Afraid He Might Knee Them, NHL Only Suspends Ovechkin For Two Games

Washington Post:

The NHL has suspended Alex Ovechkin two games for his knee-on-knee hit on Carolina’s Tim Gleason on Monday night…

The suspension, which is without pay, is the first of Ovechkin’s career and means he’ll miss Thursday’s game against Florida and Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. He will forfeit $98,844.16 of his salary for the two games.

“I regret that this has happened,” Ovechkin said in a statement. “I’m glad that Tim wasn’t injured because I never ever want to see anyone get hurt. I am disappointed to miss these games and I can’t wait to get back on the ice next week to help my team.”

He added, “And by ‘help,’ I mean, continue playing the exact same way, taking runs at dudes non-stop and dealing with a meaningless two-game suspension for every three potentially injury-inducing cheap shots I dish out. I mean, Gonchar missed two playoff games after I kneed him, and that was only one of the three hits, so I’m really coming out in the black here. The more I think about it, I’d be crazy not to continue doing the exact same crap.”

It’s probably a fair punishment, given that Gleason wasn’t injured and that the suspension had to be assessed independently of the unrelated, non-suspended hits on Gonchar last year and Kaleta last week, but it’s hard to argue that Ovechkin is deserving of a light punishment because it’s his first suspension, even though that’s semantically true. Plus taking two games to rest his injured knee is probably a smart move for him and the Capitals anyway, so, whatever. Way to send a message, NHL.

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