Well look out, it was a busy weekend for the Department of Player Safety, 2 players suspended, one waiting on a hearing and a Washington Capital probably lucky that his opponent turned at the last second to take the 'responsibility' away from the hitter.
To begin with Jordan Nolan has a classic hitting from behind boarding penalty, receives 2 games, is classed as a repeat offender, even though Nolan's previous suspension is totally unrelated to illegal hits. The fact that Helm was uninjured is what 'saved' Nolan from missing more than a pair.
I originally gave Nolan 18 games, it is damn high considering there was no injury on the play, however the play itself could have caused injury. It is the act not the result that needs to be punished. If you disregard Nolan's prior suspension he would only lose 8 games from this hit. That is still a very big suspension for a collision that didn't injure anyone. It would also hopefully be enough to make Nolan think twice about hitting a player in the numbers from the blind spot.
Here is Nolan's suspension if his non related prior is taken away, he did get suspended 1 game for punching an unsuspecting player, you can make a case this is similar as Helm is defenseless in this situation. So you can see that a repeat offender really gets punished quite severely, that is the idea, force a change of behavior.
Anton Volchenkov has been forced to sit for 4 games by the Department of Player Safety, this is Volchenkov's 3rd suspension. Volchenkov is not a dirty player for mine, he is damn clumsy though and that is basically what happens in this hit. He gets all out of position, freaks out, and extends his body parts to ensure he makes contact with Ferland.
So due to this being Volchenkov's 3rd suspension, it gets expensive for him, 37 games, and if you have a look at the categories I used, I went easy on Volchenkov with hit intent, it could have been a lot worse.
You take away his repeat offender status and he gets 9 games for an uncoordinated panic attack.
As you can see, we are harsh on repeat offenders, there may need to be some clarification as to what constitutes a repeat offense, but that will have to wait until next season, we are not going to change our system through this year.
Then there is the Brooks Orpik hit on Vlad Namestnikov. This is a tough one, how much responsibility does Namestnikov have in the end result of the hit? He does turn the moment before Orpik comes in to hit him, if Namestnikov doesn't turn Orpik hits him in the hip and shoulder, with the turn it is straight to the numbers. Unbelievably Orpik doesn't have a history, he has walked the line his entire career, he has had hearings via phone but no suspension laid down.
If the league found that Orpik did have a case to answer for his actions then we would suspend him for 7 games. It is taking the assertion that Orpik does have responsability to let up and not hit Namestnikov in the numbers in that situation.
Then there is the Ference/Kassian incident from last night, history should hurt Ference here, but if you have a look at Volchenkov, you could argue it is not going to make a difference, both are at their third suspendable event, and don't forget that Burrows was number four.
With this being the third suspension on record for Ference he gets tagged a stack of games. One of the big issues with the hit is Ference 'launching' himself into the hit, I do not have a category that covers off on 'skates on the ice' during the hit. But I do have 'hit intent', if Ference was just tryingo hurt Kassian he wouldn't have to launch himself into the hit, that is why I put the 'injure' category into play for this hit. Also at time of contact Ference is all tucked in, it is his momentum that brings his elbow up, but that is post contact with Kassian.
Thanks for reading guys, feedback on this thing will be great, only way to make it better is to find the holes in the system and fix them so we can get consistent, objective numbers and make it easy understand why the player is suspended for the games we pick. The whole idea of a suspension is to change behavior, keeping the suspensions all under 5 games is not going to do that.
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