Last night, the Colorado Avalanche got a pretty big scare when prized rookie Tyson Jost needed to be helped off the ice with an apparent leg injury with eight minutes left in the second period. Avs fans held their breath as Jost crawled around on all fours after being the victim of an incredibly dangerous hit by Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.
Avalanche fans weren’t the only ones who were scared of a serious injury.
“Scary moment in the game. Probably one of scariest moments of my hockey career, just because it was such a weird angle I went in. Lucky it was nothing serious. I came back and was fine, and got that empty-netter. It’s all positive.”
Jost came back to the game, and eventually scored the empty net goal that sealed the win for the Avs - but as he said, he was lucky. The hit could have resulted in something a whole lot worse.
As a stand-alone hit, this deserves a suspension. When you take into account who was responsible, it deserves a longer one. But of course this is the NHL and as we know, the Department of Player Safety has no real intention of actually providing safety for the players.
No hearing scheduled for Boston's Adam McQuaid for his hit on Colorado's Tyson Jost last night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.— Mike Halford (@HalfordTSN) October 12, 2017
McQuaid will not be suspended, he won’t even have a hearing - and once against the league dropped the ball.
With the overhaul of the DoPS this past summer, the league paid a lot of lip service to make the game safer. You know how you make the game safer? Do everything in your power to eliminate reckless, dangerous hits like this one.
McQuaid took four full strides while looking at Jost with his numbers clearly visible and then shoves Jost a few feet from the boards. It’s hard to believe there’s any way to argue this hit was anything but dangerous. These types of hits need to be removed from the game and the only way to do it is to suspend players when they happen.
Had Jost not returned to the game would things be different? Who knows, maybe. The league has a history of suspending the outcome, not the action. And that’s the problem. The NHL needs to start suspending players independent of any injury that comes afterward.
Let’s not assume anything sinister. Let’s give Adam McQuaid the benefit of the doubt - though many will say we shouldn’t. Even is this hit didn’t come with an intent to injure Tyson Jost, it’s very dangerous - and that’s what matters.
If you want to protect your players, you need to make the game safer. Taking these types of hits out of the game is an easy way to make is safer.
Adam McQuaid absolutely should have been suspended for this hit. He - and others - are going to make this same hit again. Next time the person on the receiving end might not be as lucky as Tyson Jost was.
The faces keep changing in the Department of Player Safety, but we keep getting the same old song and dance. Until something drastic changes it’s hard to take them seriously.
“We want to keep out players safe, but we don't want to do anything to make it happen.”