Seeing this brought me instantly back to the game earlier this week between the Red Wings and the Penguins, when this incident occurred.
For me, it's been a long time since I played any kind of hockey, and I know that emotions on the ice can run high at times. I know that Legwand was in a physical battle and had his helmet removed just before this happened. Yes, there are times when stick fouls are accidents, however a butt end is a deliberate attempt to injure another player. The butt end doesn't just happen, a player has to physically take his stick, draw it back and thrust it into the opposing player.
With all the emphasis on player safety over the past few season, plays like this really need to be taken into consideration for suspensions (Legwand did receive a $5,000 fine from the NHL). What makes this foul even more ridiculous for me is that Legwand turns to the referee after the play is blown dead and shrugs his shoulders as if to say "really?"
I don't remember the last time I saw a butt ending penalty in the NHL. I thought that the NHL Department of Player Safety could have sent a strong message and suspended Legwand for this. I don't know if Legwand was a first time offender and only received the fine because of that.
I guess that's why I'm on the sidelines and the higher brass get paid the big bucks!!
thanks for reading, Robert