The NHL has a funny way of legislating bad behavior more harshly than dirty hits, but it’s pretty difficult to deny the need to suspend James Wisniewski for the lewd gestures he made toward perennial pest Sean Avery. TSN reports that Wisniewski will receive a two-game suspension for his childish behavior. (Read Joe’s initial take on the situation here.)
This is the second consecutive season the NHL suspended Wisniewski. Last year he received an eight-game suspension for a vicious charging hit on former teammate Brent Seabrook when Wisniewski was a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
Of course, Sean Avery is no stranger to behavior-related suspensions. He received a six-game suspension for making his “sloppy seconds” comment regarding ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert’s relationship with then-Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Perhaps Avery got a chuckle out of this one; does this mean that pantomiming a sex act on the ice is one-third as objectionable as referring to a former partner in a juvenile way?
Next time, Wisniewski should just do what other players do: scream those insults and profanities rather than providing an easily identifiable hand motion.
Wisniewski will miss a game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, but will be eligible to return for Saturday’s contest against the Colorado Avalanche.