Three games for Captain Doan

Shane Doan was wreaking all sorts of havoc last night, first by taking Cam Fowler out of the game not too long after the Ducks' rookie defenseman opened the scoring with his first goal in the NHL.

Second, for this:

For his part, Fowler was injured and did not return. Sexton, meanwhile, was able to.

The NHL handed down a three-game suspension to Doan for his hit on Sexton today, prompting many followers to take notice of a change in the NHL's train of thought behind these sorts of blindside incidents: suspend the action, not the result, nor the "type" of player. There is still lots to be desired in the way of consistency, however. Will we see more acts like this being punishable, regardless of the player's stature in the NHL? Is this the first of a wave of many, or will there be a few more bumps and mis-steps along the way?

What do you think? Is three games what we should come to expect as the standardized reaction the NHL has to a problem that has (ironically) only seemed to increase since they promised to give it more attention? Should there even be a standardized reaction, or will it remain (painfully) open to interpretation?

4 Comments

Phil T's picture

as illegal as they come on dan sexton... lol. Interference + blindside. 'Roid rage?

George Prax's picture

The hit was definitely dirty, and I think the NHL definitely got it right here. The right hit, the right number of games, the right suspension. You're right in questioning whether this is a sign of things to come for the NHL and an indication that this is how they will suspend hits in the future. They did everything right here, they didn't consider whether the player was injured, didn't consider the player's status as a star, they just suspended the action.

Hopefully this becomes the benchmark, but odds are that it won't.

George Prax's picture

I don't think it had anything to do with the Fowler hit... would it have been reviewed if he didn't make the Sexton hit? Maybe. But he lost an edge and I really don't think there was much wrong with it other than what was accidental.

The NHL really needs to stop looking at the outcome of a dirty hit, and rather the intent and the action itself. This is a step in the right direction.