I'm fine with the suspensions, I actually expected Neal would get a maximum $2,500 fine and one game at most and Asham would get five games. I actually felt that Neal's actions were worse than Asham because he seemed to deliberately target arguably the two best players on the Flyers this series in the same shift, unfortunately the reality is that the NHL isn't going to hand out a lengthy suspension to a guy that scored 40 goals this season. That's kind of interesting, with Asham's history I figured he had to have had a history of fines or suspensions, while Neal is actually the one with a long history. I'm still not getting the whole "No apparent injury" that Shanahan keeps using in explaining why these suspensions aren't any longer. I don't think that should be factored in because that isn't a proactive ways of preventing dangerous hits. I've been hearing more and more that Shanahan doesn't have absolute control over these punishments so I'd like to know where this outside input is coming from.
I think you hit the nail on the head at the end there, Mike. The league is reactive, not proactive. That is a serious issue. And, if the league continues with the inconsistency that is plaguing Shanahan right now with suspensions, hits like these won't stop.
I was stunned that Asham did not have a record. Not even a warning call from the league office, even Neal received two of those prior to this incident. I'm with you on the Neal suspension. I expected $2,500 but I expected it to hit him twice ($2,500 for each hit) because he had two separate hearings for each hit. I was unsure about if the league would suspend 3 Penguins, including the 2nd leading scorer, for a clinching game. The only thing that bothered me was that the video states that they believed Neal when he said he did not see Couturier. A guy with prior history of hits like this and they believe him. I have watched that video every which way countless times and I, still, cannot see how he did not see him considering he left his feet right before the hit.