There are few times where I have truly been adamant about a suspension in the NHL, but I have added one to the list this week. During what began as a harmless post-whistle badger between Derek Dorsett and Robyn Regehr turned nasty after Regeher took his stick in both hands and cross checked Dorsett in the temple. Dorsey fell to the ice quickly, while teammates rushed in to go after Regehr, but all Jackets fans kept their eyes on Dorsett, who removed his hand from his head only to show frustration and a flow of blood coming from a nasty cut above his eye. Angry at the ref, he sped off the ice to get medical attention, and later returned to finish the game.
Now, to some accounts, this is not a big deal. To some, Regehr made a mistake, and hit him in a way he did not expect to. To that, I say bogus. This was a blatant and ugly play, and is currently being reviewed by the league to see if a suspension is necessary. Regehr received a double minor for roughing, and Dorsett received a minor for roughing on the play, which only enhances how poorly the game was officiated. How he could cross check someone in the face and not get ejected is beyond a ‘missed’ call. This is a substantially unsafe play that should be well within the confines of the 5-10 game suspension range.
Fortunately, someone decided to throw it on youtube!
The hit reminded me of Jesse Boulerice when he used his stick in a comparable fashion after slashing a Vancouver player. If memory serves me correctly, he was given a substantial suspension, and quickly released by the Flyers because of it. That is the kind of reaction that this play deserves, especially in a game that already hosted a nasty check from behind (which resulted in an ejection) and a knife across the neck gesture, both of which will also be reviewed by the league. These hits are categorized, along with the Chris Simon stick facial on Ryan Hollweg, and Marty McSorely baseball swing on Donald Brashear. While this one may be the least disgusting of the bunch, it should still absolutely be dealt a hefty suspension.
Now, I do not expect the league to take a thoughtful stance on this, as they have shown their disinterest in the Jackets on multiple occasions this year already, but I do believe for the safety of the players, an example needs to be made. Dorsett is extremely lucky this was only a cut to the forehead and not something worse (MRIs confirmed no fracturing), and is even more fortunate to be able to suit up again for the Jackets in their next game. It could have easily resulted in something terrible, such a fractured skull or eye injury, which would case Dorsett to miss a serious amount of playing time.
Carry the Flag.