If you watch hockey for long periods of time, there might be moments when you almost forget that these guys are skating around on razor-sharp blades. The deft skating skills of NHL players can be downright transfixing, but every once in a while, there’s a sobering reminder that skates can be used on an opponent (consciously or not).
Bobby Ryan scored two goals in a big Game 2 win for the Anaheim Ducks last night, but one foolish action will force him to have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL that could end up with a suspension. TSN reports that he will face that hearing after stomping his skate onto Jonathan Blum’s foot while fighting for a puck late in the third period.
There are two major precedents when it comes to players being suspended for stomping motions. Chris Pronger received an eight-game suspension for stomping on Ryan Kesler during his Ducks days (is there something in that pond water?) while Chris Simon was hit with a whopping 30-game suspension for his transgression.
Ryan isn’t likely to face as severe as a punishment for three reasons: he’s not a repeat offender, it was a battle for the puck instead of away-from-the-game shenanigans and playoff games are obviously more important than regular season contests.
Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if the league handed out some kind of fine and/or suspension to discourage players from using their skates so inappropriately. It really didn’t seem like Ryan needed to do that and it wasn’t a moment that could really be blamed on the blinding speed of the game.
What do you think? Should Ryan get nothing, a one-game suspension or even face the possibility of a first round ban? Let us know in the comments. We’ll inform you once the league makes a verdict.