Had to weigh in on the Mattias Ohlund suspension.
Four games = not anywhere close to enough.
The Canucks defenseman used his stick as a weapon on Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu in exactly the same manner Chris Simon used his on Ryan Hollweg last season; yeah, the body part Ohlund targeted was different, but the intent to injure was identical.
Fifteen games should be the absolute minimum suspension for any and all stick-swinging incidents. When we wonder why NHLers feel the need to take matters into their own mitts, we need to look no further than middling, soft, safe decisions such as this one.
• Speaking of dumb decisions, Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard came out in the press after Koivu was injured and basically threatened the Canucks’ most skilled players the next time the two teams play.
What does this tell us? Primarily, that (a) Boogaard has no concept of legal liability for his ill-conceived threats; and (b) much of the hockey world has learned nothing from Brad May’s bounty-themed discussion that preceded Todd Bertuzzi’s horrendous assault on Steve Moore.
That tells you Bertuzzi’s suspension was obviously not harsh enough to serve as a proper deterrent, either.
• I saw the Canadian Olympic Committee has agreed to start compensating Canada’s elite athletes for the medals they win – including a $20,000 payoff for each gold medal.
As if the Canadian women’s hockey team needed any more incentive to demolish their international opposition.
It could get ugly in Vancouver in 2010.