The Edmonton Oilers have made no secret of the fact that they are not pleased with the suspension that was handed down to superstar forward Connor McDavid this week, and now we have a clear indication that McDavid himself is not pleased about it either.
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced that they would be suspending McDavid, the Oilers' captain, for 2 games following what they deemed to be an illegal blow to the head of veteran New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy.
There has been plenty of debate regarding whether or not the hit deserved to rise to the level of a suspension or a multi game suspension but there was no question that McDavid's shoulder did make significant contact with Leddy's head during the hit. The league has made a noticeable effort to crack down on blows to the head in recent years and in many ways this seems like a message from the league's Department of Player Safety. McDavid is a superstar level player and given that the hit was questionable, at the very least, I feel like they viewed this as a chance to make an example out of McDavid for the other superstar players in the league.
The comments made by McDavid today would only seem to reinforce my belief that the league really had it out for McDavid on this one, and they also served as a significant departure for a player who normally sticks to the company line. McDavid stated plainly that he felt the Department of Player Safety had no intention of listening to his side of the story when he had his chance to give his version during his hearing.
"I wasn't expecting to be suspended but after the tone of the hearing I wasn't surprised. I know they listen to you(in the hearing)but I'm not sure they care," said McDavid as per Sportsnet's Gene Principe.
Those are some rather fiery comments by McDavid's standards and they seem to speak to just how upset the Oilers are internally about this entire incident and how it has been handle by the league.