Wayne Simmonds vs Ryan McDonagh sucker punch incident
As you may have seen on Saturday during the New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers game, Wayne Simmonds laid out Ryan McDonagh with a sucker punch which left McDonagh with concussion. Despite this the NHL haven’t acted efficiently enough to what was a clear risk to a player’s health, which suggests there is a misunderstanding at the Department of Player Safety to what defines a player as being safe or not.
A distinct inability to define between a player being alive and a player being dead is something which the Department of Player Safety are failing to enforce. It’s as if, for some reason, they are far too suspicious of players claims of having concussion. As if the NHL are a woman who has been jilted at the altar and no longer trusts men.
If it is not a lack of trust on the part of the NHL, then perhaps it is that they are unable to distinguish what is a danger to a player’s health. If they were a caveman they would know no conceivable difference between a sabre-toothed cat and a gooseberry bush.
In a scenario where the Department of Player Safety are given images of various players in varying perils, they would struggle to tell which was safe and which was not when shown a player sitting on the bench, a player with an allergy to nuts eating a peanut and jelly sandwich, or a player being kidnapped hogtied and thrown in the back of a car. To the Department of Player Safety, these are all very similar safe situations.
In the Rangers-Flyers game, Simmonds punishment was a mere game misconduct charge for an attempt to injure. What it was, though, was an actual injury. Physical harm occurred. McDonagh was knocked down for a couple of minutes. Everyone can see it was an actual injury. When a boxer is punched and goes to the mat, it’s not because he has become lethargic and requires a sudden nap.
It is a very confusing situation regarding how the NHL perceive an incident. Simmonds punch was an attempt to injure, but in the process of Simmonds carrying out the attempt to injure, McDonagh happened to injure himself. In the eyes of the Department of Player Safety, it can be perceived as a very unfortunate series of events.
Simmonds attempted to injure, McDonagh had his head in the way. McDonagh should have been wise enough to see Simmonds attempt at an injury, and instead of embracing the injury, he should have ignored it. If you ignore an attempt at injury, it’ll go away.
That’s the motto of the Department of Player Safety.
This is the crux of the problem, though. Say you’re Ryan McDonagh going to the Department of Player Safety to talk about the incident of the game with Stepháne Quintal, Vice President of Player Safety. If anyone is more conscious about unconsciousness and player safety, it is Stepháne Quintal.
Ryan McDonagh enters into Quintal’s office and steps into a bear trap. More players have injured themselves going to talk to Stepháne Quintal the Senior Vice President of Player Safety than through fighting on the ice. The bear trap snaps and locks around his shin snapping his tibia. McDonagh is crying and hollering and wants to know why he’s in a bear trap inside the office of the Senior Vice President of Player Safety.
Stepháne Quintal explains how he attempted to injure McDonagh with a bear trap. That McDonagh is now injured in that bear trap. However, it is McDonagh’s fault for putting his leg in the bear trap.
It’s as McDonagh finally passes out that Quintal will calmly state, “you’ll be alright, Ryan. There is no safer place than the Department of Player Safety.”
And that’s the current state of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety
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