Apparently The NHL Truly DGAF, Because Tommy Wingels Won't Have A Hearing Following His Game 5 Elbow
It's not so much that I am surprised that as the games become more and more important the NHL veers further and further away from upholding the rules that they solely put in place to make it look like they give a crap about the long term health of their players (Newsflash: they don't). In fact, if you sat me down in front of a lie detector and asked me if I appreciated the hands-off approach to dirty plays during the playoffs then that needle would spike faster than Tommy Wingels elbow. That, however, is the fan in me talking and fans don't have any obligation to maintain the integrity of the league they watch strictly for entertainment. So what's truly shocking isn't the Department Of Player Safety's decision making, but rather their inability to recognize an opportunity to make themselves look mindful of completely unnecessary head shots without detracting from the product on the ice.
Forget about a forearm from the blindside being an intentionally dangerous act that was a product of the frustration that results from getting embarrassed by a touchdown's worth of goals in a playoff game. The fact that is was delivered by a 4th liner that hasn't even been a regular in the lineup should have been enough for the NHL to - for once - err on the side of safety.
You know who cares deeply about Tommy Wingels presence on the active roster? Tommy Wingels' parents...maybe. The Senators aren't living or dying with the single digit minutes that he's giving them during the games in which he actually does play. The game's competitiveness is in no way compromised by forcing him up to a luxury suite in a suit for a night.
I guess what I am saying is that the NHL isn't just bad at making the protection of their employees a priority, but they are downright horrendous at keeping up the facade that they actually consider it a priority. Looking like a bunch of jackasses for not stepping in when a recently concussed Sidney Crosby went headfirst into the boards so as to make sure a superstar continued playing is one thing. Not suspending a buffoon - who wouldn't even be sorely missed - after he went out of his way to hurt someone in a lopsided game is the equivalent of Windex'ing the lens to the microscope they are under when they they should be trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We should all know by now that the NHL doesn't care about concussions, but I would appreciate it if they were a wee more subtle in insulting our intelligence.