Why did Brad MacMillan get suspended for 22 games?
Every report I've read and/or heard says MacMillan hit Van Drunen with one punch off the faceoff. I've heard all kind of supositions that someone allegedly hit Van Drunen while he was on the ice, but I've never seen that in a reliable source, and that has never been repeated in the reports since that night. Frankly, I don't believe MacMillan would do that. MacMillan is a player who reacts instantly, such as the elbow against Glenn Detulleo, but I've seen him fight more than 60 times when he had a chance to really do some damage to a player and he always pulls off at that point. He never loses control. Even in the incident last year against Muskegon he knew exactly what he was doing the entire time.
So he gets 22 games for one punch? Or does he get 22 games because of Van Drunen's injuries which are horrific, but also are a possibility when you play in a hockey game where fights are allowed and frequently happen? But attempt to injure for landing a punch? It has not been explained why that particular punch was any different than any other punch that is landed or thrown in a game.
But are the rules suddenly changing to fit the circumstances in this instance?
The more I think about this, it seems to be he got 22 games because Odessa's owner yelled the loudest, the incident was getting massive national publcity and the league had to react. The league has never released the tape, and would likely love for this to go away as quickly as possible, but part of this smells. From what I've seen reported, I don't understand why MacMillan got 22 games. He gets 22 games for landing one punch, but the other fights that happened basically get nothing?
I hope the union goes forward with its appeal because something isn't right here. The league needs to protect it's players on both sides, and fighting is allowed under the rules of the game. It's no surprise to anyone on this blog that I'm not a huge proponent of fighting, but it's allowable under the rules. Either it is or it isn't, and what did MacMillan do wrong under the rules? If he threw one punch shouldn't it be an instigator penalty at most under the rules?
I don't understand this.