One of the most frustrating topics for fans on the National Hockey League over the last several years has been the seemingly inconsistent work of the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
In spite of the fact that the NHL has made an effort to crack down on dangerous plays in the game, it has never managed to establish guidelines for certain infractions resulting in wildly different rulings for what at times appear to be very similar infractions.
Last week, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was asked a very interesting question when he was asked to describe what he felt the most confusing aspect of the game was for players currently in the NHL. To the surprise of none, Crosby expressed the same concern that many fans have expressed over the last several years by pointing to the inconsistency with suspensions in the NHL.
"I would say maybe just suspensions," admitted Crosby on the 32 Thoughts podcast. "It's still something where you see a highlight or you see a clip and you don't know the range of a suspension, you don't know whether it's gonna be a suspension or not. That's how I feel."
Crosby acknowledged that handing out punishments of this nature is no easy task, but in spite of that he feels the NHL should be able to deliver those punishments with more consistency than they do currently.
"I know it's not an easy job for anybody, but I still feel there's a bit of a grey area there," said Crosby. "I don't think anyone is ever going to agree on length... or what the intentions were on a play, that's always going to be debatable. But I would like to think we can get a little bit closer to what it is exactly and maybe what the punishment is."
I feel like just about every fan of the NHL would agree with this sentiment, but whether or not it can become reality is another matter entirely.