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Could (or Should) Darroll Powe Be Suspended?

Knowing full well that a lot of you will disagree with me - hell, I'm disagreeing with my initial reaction - I ask whether Darroll Powe should be suspended for his hit on Jaroslav Spacek

We can mostly agree that Spacek put himself in such a vulnerable position and is therefore at least partially responsible for the result.  Still, simply typing that makes me a little uneasy.  Blaming a guy for getting plastered against the boards is a bit callous.

In spite of that, I ask you to consider Patrick Kaleta's hit on Jared Ross earlier this year.  There are obviously differences between the two hits, but take another look at Kaleta on Ross:


Kaleta received a two-game suspension for that hit.  Now, the obvious difference is that Ross was stationary while Spacek was chasing down a puck.  Clearly, Spacek was attempting to move the puck and then make a quick pivot to avoid the check he knew was coming.  In such a situation, it's hard to fault a player for making a move many defensemen make.

With a forechecker bearing down, many defensemen move the puck and brace for a hit.  Spacek did that.  Was it the best way to do that?  Almost certainly not.  However, this is a very common play for defensemen.  Maybe that means this hit is similar to Jeff Carter on Anssi Salmela; a good play with an unfortunate result.  But look at the Ross hit again.  Both forecheckers were attempting to separate the player from the puck, both were skating at full speed, and both resulted in a player's head smacking the glass.

Yes, Ross wasn't moving, but even the Flyers G.M. laid some of the blame on Ross:

"It’s a little bit of a tactic now, where players will turn toward the boards and draw a penalty," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "I don’t think Jared was trying to do that. But it’s certainly a dangerous area, and [the hit] is going to lead to a lot of discussion."

Now, I'm not saying Powe should be suspended based on intent, but if the NHL wants to protect their players and start showing consistency in doing that, they should.  If Kaleta is suspended for a similar - though not exactly similar - hit, Powe should be too.  But consistency is a word I'm not positive Colin Campbell knows.

UPDATE: Here's the only video I have been able to find since last night:


Because of his hit on Jaroslav Spacek, Darroll Powe:

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    should be and will be suspended.
    (55 votes)
  • 8%
    should be but won't be suspended.
    (37 votes)
  • 43%
    shouldn't be but will be suspended.
    (202 votes)
  • 36%
    shouldn't be and won't be suspended.
    (166 votes)
460 votes total Vote Now