The NHL has suspended Rangers Forward Krzysztof Oliwa for 5 games and Ranger head coach Bryan Trottier for 2 games after a later fight occurred in the Ranger’s loss to the Blue Jackets.
Oliwa’s suspension is for cross-checking Grant Marshal in the face with only a few seconds remaining in the game. Oliwa’s action was a dirty one and quite appalling and it earned him the five game suspension. That I can understand.
However I find it difficult to agree with the suspension of the coach, Trottier for the fights which occured at the end of the game. Trottier’s suspension is for sending out “goons” at the end of an already lost game.
While I see the NHL’s point in wanting to punish coaches and teams who are involved in late fights in unwinnable games. It is my opinion that these players were sent out, not to start fights, but because sending out players from other lines would be a waste of their time and the rangers would rather not risk a freak injury to one of their other players. But that’s just my biased opinion.
The NHL has shown precedence for this type of action last December they suspended Flames coach Greg Gilbert for a similar occurance. Gilbert felt the other coach should have been suspended as well for the situation but that his own suspension was deserved.
So while I disagree with the suspension of coaches for such moves, it is comforting to note that the nhl is consistent with it.