After a phone call with the NHL's Senior VP of Hockey Operations/Sherriff, Colin Campbell, on Monday afternoon, Montreal Canadiens winger Mike Cammalleri received a one-game suspension for his slashing incident on New York Islander rookie Nino Niederreiter Saturday night.
Cammalleri will miss the Habs season opener Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will also forfeit $32,258.06 in salary. The amount is almost the same as individual average annual salary ($31,000 in 2008) in Canada, as per Statistics Canada. The forfeited salary will will go towards the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.
Neither Cammalleri or the Canadiens plan to comment until Tuesday, but it looks like they dodged a bullet.
Our EOTP was rather close in predicting the outcome, with 48% predicting a 2-game suspension and 35% expecting just a fine.
On the flip side, Islanders fans are screaming fowl at Campbell's decision. Here's an interesting poll over at Lighthouse Hockey, that expresses their feelings.
Had the roles been reversed, I'm sure Habs fans would be as well. The Canadiens faithful were rather disgusted with the two-gamer Tomas Plekanec received for a slew foot in February 2009, and pretty much everyone was irate over how Campbell handled the actions of Alex Ovechkin and Matt Cooke last year.
Clearly fans can agree on one thing. There is no centralized discipline system for the NHL, and they desperately need one before it gets out of hand. The one-man Campbell system, where a little phone conversation between the parties just doesn't cut it, and I'm surprised the league and NHLPA has let it go this long.
How the league handles each case always seems to be different, and the finger is always pointed at Campbell for it. The league has to put in stone a precise set of guidelines on how similar infractions are handled, and by whom, regardless of who the player is, or the situation. In all likelihood, this could be an issue in the next round of CBA talks.
Speaking of a CBA, the NHL and the NHL Officials Association have come to terms on a new four-year deal, subject to ratification by both parties. The previous agreement reportedly expired at the end of August. There was a possibility the league would have to use replacement refs to start the season. Haven't they been doing that for years?