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Sedin, Thornton sound off on Chara, NHL discipline

Sean Leahy
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SEDINTHORNTON

It's not very often that you hear star players rail against decisions made by the NHL, but the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty incident on Tuesday night has brought out two of the league's captains questioning the supplemental discipline process.

Both Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks spoke up today, and while Sedin would like to see suspensions for any head hits, Thornton went straight for the conspiracy theory.

From the Matthew Sekeras of the Globe & Mail:

"It's just something with Boston," Thornton said. "It just seems like they have a horseshoe. We've seen the [Milan] Lucic cross-check to the head [of Maxim Lapierre] earlier, and there's no disciplinary thing.

"It's just something about Boston and the disciplinary [process] is on their side. I'm not sure why that is. I'm not assuming that Colin's kid is on the team and that's why, but it's really bizarre."

(To clarify the Globe & Mail quote, Lucic was suspended a punch on Lapierre during the 2009 playoffs. He went unpunished for a late high-stick on Dominic Moore last week, which is what Thornton was referring to.)

Daniel Paille would object to this magical Bruins horseshoe Jumbo is speaking about.

Sedin opined that players don't know where the line is these days and suspending players for incidental or on purpose head hits is where change should begin.

From Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:

"What are you doing to do the next time Trevor Gillies comes down and runs a guy into the thing? You can't give him anything. And you tell the guys [Chara] has no history, so the next time he does it he still has no history because he didn't get suspended. I don't see the reasoning behind it. Give him at least something to show that's not acceptable."

...

"I'll tell you this: if you say that you don't know where things are around the ice, I think you're not telling the truth," Sedin said. "You play the game for 20 years, you know it's there. It's gotten to the point, you have to suspend guys if you hit the head. You have to do it even if guys say they didn't mean to do it or it's an accident. You have to start somewhere.

"I don't think players know where the limit is. That's the bottom line."

A year ago, the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard was the final straw in the headshot debate and during the general manager's meetings last March, Rule 48 was created.

Now with the Chara/Pacioretty incident owning the headlines this week, and with Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier expected to speak up next week in Boca Raton, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Rule 48 tightened a bit or, as has been discussed before, some sort of head-checking penalty for any kind of head hit. There's enough momentum after recent events that there's got to be some sort of change, right?

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