Does the Crime Fit the Punishment?

By Ellen Chlumecky

February 23, 2015

Star player for the Dallas Stars, Tyler Seguin was hit on February 13th. The results for the Tyler Seguin hit came out on Monday, February 16th. Dmitry Kulikov is suspended for four games and in accordance with that will forfeit more than $93,000 in salary. While on the other hand, Seguin has a lower-body injury and could miss up to three to six weeks. Seems fair, right? It does not exactly add up in my mind, but maybe that’s just a personal opinion.

While I know it’s completely unrealistic to award Kulikov a three to six-week suspension, it also doesn’t seem fair taking into the account the brutality of the hit. A knee injury is a very detrimental to a hockey player’s game. Their knees help them skate fast, use the force from them to hit other players, and are needed for the general premise of practicing and improving themselves on the ice. They’re pretty important if that wasn’t already obvious.

The Miami Herald seemed to describe the incident as an “accident.” They stated the “Kulikov appeared to mis-time his hip check and took out Seguin at the knees with his upper body. They did point out that Seguin did not see Kulikov coming. I just find it difficult to believe that you can make that kind of hit on someone without an intention of hurting them seriously.

Patrick Burke, an NHL player-safety director, said, “It’s illegal to throw a body check below the knees. Kulikov delivered a dangerous hit that is excessively low leaving the opposing player no way to defend or brace for the contact.” I completely agree with him. A hockey player cannot brace themselves when a player comes at their knees especially when they don’t see the player coming. Which is why I’m personally surprised that there wasn’t a bigger penalty given to Kulikov when he could’ve very well done permanent damage to Seguin.

I am not the biggest fan of Tyler Seguin. I am not oblivious either, though. He is a talented and tough hockey player. The Dallas Stars losing him for three to six weeks is a huge detriment to their game. Yes, they have Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Antoine Roussel, John Lingberg, Erik Cole, but at the end of the day Tyler Seguin helps pull that dynamic together. While Jamie Benn will probably try to take the lead while Seguin is out, it’s going to be a huge setback for the Dallas Stars.

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