Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Denis Gauthier not suspended

It was revealed today by the NHL that Denis Gauthier of the Philadelphia Flyers wouldn't be suspended after his hit on Thomas Vanek during Game Two on Monday Night (game highlights, courtesy TSN). Gauthier was given a five minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. Vanek was fine and played the rest of the game.

Now, the big question is why the NHL didn't do anything about it. It's not like Gauthier is an angel. Hell, he was suspended for two games at the end of the regular season for a questionable hit on Toronto forward Kyle Wellwood. It seems very odd that a repeat offender would be able to get out scot-free from Colin Campbell's wrath.

The only thing I can think of is that the NHL is thinking that since Vanek was able to play the rest of the game, then the thought process is that Gauthier should be able play because Vanek can play. Granted, that is true, but someone with a rap-sheet like Gauthier's should be dealt with harshly, because there's a good chance in a high-emotion time of year, that it could happen again and whoever is on the receiving end of the next hit, probably won't be so lucky.

You can bet that some conspiracy theorist in Buffalo are saying that the NHL is out to screw them. First, the hit that Darcy Tucker put on Jochen Hecht which put Hecht out for the regular season, but seems to be doing fine now. Now, the Gauthier incident which you have to give full marks to Vanek for somehow flipping around near the boards without injuring his neck or something else which could have been much worse.

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