I’m a little behind on this, but I was kind of out of the loop yesterday. According to Andrew Gross of The Record, Alex Burrows of the Ottawa Senators has received a ten game suspension and been fined $134,406.60 by the NHL Player Safety Department for his kneeing incident on Tuesday against Taylor Hall of the Devils.
The incident, which Gross notes happened at 10:02 of the second period of the Devils game in Ottawa, saw Hall lay what the Player Safety Department “twice noted was a clean and legal hit in the Senators’ zone that did not draw a penalty” on Burrows. Burrows became angry and “followed Hall to the Senators’ crease, repeatedly pushing him and trying to goad him into a fight.”
It was there that the players became tangled up, fell to the ice and, with the linesman trying to pull them apart, Burrows twice kneed Hall in the back of the head after punching him several times.
The Player’s Safety Department, for it’s part, called the actions “dangerous and unjustifiable.”
Burrows did not appeal the NHL’s decision and accepted the ten game suspension and fine. Hall also agreed with the suspension, telling Gross on Thursday: “It’s a lot of games, I think what they’re saying is it’s not really a hockey play. It’s not something you want to see in the game. I don’t know what his reaction was or his reasoning but it’s something where the reason it’s so high is they just want to exterminate it.”
This is just the latest in a series of dangerous plays the Devils have been involved in. Brad Marchand’s elbow to Marcus Johansson that put Johansson out with a concussion late last month comes to mind. As does Tom Wilson’s hit on John Moore last season that put Moore out with a concussion. While I applaud the NHL Players Safety Department in coming through and laying down the law against something as egregious as kneeing someone in the head, it would be nice to see that action taken against other players who dole out dangerous hits or actions regardless of their past disciplinary offenses or lack thereof.
The punishment should always fit the crime and players are not going to learn if they are not hit with said punishment every time they do something dangerous to one of their peers.
One more thing before I wrap this up. I you enjoy what we do here at the site, please follow us on Twitter and help spread the word. Thanks!