Compare these two incidents from a couple of days ago.
First is Niklas Hjalmarsson’s hit from behind on Jason Pominville.
Next is James Wisniewski presumably telling Sean Avery what he thinks Avery does best.
Yesterday, both received similar two-game suspensions.
Only in the NHL are the two incidents equally egregious. As a result of Hjalmarsson’s hit, Pominville suffered a concussion. At most, Wisniewski’s gesture probably hurt Avery’s feelings.
I’m not saying that Wisniewski deserves to go unpunished; I agree it was crude and offensive. But you can’t tell me that hockey players don’t say crude or offensive things on the ice in the heat of battle, and you can’t tell me that he deserves the same punishment as someone who made a dangerous play and left another player with serious injury.
If Colin Campbell’s decision to suspend Wisniewski for as long as they suspended Hjalmarsson was intended to appear politically-correct and perhaps keep their games fairly family-friendly – and avoid a “Mommy/Daddy what does that mean?” moment as Puck Daddy calls it – then for their sake I hope the TV cameras never again catch a player saying the F-word on national TV.