Remember when this rule meant something...
From NHL Official Rules - Rule 41.1 - Boarding (emphasis mine)
The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize the contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered."The onus is on the hitter." had been the so-called Department of Player Safety's mantra in the dozens of suspensions so far (as indicated by the first part I underlined). It appears they have given up on that, at least where the Minnesota Wild is concerned. There are now three well known examples...
1) Bogosian on Bouchard (click here for Hockey Wilderness' breakdown on this incident and video)
The Department of Player Safety didn't even make a formal statement regarding the Bogosian hit on Bouchard. An anonymous Departement of Player Safety rep told the Star Tribune's Michael Russo they felt Bouchard turned into it. Does it get any more vague than that? No justification for why Bogosian can use his stick there? This lazy statement is certainly not enough to show the onus shifted from Bogosian to Bouchard regarding who was responsible for this incident (again, as in the first underlined part in the rule quoted above).
I thought this era was supposed to be about transparency. I thought it was about following the words in the rulebook above and using video to show how this should apply, not about lazy statements from a nameless lackey.
Punishing recklessness is another mantra that the department of player safety has given up on. The fact that Bogosian led with his stick is apparently no longer considered reckless.
Bouchard misses two weeks as a result of an ILLEGAL hit, and the only explanation is one sentence from an anonymous source, and no suspension. Pathetic.
[two more examples follow the jump]