While Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is not actually getting suspended for a hit that happened in another game, the DoPS still makes the idea plausible.
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had a very successful preseason game in which he scored two goals and earned an assist on Mikko Rantanen‘s goal in the team’s 6-5 win over the Dallas Stars.
And now the Swedish right wing will face supplemental discipline from the Department of Player “Safety” for a hit that Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson laid on St. Louis Blues center Oskar Sundqvist.
As you read that above sentence, there’s a part of you thinking, “Oh, lord, Landy is getting suspended again.” And you would be justified in that lament because Landeskog has been suspended three times in his career, including once last season.
However, if you look at that sentence more closely, you’ll see that the play I’m referencing is one that took place a time zone over from the Dallas game — it was in Washington, and so had nothing to do with Gabriel Landeskog. But for a second, maybe you thought our captain was in hot water again.
As noted, Landeskog has been suspended three times. Two of those times were justified. However, he’s been labeled a “repeat offender” by the DoPS, so his punishments get increasingly sterner.
Here is the second Landeskog hit, one that earned him a three-game suspension:
Landeskog shouldn’t have cross-checked Simon Depres in the head — I’m not questioning that.
Here is the third Landeskog infraction, the one that earned him four games:
Ok, another cross check to the head. You might say there’s a pattern developing until you realize the games are two years apart. The statute of limitations is supposed to be 18 months, per the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Now, like I mentioned, I’m not justifying either of those hits at this time. Rather, I’m protesting the suspension lengths. The three then four games is based on Landeskog’s reputation as a repeat offender, even though he technically doesn’t fall into that category per the CBA. I’m mostly protesting because the original hit that earned him that reputation should never have received supplemental discipline:
The initial point of contact is Brad Marchand‘s shoulder with Landeskog’s own shoulder barely, at best, skittering up to graze Marchand’s helmet. You have to remember, Marchand is a player who licks opponents in games and who has been suspended himself several times.
And he was uninjured enough to suckerpunch Landeskog after the play.
This one incident started the “pattern” that has the DoPS labeling Landeskog a “repeat offender.”
And that’s why I mention that it’s not too far-fetched that the Department of Player “Safety” might suspend our captain for something Tom Wilson did 1,300 miles away.
I already went into detail in this post about how the DoPS has designated certain Avs players as their “whipping boys.” It’s also no secret that the league plays favorites. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby literally hacked part of a player’s finger off and didn’t even get a penalty, much less supplemental discipline.
Ok, let’s get to the play that inspired this rant-blog:
Naw, that ain’t good. It’s not as bad as Shanahan grinding Rene Corbet‘s head into the ice, but it’s pretty bad by 21st-century standards. And Wilson has been offered an in-person hearing, which means he’ll likely get at least six games for that hit.
Be honest about a couple things. One, Sundqvist is coming across the middle of the ice and has his head down. Literally, this is almost a replay of the Landeskog hit on Marchand.
Two, imagine it’s Sidney Crosby laying that hit on Tom Wilson. Do you think the DoPS would consider such a situation worthy of supplemental discipline? Would you? Or are you touting that Wilson is a dirty player and deserves supplemental discipline?
Would you say the same about our captain?
There’s a reason the Justice symbol in America is a woman with her eyes covered — justice is supposed to be blind. If it’s a law, it’s a law. If you break the law, you break the law.
The Department of Player “Safety” has taken it upon themselves to target certain players while allowing others to get away with the exact same infractions. That means the “law” is not so much about promoting safety but about settling vendettas with players who make a living right on that line.
Which is rich coming from the likes of Brendan Shanahan and George Parros.
I’ve already said I don’t think Tom Wilson is a dirty player so much as one who doesn’t take care to avoid players’ heads as much as a he should. To a slightly lesser degree, our captain, Gabriel Landeskog, is the same way. It’s part of being a power forward, a hallmark of hockey.
So, Tom Wilson and his supplemental discipline are pretty much out of my purview. As a Colorado Avalanche fan, though, I’m just steeling myself for when the DoPS turn their eyes Landy-wise again.