The NHL has tried to make it clear that player safety is a main concern. They have handed out suspensions during the NHL Playoffs, and Sidney Crosby should be the next suspension. However, that will not happen. Welcome to the hypocrisy of the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is a marque name in the NHL, and is the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But, “Sid the Kid” is no longer a kid. He has been in the NHL for nine years. Last night, during game six the Penguins captain pitched a fit and slashed Artem Anisimov of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Crosby slashed Anisimov with enough force to break his stick over Anisimov. Crosby was given a slashing penalty, but that will be the last we hear of the incident.
The NHL is proving that if you make them money you have more freedom to make dumb choices. Crosby is scoring at a point-a-game pace, and as the Penguins move into the second round they should be without their captain for a few games, but the Department of Player Safety won’t look at Crosby. In the GIF provided by DeadSpin, you can see that there is little reason for the slash, and there was no concern for the safety of another member of the NHLPA. Yes, the players involved were tangled up, and Anisimov does have some responsibility for that, but Crosby is too old to pitch fits.
There are a lot of eyes on the NHL, and the playoffs. Allowing a star player to get away with this is nothing other than a shame. I don’t care what your name is if you do something that reckless you should be made to answer for it. In one breath the NHL says it will not tolerate the dirty hits, and disregard for the players safety, and in another breath they say nothing.
It can’t work both ways, at some point the players are going to police the game themselves, and then the NHL will only have itself to blame.