Puck Daddy - NHL

When it comes to Trevor Gillies(notes), seven games is the difference between a message sent and a message heard.

The New York Islanders have 17 games remaining on the schedule. Trevor Gillies was just given a 10-game suspension for his hit on Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night; a suspension whose inconsistency and illogic we'll get to in a moment. If you're going to suspend for reasons other than the act itself, then go all-in. Suspend for the season. Message heard.

From the NHL, Gillies gets 10 games after getting 9 game last month:

TORONTO (March 4, 2011) -- New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies has been suspended for 10 games and will forfeit $60,975.60 in salary for delivering a blow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck(notes) of the Minnesota Wild in NHL game #954, March 2, the National Hockey League announced today. The incident occurred at 2:23 of the second period and Gillies was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.

"By targeting his opponent's head, three shifts into his first game back from a suspension for a very similar action, Mr. Gillies has forfeited his privilege of playing in the League for 10 games," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "While it is fortunate there was no injury on the play, there can be no justification for a player delivering a dangerous check to an opponent in this manner".      

Gillies will miss the Islanders' next 10 games and be eligible to return March 26 against Philadelphia.

The Islanders face the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 8, by the way. What say you about the suspension?

Here's how Katie Strang of Newsday reported it (reg. req.):

Upon further review of the play, it does appear that Gillies hit him from the side, but that was little consolation to the league. The NHL likely deemed the shot as the type of hit they are trying to extricate from the game--where the head is the primary point of contact or intended target.

Gillies said there was "no intent to injure him at all." and that he was trying to finish hit on Clutterbuck, who boarded Gillies' teammate Justin DiBenedetto(notes) moments before.

Had Gillies done what he did to Clutterbuck two months after his 9-game ban, he gets what? Two games? Three? There was no injury. He was defending a teammate. So the act itself wasn't worth 10 games.

If you're not applying the standards established by the NHL's supplemental discipline system with regard to motivation, injury and the like -- in fact, outright ignoring them -- then you're handing out a suspension for other reasons.

In this case, it's to make an example of Gillies; and to that end 10 games after 9 games makes it look more like a child's counting game than a chance for the NHL to drive its point home.

Meanwhile, we look forward to Zenon Konopka organizing a bake sale for Gillies after he's out $60,000 large. And continue to wonder when the men who finance and instruct Gillies to play the role he plays get their penalties from the NHL. You know, if you really want to deter this sort of thing.

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