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Sean Leahy

Video: Brendan Witt's elbow tests the NHL suspension policy

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

Early in the third period of the Toronto's 5-4 shootout victory over the New York Islanders (thanks in part to another Jason Blake spin-o-rama), Brendan Witt went out of his way to throw a nasty elbow to the head of Maple Leafs forward Niklas Hagman, knocking him silly.

That sound you hear is Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations and suspension czar Colin Campbell flipping through his Rolodex for Witt's phone number. Certainly, the ugly incident put a fright into the lovely ladies of the WWE who were on hand at Nassau Coliseum tonight.

Hagman, who was sidelined back in December with a concussion, had to be helped off the ice and did not return. Witt was ejected and assessed a five-minute penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct. (Does it look like Witt says something to Hagman as he's being taken off the ice at the :27 mark? An apology perhaps, while Hagman's brain is scrambled?)

We've seen inconsistency when the National Hockey League has handed out headshot-related suspensions this year. Witt's elbow was vicious and he was not looking at the puck the entire time he skated in the direction of Hagman; Witt wasn't even trying to play the body. I know it wasn't an off-color joke, but how will commissioner Gary Bettman explain the continued lack of respect among players in the NHL to young hockey fans?

We can play a game of "guess the suspension", but we all know the amount of games that Campbell will hand down will be far less than what Witt rightfully deserves.

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