Jets steamed by NHL’s decision to suspend Trouba but not Malkin

Jets steamed by NHL's disciplinary response

TORONTO — Blake Wheeler was still puzzled Tuesday morning by the NHL’s disciplinary process.

The Winnipeg Jets captain understood why the league dealt teammate Jacob Trouba a two-game suspension for his hit to the head of Senators winger Mark Stone, but he couldn’t fathom how Evgeni Malkin escaped punishment for a similar (if still different) check to the head a few days earlier.

“I think we feel internally like they got half of it right,” Wheeler said before a meeting with the Maple Leafs.

Wheeler had just tried to clear a puck in the Jets zone last Thursday against the Penguins when Malkin hit him high and hard. The Pittsburgh centre received a minor interference penalty and drew no further discipline. That irked the Winnipeg winger, especially in light of the suspension to Trouba.

Wheeler didn’t buy the argument that Malkin delivered his hit through the body whereas Trouba connected principally with the head.

“You don’t touch the puck, (he) leaves his feet, hits you in the head so that’s the unfortunate part about it,” Wheeler said.

“It makes you wonder if you sit out a couple games then does he get a phone call. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation on my end. You just like to see consistency. Bryan Little breaks his back last year, the guy doesn’t get a phone call. But they’re consistent on our end so that’s really all we can focus on now.”

Wheeler was referring to Little’s season-ending back injury last season when the Edmonton native was hit hard in mid-February game by Anton Stralman. The Lighting defenceman drew no penalty on the play nor any supplementary discipline. 

“Malkin’s a pretty good hockey player,” Wheeler said. “I think he knows who has the puck and when they have the puck. His instincts are pretty good out there. I never had the puck, never even saw him coming; he comes from the side of me and all I felt was my head snap back.”

Wheeler said he was still feeling the sting of the hit and hoped Malkin’s star power wasn’t affecting the supplementary discipline process.

Winnipeg’s head coach Paul Maurice pondered his response to the Trouba suspension before noting that “cheapness outweighs my disappointment”. 

In other words Maurice wasn’t risking a fine to criticize the league. Still, he acknowledged that “any of the spinal fractures that we’ve suffered over the last year would weigh into my disappointment.”

Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna Gospel Mission creates more meals with new slicer

The slicer was donated by the Morningside Rotary Club

Jumper cables ignite small car fire

Fire crews quickly put out a car fire in Rutland Wednesday afternoon

Central Okanagan residents urged to chip it, not chuck it

Plans already in place to dispose of Christmas trees after the upcoming holiday

Outbreak affects eight people in Vernon

UPDATE: Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Rockets fall in Swift Current for third straight loss

The Broncos score the game’s first five goals in Kelowna’s fourth game of six-game eastern trip

Star gazing: Mars – the Red Planet

Mars is part of our culture, currently of extreme scientific interest, and sufficiently like Earth

Kelowna auto dealer revs up KGH building project with big donation

Kelowna Toyota has donated $30,000 to help build JoeAnna’s House on hospital grounds

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

RCMP volunteers step up parking lot patrols for Christmas

Citizen’s On Patrol look to deter criminal opportunists while giving shoppers peace of mind

Most Read