Suspend him or not: Gabriel Landeskog’s flying elbow

The NHL has suspended a handful of players of late – and there could be another suspension on the way. But judge for yourself – should Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog be suspended for a hit on Anaheim’s Corey Perry?

After the NHL began the regular season rather quietly on the supplemental discipline front, players have been making up for lost time of late – including Anton Volchenkov’s four-game suspension, Jordan Nolan’s two-game ban for boarding, and Andrew Ference’s three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head. And after Sunday night’s game between the host Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, there ought to be another.

See it with your own eyes. Look at the footage of Avs star Gabriel Landeskog barreling into Ducks winger Corey Perry, and ask yourself, would you suspend him or not?

The case for suspending Landeskog: after he reaches for the puck with his stick in his right hand, Landeskog takes his other arm and directly targets (and makes contact with) Perry’s head via a swooping elbow smash, receiving a charging penalty in the process.

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The case against suspending Landeskog: None I can see. This wasn’t an accident. Landeskog basically curled around with his left side to hit Perry – a player everybody hates – but still someone undeserving of having his brains scrambled in a deliberate fashion.

We know the NHL won’t throw the book at Landeskog – not because he’s an incredible talent, but because the league doesn’t throw the book at anyone. But does he deserve a suspension? No doubt about it.