning:
Q. What inspired you to do this now?
PINDER: After the Chara hit, I thought there was a recognizable pattern in the suspensions given: star players are treated differently, as are goons, and oddly, Matt Cooke and any hits to Marc Savard.
I'm a software developer, so I though it should be possible to program a simulation and get it to be pretty accurate.
Q. Tell us about the "hockey play"/"paltry fine" setting we got when we spun the wheel for Datsyuk.
The site treats Datsyuk as a star. If he hits a regular player, and the player is out with concussion, the options are "1 Game" and "Hockey Play". If the other player is not injured, or will be back soon, then the options change to "Hockey Play" and "Paltry Fine".
So the algorithm takes into account if a star hits a player, a star hits a goon, a player hits a star, a goon hits a star, etc.
There are a couple one-off settings for Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, Gregory Campbell, and Todd Bertuzzi. Also, all Boston Bruins players are listed as stars.
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We have a feeling this is either going to be a cathartic bit of comedy for hockey fans or further confirmation that his is how they actually determine suspensions in the NHL …