TSN.ca - NHL - Canada's Sports Leader
TORONTO (CP) - Payback cost Mark Messier a two-game suspension Monday.
The league handed the Rangers captain the ban Monday, one day after Messier was ejected for spearing defenceman Martin Strbak in front of the Pittsburgh net during a New York power play.
Part of the entire reason the NHL had a grisley accident with Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore is because of wrist-slaps like this when someone does something to injure someone...
What would have been the reaction if Messier was suspended for the rest of the season for intentional foul? Not much, really, seeing that Mark might be on his farewell tour and isn't playing for a Playoff team.
Yet some of these weak suspensions are sending the message that "Hey, the media is after us - we have to show something to them that says we will not tolerate this stuff." It's no wonder that, with these incidents and the NHL's lukewarm reception to disciplinary action, the league can't shake it's goons-on-ice image.
I'm not saying ban fighting (which is a straight forward attempt-to-injure) but you have GOT to step forward and do something when players use sticks as weapons, take cheap shots and the like. Too many get away with it without so much as a penalty being called on them...