|Matt Calvert and RJ Umberger at practice|
Let's compare James Wisniewski's excuse: 'I was defending myself';
Pierre-Marc Bouchard's excuse: I meant to slash Calvert on the hands, but he lifted my stick!
No matter how you cut it, that is a dirty play with intent to injure. The slash to the hands has been an area of focus for officials for the last few years because it has only one intent, to injure a player, ESPECIALLY if that player does not even have the puck.
I don't care if he has a 9 year career of unpunished, er, clean play. That is a dirty play any way you examine it. And from now on, he is a repeat offender.
There's only two ways to police this stuff. Either the Shanahammer does it, or you need to revoke the instigator rule and reserve a roster spot for an enforcer. Given the events of this last summer, the league has opted to police the game itself.
Eliminating the slash to the hands, much less to the face, will not diminish the game we love. It will eliminate dirty play. Check the rule book. Its always been that way.