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NHL.com is using a celebrity and a criminal in attempting to minimize/normalize the League's crummy record on protecting players. 


The only thing funnier than the notion that there even IS a Department of Player Safety since Stephane Quintal took its reins from Shanny is the fact that a career cheap-shot artist like Pronger has a job in it. I guess Niskanen and Orpik will too, when their playing days are over. Quintal's charge from Bettman has apparently been to minimize discipline/publicity on hits to the head, so the League can (falsely) claim incidences have dropped. They haven't, as anybody who watches games regularly surely knows; in the Canes' last game alone, Claude Giroux beat on Derek Ryan's dome while he was prone on the ice, Giroux pounding away as he kneeled on Ryan's back.


In the same game, our own Lee Stempniak elbowed Andrew MacDonald's head into the glass, sending MacDonald - a player with a history of concussion - to the dressing room for "the protocol." Though he was clearly regretful and is not "that" kind of player, Stempniak is responsible for avoiding that kind of contact and at minimum, if DPS were doing its job, would have had a phone call to explain himself. Giroux, meanwhile, would have just straight-up gotten the gate for a game at least for his clearly intentional beat-down of Ryan. 


Canes fans, I know I come back to this topic every now and then, but DPS under Q has been a joke since Day One, when Matt Niskanen was not disciplined for his clearly intentional preseason elbow which concussed Skinner. There are countless other instances: Cam Ward should have been disciplined for turning his blocker into a bludgeon a few games back, as Carey Price should have been when he did the same earlier in the year.


Stories like the one linked here are transparent attempts by the League to make light of an issue that ends careers and causes irreparable long-term harm to the players and the game we love. It's absolute Bull Droppings, and Bettman and the League should be ashamed of putting legal strategizing aimed at protecting their cash cow ahead of the immediate safety and longer-term well-being of the players who keep that cash flowing in. 

Edited by top-shelf-1
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