Here’s some great Ref Reading from Ryan Lambert at The Score, who had an excellent take on postseason supplementary discipline and its lack of effectiveness.
Lucic, with his history, should have at least gotten a phone hearing [for his spear on DeKeyser], and maybe even a one-game suspension. A $5,000 fine means less than nothing to him. He laughs at $5,000. He’d do it again tomorrow. Missing a game would have at least given him pause. Maybe. Meanwhile, the way Seabrook hit Backes was shocking, high and hard and late all at the same time, and three games seems like it really isn’t very much at all when you actually watch the suspension video. That video, by the way, seems to go out of its way to not-mention the fact that Seabrook seemed to make initial contact with Backes’ head and just about popped the damn thing off. And if the league thought the head contact was incidental (it wasn’t) or the principal point of contact (it was) then that should have at the very least been mentioned in the video itself.
To not mention that fact makes it seem — and stick with me here because this is a new concept — like they were trying to find a reason to keep the Seabrook suspension to just three games. Which is so weird, right? Like, the NHL trying to protect its star players from major supplementary discipline for checks that would have earned a guy who plays, say, 15 minutes a night instead of Seabrook’s 22 about twice as many games as that.
Lucic, too, is a star who therefore gets away with a lot more than he should, both in terms of skipping past most supplementary discipline and preserving his image as a guy who just “plays the game hard.”
But even beyond those same old complaints about the inequity of the way in which the NHL — and frankly, most other professional sports leagues — treats its stars, these two cases highlight why things get especially silly when we get to the postseason.
Head on over to The Score to read the rest of the article.