Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins is a dirty hockey player. He is also a star player in the NHL so his scum bag actions are usually ignored. Malkin finally got penalized by the league on Tuesday by getting suspended for swinging his stick at the Flyers’ Michael Raffl. In fairness Raffle did cross check him and deliver a quick jab to the back of the head, but I don’t care about any of that. What Raffl did is something that happens in almost every hockey game when two players are battling for position. Although Raffl’s actions are somewhat routine they were illegal and he should have been penalized. As far as I’m concerned the NHL took it easy on Malkin which makes sense considering who he is and what team he plays for. This isn’t the first time Malkin forgot he was playing hockey instead of baseball. Don’t believe me? Just check out this video tweeted out by former NHL tough guy Dan Carcillo.
Looks like @NHLPlayerSafety didn’t do a deep enough dive into Malkin’s stick work history
— Daniel Carcillo (@CarBombBoom13) February 12, 2019
Clearly it wasn’t hard for Carcillo to find evidence of Malkin’s trashy on ice past, but apparently the NHL doesn’t have video technology at their offices. Here’s my stance, any player who takes a deliberate swing with their stick at an opponent’s head should get an immediate three game suspension. The NHL wants to front like they give a damn about player safety and more importantly head injuries but they do very little that would support that. Over the summer I interviewed former NHL player Nick Boynton about the concussion issue in the NHL. Boynton himself suffers from serious trauma due to head injuries he suffered while playing. You can read all about his story in the Players Tribune and here our conversation by finding my podcast Gettin’ Bullied on soundcloud, iTunes, or Google Play. In short Boynton believes the NHL isn’t doing enough to keep current players safe or take care of former players. Commissioner Gary Bettman has denied a connection between head injuries suffered playing hockey and CTE even though the NFL has admitted there is a connection between their sport and the disease. The NHL is disgraceful in this sense. Yes, they do come down hard on repeat offenders, but the stars usually get away with anything short of murder.
Raffl was lucky that Malkin just grazed the side of his head or he could be dealing with a serious injury. Maybe the NHL took it easy on Malkin because the contact made to Raffl’s head wasn’t all that sever, but all that matters was the intent to injure Raffl not whether or not Malkin succeeded or not. This isn’t my bias against the Penguins coming out, it’s me pointing out continued negligence and favoritism by the league. Hockey is a physical sport, but there’s no situation where using your stick as a weapon should warrant only a one game suspension. Imagine if a baseball player went a head and took a swing at the catcher before he charged the mound. Do you think the MLB would only give that guy one game for that? HELL NO! I started this article the same why I’m going to end it, and that letting everyone know that Evgeni Malkin is a dirty hockey player.
Host of Gettin' Bullied Podcast. Contributor for phillyisflyer.com