I’m not going to feign surprise by the lack of hammer dropping on Niklas Hjalmarsson, nor am I going to feign outrage. I’m not going to say it’s ridiculous that a simple gesture gets the same punishment as putting a player’s life at risk.
The absurdity of the situation is obvious but not surprising. We know there is a problem with hits from behind, but we are just as aware of the problem the National Hockey League has in disciplining it. The only way Hjalmarsson gets a longer suspension is if Pominville is more severely hurt. It’s a Hammurabi-like code that even he would look at strangely, but it’s the truth.
For all the strong talk from Miller and others about setting a precedent, it’s not going to come. Not from a concussion and some blood on the ice, at least. It’s going to take something much more serious, much more life-altering for us to see any real change.
The only thing fans can really do is hope it doesn’t happen to a player on their team.