Once again showing an understanding of jurisprudence on par with the O.J. jurors, the NHL suspended News York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski for two games for his “obscene gesture” towards purse collector/Vogue intern/New York Ranger Sean Avery (is this the No Homo League?). Avery himself was ridiculously suspended two years ago for his infamous though unspecified “sloppy seconds” comment.
But noted dirtbag Matt Cooke? The repeat offender who ruined Marc Savard’s season (and by extension, his team’s) and brought his career to a screeching halt after a cheap-shot elbow last March? He got to play again, the very next game, and still continues to ply his weak-ass version of a ‘trade’ after not being suspended or fined. Sure, the league altered the rule in the off-season. But that’s a bit like going to the drugstore after the twins are born. (Ironically, the league made up a rule during the playoffs a couple years ago—the Sean Avery rule—to prevent, well, Sean Avery, from waving his stick eye-level in front of a goalie). And people wonder why the league gets treated like Angelina down South Beach.
If Wisniewski needed to be punished, even if he may have just been giving Avery his own version of “the Mario test”, a fine would have sufficed (here is a funny list of top 10 excuses). As for Avery, he is a classless douche for that but his suspension was way over the top when a fine would’ve been quite adequate (I couldn’t care less whether Avery prefers sausage or anchovies on his pizza, but if he is indeed festive, he’s got the best beard collection this side of ZZ Top). It was almost like the league went overboard to send a message to the players—”if we gave him that much for just saying something, imagine what we’ll do to you if you try to pay him back”—and it worked.
Either way it’s a fucking joke. You can be a head-shot artist, scramble a guys eggs, jeopardize his livelihood and life, but not even get a fucking penalty. But vaguely speak about former flames or make a rude gesture toward a guy during an expletive-filled goal-mouth meeting? Well, that’s a paddlin’.
Perhaps it’s time for a new slogan.
The NHL: we’ll protect your sensibilities but not your cerebellum.