A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin apologized via a text message on Sunday to countryman Daniel Alfredss
on for his high hit in the second period of Ottawa's 3-2 win on Saturday,
But that did not prevent the league from coming down hard on the rookie. After a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, Hagelin was handed a three-game suspension.
At 10:32 of the second period, Hagelin's elbow connected with Alfredsson's head as he checked the Ottawa player hard into the boards. Hagelin was accessed a five-minute elbowing major.
Appearing dazed, Alfredsson left the game and did not return, although all indications are that the Senators' captain will play in game three of the series on Monday.
The three-game suspension will not please Rangers coach John Tortorella. We actually thought Hagelin would get one game, but now the Rangers will be without a key cog in their lineup for the next three contests, which could be the end of the season if they lose all three.
Hagelin plays on in the top line with center Brad Richards and right winger Marian Gaborik. His absence neans the Rangers could insert Chris Kreider, recently signed out of Boston College, into the lineup. Enforcer John Scott is another option.
Senators defenseman Matt Carkner also had a hearing with Shanahan on Sunday, but there was no word on a possible suspension for Carkner as of early Sunday night.
Carker went after Rangers center Brian Boyle just 2:15 into the first period and ended up receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct. Boyle did not throw any punches and wasn't penalized.
Brandon Dubinsky came to the defense of his teammate, but also received a dubious game misconduct for being the third man in.
We don't want to come across as a homer here and we're not condoning Hagelin's action, but to suspend him three games points out how much of a joke NHL discipline is because of its inconsistency.
Nashville's Shea Weber pounded the head of Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg into the boards at the end of the first game of their series, but escaped a suspension.
The NHL has become like the wild West. It isn't the fighting, which some misguidedly want to eliminate. It's the repeated blows to the head.
Again, the intent here isn't to absolve Hagelin, but the lack of respect among the players league-wide is appalling. We're not sure we've ever seen it this bad.
The hits to the head continue because the league allows them to happen with inconsistent rulings that make you scratch your head.