Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was suspended for two games effective immediately, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Wednesday afternoon. Gostisbehere’s suspension marks another instance of inconsistencies in punishments handed down by the Department of Player Safety.
The incident occurred during Tuesday night’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins in Philadelphia with less than five minutes remaining in the third period.
Shayne Gostisbehere shoved former teammate Mark Friedman which sent him into the boards. The NHL described the play as “dangerous”, which it was.
There’s no doubting that the play wasn’t dangerous, but there could be a case made where Gostisbehere deserved a fine and not a suspension.
Fans were quick to take to Twitter to voice their displeasure in the decision to suspend Gostisbehere instead of handing him a fine.
It’s important to note that Shayne Gostisbehere had no disciplinary history throughout his lengthy NHL career prior to the incident, as acknowledged by the Department of Player Safety in their video they released explaining the decision to suspend Gostisbehere.
The Department of Player Safety drew criticism earlier this week following their decision to fine Washington’s Tom Wilson following a dangerous hit the New York Rangers classified as a “horrific act of violence” in a statement that was released shortly after the incident.
Losing Shayne Gostisbehere for just two games at this point of the Flyers’ season is not a big deal at all, considering the Flyers are eliminated from playoff contention but it’s still a ridiculous suspension compared to similar incidents that resulted in either a fine or a smaller suspension.
There is obvious inconsistency in the consequences that are handed down to players that violate National Hockey League’s rules but when is it going to be fixed? How can it be fixed? Will it even be fixed in the first place? Those are all answers that should be answered, but probably will not be.