Two things happened yesterday in the NHL.

Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson hit the Sabre’s Jason Pominville from behind, leaving the Buffalo forward in a heap on the ice for nearly 5 minutes before the medical team could safely put him on a stretcher and get him off the ice.

Pominville was concussed and had a gash above his eye.

See the dirty hit for yourself, if you haven’t already:

Hjalmarsson was suspended today by the league for a whopping two games.

James Wisniewski was also suspended today for two games due to an incident from the Islanders/Rangers game yesterday.

What did Wisniewski do to receive the same penalty as Hjalmarsson?  He must have hurt someone right?  I mean, scaring a building full of people and having someone’s family at home thinking their son might not wake up comes with the lofty sentence of missing two games, so Wisniewski must have done something bad too.

Right?

Wrong.

You catch it?

He, without words, told Sean Avery that he likes to suck on a man’s penis.  Something over half the world’s population do for fun.  Something I imagine hockey players say to each other all the time on the ice.  And that’s probably some of the nicer stuff that gets said beyond the reach of the telecast’s mics.  Its called trash talking and its a part of sports.  All sports.

Somehow, in Colin Campbell’s deranged head, a well known and oft used gesture (you know you’ve done this to someone at some point in your life, even if you won’t admit it) is equally as offensive an incredibly dirty hit that could have ended a player’s career.

I know the NHL will say that they are separate issues, handled and punished separately, but the message is clear.

- The NHL is not willing to dole out the kind of punishment for dirty hits that will lead to quantifiable deterrence.

Also, the NHL wants to suck player personality (negative personality – you know, the kind that gets attention; see: basketball, baseball, football) out of the game.

That’s what I take from this.

Does anyone think Wisniewski really deserved to be suspended for that?  Does the toughness the league covets not also translate to the mind?

This really bothers me.  Does it bother you, or do you agree with the league?