NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan made his call on John Erskine’s elbow on Wayne Simmonds from Friday: the Washington Capitals defenseman has been suspended for three games. Shanahan said Erskine “recklessly elbowed” Simmonds, as you can see from the video explanation:
Erskine will miss Sunday’s afternoon NBC game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs and another matchup against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He’ll be eligible to play against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9.
The suspension will cost Erskine, 32, exactly $24,324.33.
That hit sidelined Simmonds, 24, for one game already (tonight’s match against the Carolina Hurricanes). He’ll be re-evaluated in the near future.
How do you feel about the hit? Was the punishment too light, too severe or just right?
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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