This season there have been 10 suspensions in the NHL (I'm counting Raffi Torres hit as this year in the playoffs as well). The longest suspension has been Patrick Kaleta's boarding/crosschecking/interference play against the Rangers on Brad Richards. I'll admit that at the moment of the penalty it didn't look like Kaleta put much pressure on the numbers of Richards. It actually looked like Richards lounged forward a bit, but I digress. It was a dumb play by Kaleta. However, considering he has never been suspended for a dirty hit, I thought the punishment was harsh enough considering he took a 5 minute major and game misconduct. But once again, I digress. I'm not the judge, jury, or executioner.
On Tuesday of this past week, Corey Perry launched a viscous, late headshot on the Wild's Jason Zucker. The video can be found here. Perry got a 4 game suspension. Let me repeat that one more time in case you didn't read it correctly. He received only a FOUR game suspension. How was this hit not one hundred times worse than Kaleta's? And don't say it's because he has no history. Because he does (sorry for the quality). Now, please, tell me why this is less than Kaleta's. If we are talking about intent here, I don't believe Kaleta intended to crosscheck Richards into the boards. I believe that he wanted hit him so that he wouldn't be in position on the powerplay. After watching Perry's headshot on Zucker, it's clear that Perry intended to hit Zucker late. Whether it was intended to the head is another story. Consistency is a huge problem here. Why is nobody calling for Perry to leave the game of hockey after his second brutal headshot?
I would also like to point out that Nathan Gerbe has been drilled from behind a number of times. Example 1, Example 2 (Note: Gerbe was wearing additional protection, had to have surgery later on, and Matt Ellis fought Bourdon. MATT ELLIS), Example 3 (His first game after having the surgery). If anyone needs to be protected by Shanahan, it's this man. How do all three of hits not even get looked at? Or how about either of the two hits on Ennis? I don't get it. And the Leopold hit that didn't even get a penalty? Give me a break.
Something needs to change. Shanahan is claiming that he is trying to make the game safer and reduce the dirty hits that occur. While it may seem like that on paper with only nine suspensions this year, there are probably countless others on other teams that haven't been looked it because it didn't involve a star player of some kind. Someone please explain this system to me, because I sure as hell don't understand it.