Jared Boll has great timing, with the NHL being forced to go further down the legal path trying to throw the compensation case out the window, this suspension brings some points up.
Thankfully the Department of Player Safety handed down a suspension without Maroon requiring to sustain a suspension, so kudos for that.
However 3 games for a player that has a suspension and two fines in his career shows some flaws in the system the Department of Player is confined in, more on that in a sec.
Here is the hit and ruling:
It is an avoidable hit and one that does not need to occur, 3 games at the end of a season that is done for the Blue Jackets is not really punishment for a player who is in the first year of a three year deal.
18 games may seem high but I think we are getting used to only seeing suspensions under 6 games. I am one of the biggest critics of the Department of Player Safety and their soft suspensions. The players are always going to cross the line, Stephane Quintal's job is to make sure when they do cross it the players think about changing their processes.
With a limit of 6 games before a decision can be appealed the department has kept it's rulings within that limit, even for repeat offenders. This does not lend itself to changing hitting techniques or player decisions when they chose to go for the puck or the body legally or worse, the head.
I have conceded that we are stuck in this paradigm until the new CBA comes up and the current construct can be changed. But unless the NHLPA honestly think it needs to be changed for the safety of its players (unlikely) we are going to continue to see suspensions that are effectively useless.
As for the current law suit, I have no problems with the players looking for cover for their medical expenses, if that is all they are after. The current players need to look at this and understand that once you finish your NHL career the money can and does run out.
If the NHLPA is not going to assist in changing on ice behavior the next CBA will be proof the players do not take concussion seriously enough to be able to go to the NHL cap in hand for medical expenses.
One of the problems in seeing a change in the NHLPA attitude is the players who run it. Yes the top end players have a massive say on total earning capacity but to get a large enough consensus to sign off on a new CBA they have to 'give' something back to those who earn less.
Those players who earn less are the ones who will be affected most by tougher suspension parameters, it would also force some of those players out of the league. Who in their right mind would want to set up rules that make them unemployed.
It is a complicated mess bargining for so many voices, it will be interesting to see what group wins out inside the NHLPA.
Thanks for reading.