The National Hockey League sent a message today that deliberately using your stick to try to injure another player, at the behest of your team, will result in little discipline to either you or your team. According to an official NHL release, Calgary Flames Goalie Jamie McLennan will be suspended for five games (a meaningless penalty considering he's a backup goalie), Calgary coach Jim Playfair has been fined $25,000 and the Flames’ organization has been fined $100,000 for actions taken in Saturday's Game Five.
“In our pre-playoff conference calls with the coaches and General Managers of the respective organizations, we addressed a number of topics – and one of them was actions late in the game when the score was out of hand,” said Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice president and Director of Hockey Operations. “The coach and the organization must be held accountable for the players’ actions.”
If the NHL really wanted to hold a team accountable though, $100,000 and a five game suspension to a player who isn't going to play anyway isn't the way to do it. Espeically when you consider that McLennan wasn't the only Flames player to play dirty. Daymond Langkow’s sucker punch of Brett Lebda was just as bad, and Lebda was injured as a result, and won't play in tonight's Game Six due to a concussion. Jarome Iginla was guilty of some cross checks and other cheap shots as well. None of them were punished, even with a fine. And, once again, for those that did not see the McLennan slash, the video is below.