It was a play that happens hourly on any busy NHL game night: Lumber across the hands, in an attempt to separate player from puck or player from stick or just to mess him up a bit as he enters the attacking zone.
Well, messed up, Methot was: The tip of his finger appeared severed by the Crosby slash, which was not penalized. After a brief confrontation with the Penguins captain, Methot removed his glove and revealed his injured hand, blood pouring from his digit.
It was gruesome.
(WARNING ON IT BEING GRUESOME)
After the game, his coach Guy Boucher said Methot’s “finger is shattered and he’s out for weeks.” Which probably is as worse as it sounds.
An Ottawa Senators defensemen out long-term due to the actions of an opposing player? As we’ve seen before, these are the habitable conditions for an epic rant from owner Eugene Melnyk, who didn’t disappoint on a Friday morning TSN 1200 interview when asked about the incident.
Here’s Melnyk on the inadequacies of NHL supplemental discipline:
“You do anything that’s almost a certain injury, and I think the only way you do it is you wipe the guy off the map … not one or two games – TEN. How about a season for a few of these guys? I mean, really. He takes my guy, I take your guy. That’s my attitude. The guy who creates the injury, they should watch games together for the rest of the season. That’s the kind of attitude I have. There’s no room for that.
“And you, know, you have to think of that. Marc Methot … that’s the guy that you saw. I see things behind the scenes with what happens with slashes. They’re ugly. They’re just as ugly as Marc’s. But Marc’s was so visible. It was a terrifying thing to look at those pictures. I don’t even want to think about it. It’s that disgusting.
“That’s the only way you do it. You hammer these guys, and you take away their money, because they all understand money. And you say ‘you’re done for 10 games,’ and guess what? You guys aren’t getting anywhere close to winning the Stanley Cup if it’s an elite player on the other side. There’s no room for it in the NHL.
Now, you might be saying, ‘hey, he seems to be really doing a jig around the fact it was the best player in the NHL who slashed Methot and escaped the draconian punishment for which Melnyk is advocating.’
Well, he didn’t go on to mention The Face That Runs The Place (even though he’s a heel) by name, but he made sure you got the point that he’s not very happy with Sidney Crosby:
“I hope this guy … and we all know who he is … the guy’s just a whiner beyond belief, and you do this kind of stuff … I don’t care who you are in the league, I don’t care if you’re the No. 1 player in the league, you should sit out a long time for this kind of crap. You really do.”
The next Board of Governors meeting should be fun.
Now, a 10-game suspension for a slash on the hands is complete nonsense, mainly because anyone demanding ‘eye-for-an-eye’ suspensions in the NHL is just being reactionary and emotional.
Let’s use Methot as an example. Imagine that the Senators win two rounds of the playoffs without him. The Penguins, under this system, don’t have Sidney Crosby until Methot gets back, but miraculously make it to the conference final as well. Methot is healed up and ready to play. Is there a chance he returns to the ice for Ottawa if it means that the Senators face the Penguins without Sidney Crosby? Helllll no.
(Or, sparing that, would anyone want to be faced with this scenario annually?)
That aside, he opens the door to two debates:
Should the NHL penalize these pedestrian slashing plays more often, in-game or within Player Safety?
And given some recent suspensions, should the NHL increase the duration of the bans it’s handing out? Are they being too lenient?
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