The NHL Department of Player Safety came down today on Jeremy Lauzon, giving the Boston Bruins defenseman a two-game suspension for his hit on Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stephan. Did the hit warrant a suspension? You could argue that it did. But what has been a problem with Player Safety is just how inconsistent it has been in dishing out punishment. How can you justify giving Lauzon a two-game suspension without even having a hearing for Lawson Crouse?
This is just part of what has been a problem with Player Safety in this league. The Crouse hit was way more egregious on Charlie McAvoy. But nothing is done about it? How can a player feel comfortable when there is no consistency in that department? What needs to be addressed is just what is going on there. What a mess that part of the NHL is. There are people who just assume because a Bruins player did it nothing will come of it. How did that narrative work this time?
The Bruins called up Urho Vaakanainen from the Providence Bruins on a emergency basis, so it appears the Bruins weren’t entirely surprised by this outcome. The move could could also have been a result of what is also the unfortunate situation with the passing of Brandon Carlo’s grandparent. They could have called him up for that reason in case of travel problems that potentially pop up. The Bruins ultimately will be ok with Lauzon being suspended for two games, but the NHL needs to get this figured out going forward.
The players deserve a better showing from the Department of Player Safety. We as fans shouldn’t just settle for inconsistent decisions. How can you continue to try and grow this game globally while this is being figured out? Because there are a lot of your loyal fans who are getting tired of the inconsistency we are seeing right now.