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Andy Sutton Suspended Two Games For Nearly Maiming Pascal Dupuis

Islanders Penguins Hockey

New York Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton has been suspended two games by the NHL for his boarding hit on Pittsburgh Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis during Tuesday night’s 6-4 Pittsburgh victory.

Sutton was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding after hammering Dupuis with less than three minutes to play in New York’s 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

He expressed remorse after the game.

“I feel awful,” Sutton told Newsday. “I played with Pascal for a long time (in Minnesota and Atlanta) and I obviously never intended that to happen.”

Sutton will forfeit more than US$31,000 in salary because of the suspension. He’s eligible to return to the Islanders lineup on Jan. 26 against Washington.

Expressing remorse was probably a good move by Sutton, and by all appearances it seems to be genuine. Could that have had some effect on the length of suspension? Perhaps. It certainly appears that there was no malicious intent on Sutton’s behalf.

Video of the hit and a shining example of the kind of leadership Superstar Totally Awesome Genius Commissioner Gary Bettman can demonstrate after the jump.

Dupuis was surprisingly not seriously injured and according to Pens head coach Dan Bylsma, could play tonight in an exciting rematch of last year’s playoffs when Pittsburgh takes on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Mellon Arena.

Nevertheless, shots to the head have become an all too frequent and troubling occurrence in the NHL this season. But what to do? No one wants the physicality of the sport taken out of the game – except for pansy-ass namby-pambies (did I just use the phrase namby-pambies? No, I will not use the backspace key and change it). Thankfully, Gary Bettman was later seen riding in on his white horse to let everyone know that the NHL will take a good hard serious look at them…at some point. Maybe.

Note: imagine Bettman saying the following while wearing a clown suit, a big red nose and holding a rubber chicken. Oddly, for some reason, his comments sound  more intelligent and informed statement that way.

“This issue for us is what can we do about what is otherwise a legal check resulting in a shoulder going into a head,” he said during a news conference in Edmonton prior to the Canucks-Oilers game. “We have studied it very carefully and extensively. We want to get it right. We average 40 hits a game. That’s somewhere in excess of 50,000 a year. It’s an essential element to our game.

Who knew Commissioner Bettman could multiply? Look at the big brain on Gary!

He continues:

“We want to get those hits that make us uncomfortable out of the game. But we want to do this in a very judicious, professional way.”

Of course. Do you know what kind of hits make me uncomfortable? The ones when you accidentally inhale the ash through your one-hitter, but don’t see how that has anything to do with hockey. Is that what Bettman is referring to here? No? Well, he should then, man.

“We need to take the time and create a very precise standard, something that’s easily understood and something the players know what to expect,” he said. “Something that the officials know what to call and if necessary (Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations) Colin Campbell knows how he’s going to discipline.

If there is one thing Colin Campbell, the Great Czar of Inconsistent Fines and Suspensions doesn’t know, it’s how he’s going to discipline. I can imagine sitting in his office throwing darts at a target. “Hmmm…let’s see here.” (throws dart) “Aha! 10 games for this guy! Muwahahahaha!”

“We’re looking for precision. Not over-legislation. We will have ample time in March and hopefully we can come to some sort of consensus.”

Hopefully they can. But we do know one thing: it will be precise and not overly-legislated. You can trust the Bettster on that one, buddy.

New York Islanders defenceman Andy Sutton suspended two games for hit [NHL.com]
Penguins’ Dupuis could suit up against Caps [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
Bettman: NHL will look at issue of head shots [NHL.com]