If you were to conduct an informal study of all the players who were suspended for questionable hits, it might be safe to say that 99 percent of them were left incredulous by the league’s decisions. In some cases, they have a point regarding the NHL’s seemingly random policies toward discipline. Yet it seems like they come across as insensitive and selfish just as often.
A lot of people will probably have that reaction to Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome’s objections to the league’s four-game suspension for his hit on Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton.
In his first round of comments about the incident, Rome said he “wouldn’t change much” about the check he delivered. Rome called the league’s suspension criteria “arbitrary” and complained about getting punished for a hit that was “barely illegal.” He also said that he sent an unanswered text to Horton, but understood why the Bruins forward elected not to respond.
While both teams are rough-and-tumble bunches, it seems like the Canucks are losing favor with a lot of casual fans because of their antics. Whether it’s Roberto Luongo’s comments about Tim Thomas, extensive accusations of diving or Rome’s not-so-shocking criticisms of the official decision, the Canucks continue to come up as the villains in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
Of course, with one more win, the “bad guys” could take it all.