Well the NHL is at it again. Assessing penalties on the result of the injury, and even then, the offending player gets away with a slap on the wrist.
This hit by Mike Rupp on T.J Oshie is the kind of hit you could almost assess as predatory. Rupp had no need to even make contact with Oshie on the play; in reality he should have been paying attention to the puck that had been passed to the point as Sobotka had options open up with Rupp skating out of position to make contact.
If there was ever a chance to reset the counter and start again it is now. With Shanahan heading off to Toronto, it is Stephane Quintal who can change the way discipline is handed down. But this is a conversation for after the playoffs, what we are looking at today is the Oshie splattering.
Rupp could quite easily hit Oshie in the shoulder and lay him out, but ‘misses’ the shoulder and collects Oshie in the head. I can’t say what was going through Rupp’s mind in regards to intent but he made no effort to avoid contact with the head. It’s why I class it a reckless.
Had this been Rupp’s 2nd offence he would have ended up with 20 games (1100+ points), so he is lucky in that aspect. If the NHL did give Rupp 10 games he would miss a large chunk of the Wild’s playoff run. People often ask if I should put a premium on playoff games, I say no. If you want the players to change their ‘code’ on headshots, missing playoff games is a massive incentive to change.
So in summary, Rupp should have 10 games on his head. I understand the 4 game suspension given out due to previous suspensions handed out. I still find it frustrating that a suspension is predicated on a player getting injured. It is the act, not the result that should be punished, but the NHL is still a bit behind the times in its view of what is acceptable.