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NHL Fans Shocked, But Also Not By Pietrangelo & Nurse Suspensions

The NHL has suspended Darnell Nurse and Alex Pietrangelo, both for one game. The hockey world is reacting, and not favorably.

The NHL and the Department of Player Safety came down with their rulings on Thursday as Darnell Nurse and Alex Pietrangelo awaited news on whether they’d be missing Game 5, or back in action as the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights continue their growingly-hostile second-round series. Nurse was hoping the NHL would rescind the instigator penalty he received in the final five minutes of Game 4 — thus leading to an automatic one-game suspension — and Pietrangelo was hoping he might escape with just a fine as he swung his stick like an axe and slashed Leon Draisaitl.

Both men received a one-game suspension and the hockey world is reacting as many might have expected. While there’s shock and jaws are hitting the floor around the world that the NHL would find these two infractions both worthy of the same amount of supplementary discipline, there’s also a sense of ‘I told you so’ and ‘of course, they did’ as the league has proven time and time again they have absolutely no idea what to do in these situations and the inconsistent rulings are now par for the course.

Social media lit up with reactions to the fact that Pietrangelo and Nurse would both be sitting for the same amount of time. While a small fraction of fans think the league got it right to simply “even things out”, most are baffled and concerned about the message this sends.

Ryan Rishaug of TSN writes, “Tough to view those two incidents as equal in terms of severity and worthy of same punishment. If that’s by the book, then the book needs some updating IMO.” Dustin Nielsen of TSN 1260 notes, “To put this on the same level as Nurse is embarrassing but sadly expected by this joke department.”

Jonathan Willis of the Athletic writes, “That’ll teach him.” and podcast host and Maple Leafs fanatic Steve “Dangle” Glynn writes, “Pietrangelo and Nurse suspensions offset each other. Bad league.” “…embarrassing, but what else is new!,” writes the Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, while ESPN reporter Kristen Shilton notes, “Alex Pietrangelo gets a one-game suspension for a two-handed slash on Leon Draisaitl
It’s something, I guess.” Greg Wyshynski adds, “I don’t think the NHL Dept. of Player Safety got this one right.”

The NHL has suspended Darnell Nurse and Alex Pietrangelo, both for one game.

Sid Seixeiro wrote before the ruling, “If Alex Pietrangelo doesn’t sit for two games after that garbage last night then the NHL isn’t a real league.”

There were a lot more reactions, but many were like this. Fans believed the league shouldn’t weigh these two infractions as equal, but they gave each player the same amount of time. Both will miss the same game and, in a way, it puts no one at a major disadvantage. At the same time, the NHL continues to prove they are inept in every way at dealing with these kinds of calls and protecting their own players.

Another Black Eye For the NHL

At the very least, if the league was going to rule on these infractions separately, but take both instances into account regarding how it might affect the series, the DoPS should have seen one penalty as far more egregious than the other. To send the message that these two instances are somehow equal in the eyes of the league just screams that it’s not about protecting the players, but making sure one team doesn’t get an advantage over the other, even if an advantage is deserved.

That Draisaitl was OK is good news. That he walked away injury free is not a reason to go light on Pietrangelo. It was clear the defenseman was trying to hurt another player and didn’t succeed. Pietrangelo shouldn’t be rewarded for failing to complete the assignment that was clearly in his head — take a player out by wounding someone in a major way.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jer

    May 12, 2023 at 5:20 am

    Fire and fine Parros $10,000 for each NHL player and minor league players associated with all 32 franchises for putting all their careers at risk.

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