The NHL is out of control.....

The NHL is out of control.....

Phoenix Coyote's "desingated thug" Raffi Torres' illegal hit on the Blackhawks Marian Hossa on Tuesday night is just the latest in a series of brawls, fights, dirty hits, and street tactics that have plagued the first round of the 2012 NHL Playoffs. In game 2 of the Phoenix/Chicago series, Blackhawks Forward Andrew Shaw had a nasty collision with Phoenix Goalie Mike Smith. Shaw was suspended for 3 games by NHL "rules enforcer" {note sarcasm} Brendan Shanahan.

Shanahan was quick to note that "Shaw's hit wasn’t incidental and that the rookie didn’t make a reasonable effort to avoid Smith. It is a forceful blow delivered by Shaw’s shoulder to Smith’s chin. This is not a case of a skater and goaltender colliding while pursuing a loose puck. Shaw skated a considerable distance and hits the head of the stationary goaltender who has possession of the puck.”

But contradictory to that, Shanahan has yet to make a statement about Torres' hit on Hossa. Keep in mind, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was at the United Center for Tuesday night's game. Commissioner Bettman in regards to that hit stated: "You're asking me to prejudge something, I'm certain it was observed by hockey operations and in particular player safety and to the extent it requires review or action, they will do it. But let's not jump the gun.''

Hey Gary, I beg to differ with you cabron. Of course Brendan Shanahan, the same Brendan Shanahan who failed to deliver punishment when Nashville Predators Defenseman Shea Weber took the head of Detroit Red Wings Center Henrik Zetterberg and smashed it into the glass after game 1 of that playoff series, is under a huge microscope right now. And then of course there was the battle royal that broke out on Sunday between the Flyers and Penguins on national television.

You can see that fight here:

These examples are just a few of the many chaotic incidents that have transpired during this year's NHL playoffs. The NHL's referees seem powerless to stop any of this madness. And Brendan Shanahan has either failed to act, or refused to act on some of the dangerous hits that have taken place thus far. Should Shanahan fail to deliver just punishment to "El Penedjo" Raffi Torres, then the NHL's executive office will feel the wrath of the Blackhawks nation.

And if that happens that I would hope and pray that Gary Bettman would consider making a change in both disciplinary policy and disciplinary personnel. I would also hope that the NHL's Board Of Directors would consider removing Gary Bettman from his post. Gary Bettman has done very little for the game of hockey but that is another story for another time.

But at the moment the NHL needs to come down hard on dirty players, and the referees need to get a grip on these games before someone ends up CRITICALLY injured. As much I love the Blackhawks and respect the game of hockey, and as much as I don't mind fighting in the game, these recent events are just insane and need to be contained before someone decides to take legal action against the National Hockey League.

You can follow me on Twitter: @GabeSalgado82 Hastag: #TLRCN

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  • Given the Grobber's statement last night about Wirtz sending Beavis some eyeglasses, it may have always been thus, but it seems like this year's playoffs are more thuggish than most, getting the green light from whomever put a headlock on the other player and drove his head into the glass in the Pittsburgh Philadelphia game not getting suspended. Let's see if Torres gets suspended for the rest of this series, or Bettman does what we think, i.e. doesn't want the Hawks to advance.

    As your headline indicates, if hockey wants to go back to being worse than the WWE, it sure looks like it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well thankfully Torres got a 25 game suspension, justice has been served on that matter. But I still say Gary Bettman needs to be removed as commissioner.

  • I think the problem is that the NHL officials either aren't empowered or "don't see" what they should, making them about as useful as a UN peace keeper in 1998 Somalia. But that can be fixed if the league has the will.

    That said, NHL players aren't embarrassing themselves and the league on Twitter, and when they do offend they get 5 to 10 game suspensions, instead of meaningless $25,000 fines that any pro can pay in cash from his billfold.

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    The good thing is that the violence has toned down since the Torres suspension.

  • The officiating and discipline in the NHL makes the Big 10 Conference, historically a league with poor officiating in football and basketball, look pretty good, when it comes to getting calls right.

    Considering that NHL refs are full-time employees, while Big 10 officials all have day jobs, that's not good.

    Perhaps the NHL needs to replace some of its refs with hockey refs from the NCAA level, whether CCHA, WCHA, the Ivy League, or Hockey East. Those refs seem to understand how to keep control of games, and the NCAA does not tolerate the kinds of cheap shots that we've seen from Raffi Torres and Shea Webber.

  • In reply to ckfred:

    Yeah that is a total shame, I think the NHL is the only league that has full-time officials if I'm not mistaken. Something needs to be fixed in that department for sure.

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    Gabe Salgado

    Aside my columns for The Locker Room, I also write for many other outlets, and you can hear me on the radio. I co-host "The Sports Cypher" on WVON-AM every Sunday night from 9pm-11pm. You can also hear me every week on sportstownchicago.com. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82

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