Re: Suspensions - a different take
posted at 11/4/2013 9:10 AM EST
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
In response to Fletcher1's comment:
But Book, the tricky thing is that you have already gone down the road of pretty subjective reasoning with these decisions, so for the NHLPA to suddenly say "Hey, you're not treating everyone the same!" seems a little dubious to me to begin with. The objection would be to more formalized subjectivity, I guess. Subjectivity already exists. [snip]
I know you can't formalize this as much as the OP suggests, but I'm okay with Shanahan building in a 'goon multiplier' for punishments where one team's thug injures a rival team's star player. I mean, those injuries are terrible for the game (Domi on Neidermeier comes to mind). If Shanahan wants to subjectively throw the book at someone, why not the goons that get out of hand and injure actual skilled hockey players?
The "subjective" part of this is guessing at intent, and the pattern has been to assume that a goon has more intent to injure others than a star player. Patently not true if you look at the way some stars have used some nasty tactics to make room for their skilled plays - Messier and Howe are 2 and 3 in all-time points and may be 1-2 all time for dirty shots to players attempting to check them.
The PA likes the logic of what I've said here because a star player loses significantly more money for being suspended than a goon does. If you suspend Ovechkin for 10 games, that's a $1.22M penalty. The same suspension for Scott is in the neighbourhood of $80K. It's not that the goons get more time off, it's that the stars get less because each game is a far more significant penalty when it's a star player. If you coupled that with a minutes/game multiplier, any sense of consistency would be just gone, baby, gone. You'd have Scott getting 30 games and losing nearly half his salary for the same play that would cost Ovechkin 3x the money in 1/3 the games.
The whole suspension system is pointless. It really is. I said on another thread that really needs to happen is for people to stop thinking about how to makwhat e the whole suspension process fair, objective, and acceptable to all parties and think about how we get to the real goal, which is taking out that element of deliberate intent to injure or negligent play that results in significant injuries.
Maybe it should cost teams points in the standings on top of the suspension? Draft picks? Days to the start of the UFA period, so that you can't communicate with top UFAs until after everyone else?
That's it ! Fixing things is really easy. It's trying to pander to every divergent group and opinion that makes it tough. This whole "intent" thing being introduced by the league, validates the sheer lunacy of this process.
Waiting for the perfect solution is not an option. There has to be fundamental change, if this stuff is ever to be cleaned up. Team penalties are a good place to start. But then...gee, we already have that don't we. If a guy takes a selfish penalty, what happens? The team is at a disadvantage. The whole sport looks down on selfish penalties. Players are routinely taken to the woodshed for that kind of conduct. I don't believe that same type of cultural disdain is passed on to those who blindside and injur. Obviously not, or the PA wouldn't go to such extents to protect them. Anyway...suppose things would be different if competition type penalties supplanted suspensions(or on top of them). You can bet your boots they would. Nothing changes culture any quicker, than spreading out the pain.
We have several "black and whites", in fact sport is generally meant to operate that way. A tripping penalty isn't based on "intent', or some "predatory act". Neither is a high stick to the chops(and the severity of the penalty is somewhat based on the seriousness of an injury). A stupid "puck over the glass", which has no real bearing on anything, would be quickly blown down in a 2-2 tie with 2 minutes remaining in the 7th game of the Cup finals. Those rules are all the result of the league wanting to "do something" about something that annoyed them. They all have a downside, but it didn't matter. Why can't the same thought process work any time someone leaves the ice on a stretcher? Shouldn't that kind of hardline thinking be more appropriate here....than in a situation where somebody accidentally chips the puck over the glass, with the resulting horror being a faceoff? Based on the above, there could be competitive based team penalties whenever a player is clinically injured while being physically taken out of play. The intent of "taking out your man", was never to meant to "maim, bloody, knock-out, nor kill" the opponent anyway.
If the industry gets serious, this stuff will slow down. If it doesn't...someone will probably lose their life, then the game will be turned into hybrid figure skating overnight.
Everybody knows suspensions aren't working, and the quantifiable solution of idiocy, is "making the same mistake over and over, and expecting a different outcome".