The National Hockey League has suspended Dan Carcillo for four games as a result of his punch to the face of Washington's Matt Bradley last night. Paul Holmgren does not agree with the suspension. Here's what he said in a statement released by the team:
"Decisions come down from the league…do I agree with them all? No. I certainly do not agree with this one. We do not have a lot of recourse in this situation. Dan will serve his suspension, and we will move on."
Given the apparent reasoning behind other suspensions in the league, it's easy to understand their reasoning on this one. Bradley was injured on the play and Carcillo has a reputation. Is that fair? I'm sure there will be a ton of debate.
Personally, I'm not too upset with the suspension. Carcillo was dumb, the penalties hurt the team, and quite frankly, he needs to get it through his head that he can't do this stuff anymore. Yes, Bradley dropped his gloves. That doesn't change the fact that Carcillo never should have engaged him in the first place.
Most of the Flyers agree. Here's Peter Laviolette, Holmgren, Chris Pronger, and Mike Richards, in that order, discussing the hit last night.
“It never should’ve happened. We got hit and should’ve skated away.”
"He should have carried on playing the hockey game." ... “Danny gets hit, carries on and goes about his business, plays the game, and we’re not shorthanded for nine minutes.”
"... shoot ourselves in the foot with a nine minute penalty..."
“I’ll hold the team accountable for that...”
Feel free to disagree. I'm sure many of you will. The large problem I can see most Flyers fans having here is with the length of the suspension. Four games? Well, Carcillo's reputation coupled by the injury to Bradley are where you get four games from. If there's any debate about this suspension at all, it should revolve around that, as there are reasonable gripes there. But to say Carcillo didn't deserve a suspension at all would be pulling the orange wool over your eyes a bit too far.