Carl Hagelin has been suspended for three games for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson, according to the NHL. Alfredsson’s status is still in question for tomorrow night’s game but he is reportedly in “good spirits” and no indications that he won’t be able to play have been made.
Though I think three games is a little bit harsh, my qualms with this is not so much with the suspension itself so much as the inconsistencies in discipline. As dangerous as Hagelin’s hit was, his intention clearly was not to injure Alfredsson and it he was attempting to make a relevant hockey play. To compare, Shea Weber was fined $2,500 for intentionally gripping and smashing Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass. Exactly how does that make sense? Hagelin’s intentions were to make a clean hit while Weber’s intentions were completely outside the realm of what is a realistic contribution to a hockey game.
And Chris Phillips? Again, a clean player who was trying to make the right play on Callahan but unfortunately got his elbows up and hit Callahan in the head. And he doesn’t even get a hearing. If Callahan had rolled around on the ice would that have made it suspension worthy? If the NHL wants to make Hagelin’s actions suspension worthy then that’s fine. But then hold everyone to those standards and ESPECIALLY punish those with pre-determined intent to injure over those whose infractions are the result of recklessness.
If there is some good news to be had from this it’s that Chris Kreider will likely make his NHL debut tomorrow night.