Inconsistency in the Department of Player Safety is nothing new. In the job that no one wants it seems at times that the department, headed by former enforcer Geroge Parros, shows favoritism. At other times they seem to hit the nail right on the head.
Inconsistency in the department of player safety
For instance, Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano was handed a 2 game suspension for a first-time offense. Then within a week Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown, who has a history with the department, was let off with a fine. That said, the department can get some things right. Most noteworthy, Brad Marchand, the Boston Bruins forward, who has a long history with the department of player safety was handed a five-game suspension.
Andrew Cogliano Suspended Ending 830 Game Streak
In a match that was physical from the very start, Cogliano took a late hit on Los Angeles Kings Forward Adrian Kempe. At the time he was given a 2-minute penalty for interference. However, later in the evening, it was announced that the Department of Player Safety was taking a closer look at the hit. Cogliano was allowed to plead his case via a phone interview. The result was a two-game suspension. Consequently, many people thought that the punishment did not match the crime. Cogliano has been nothing short of an exemplary player in his 10-year career. Also, the suspension ended Cogliano’s iron-man streak at 830 games. At the time it ended it was the longest active streak in all of professional sports.
Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano suspended two games for interference on Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe. https://t.co/RWJ9GN0LB8
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 14, 2018
Dustin Brown Dangerous?
Dustin Brown has a history with the department of player safety. He served a suspension for an illegal elbow to Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville. Due to his history, you would think that the dangerous hit against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz would earn him a spot in the press box for a few games. However, this was not the case. He was given just a $10,000 fine. Incidentally, it is the highest allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. Looking at both hits and taking into account the history of both players, it is hard to see Geroge Parros’ thinking on these incidents.
Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown fined $10,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for cross-checking Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 19, 2018
Brad Marchand: Physical Or Pressing The Edge
With a grand total of six suspensions in his eight-year NHL career, Brad Marchand is no stranger to the DoPS. His most recent suspension came after an elbow to New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson that caused a concussion. It was announced that the DoPS would be taking a closer look. Also that they would schedule a hearing with Marchand. On January 24, 2018, it was announced that he would serve a five-game suspension. However, that was a call that was right on point. Marchand has five prior suspensions and three prior fines. Consequently, it gives him a reputation that few players in the league would like to have.
Boston’s Brad Marchand suspended five games for elbowing New Jersey’s Marcus Johansson. https://t.co/yGnRiVHgNn
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 24, 2018
These are just a few moments of inconsistency in DoPS decisions. But these few have aroused interest this season. Yet, the NHL board of governors announced that they support Parros and his choices thus far. In the NHL leadership’s eyes, he is doing something right. Obviously, we don’t have all the access to information that George Parros has to support his decision-making. He has a job that few would envy. Hopefully, he can find consistency as the season moves towards the playoff race.