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Op-Ed: Brandon Prust being blamed for Carcillo suspension — wrongly

By Marcus Hondro     May 24, 2014 in Sports
The NHL opinion-du-jour seems to be that Brandon Prust is at fault for Daniel Carcillo abusing a linesman and getting a ten-game suspension. It's loopy but it's been repeated by paid commenters and by the ones who offer opinions on stories online.
It's the wrong opinion. Yes, we get it that had Prust been penalized for hitting Stepan, who must now undergo surgery for a broken jaw, there likely would not have been a fracas involving him and Carcillo, and Carcillo would therefore not have gotten physical with an official.
But here's this: so what?
No one but Mr. Carcillo made Mr. Carcillo abuse an official, that's on him. After all, officials miss calls and that hardly gives a player licence to abuse one. It was a very fast play, the hit on Stepan. It was interference but Stepan had just had possession of the puck and Prust was coming in for the hit; he should have stopped but the replay shows him focusing on finishing his check and he quite likely didn't even see when Stepan passed the puck.
It wasn't an intentionally dirty hit. He didn't target the head and the puck had just been in the possession of Derek Stepan. The referees missed a call but it was an extremely close play. Mind you, it wasn't as close as the play that saw Aaron Rome of the Vancouver Canucks get 4 games in the 2011 Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins, that was overkill, but in this case 2 games is a just result.
For Carcillo, his 10 games is also just, in fact NHL rules don't allow for anything less. Rule 40.3 states that: "Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner...which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games."
Getting physical with an official has long been completely off-limits at all levels of hockey, it's been that way almost since the game's inception. Dan Carcillo clearly had not learned that lesson over the years but it's a lock that the next time he doesn't like a non-call by the officials he won't react so foolishly, whether Brandon Prust is involved or not.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about brandon prust, Montreal canadiens, derek stepan broken jaw, New york rangers, daniel carcillo
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