Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin calls out the NHL Department of Player Safety in a scathing statement.
It was a notable return for the Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin in last night's game. However, despite his comeback, the team didn't achieve the desired result on the ice, succumbing to a 4-3 defeat against the Anaheim Ducks. This marked Larkin's first game back since the unsettling incident on December 9 when he was rendered unconscious on the ice. Larkin has expressed dissatisfaction with the NHL Department of Player Safety's inconsistency in penalizing shots to the head, highlighting a lack of uniformity in addressing such incidents.
The NHL Department of Player Safety has been nothing but inconsistent
Fans were prompt to recall past instances where disciplinary actions seemed inconsistent within the NHL. Auston Matthews, a forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, received only a two-game suspension for a comparable cross-check to an opponent's head. Meanwhile, New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba was fined a mere $5K for an intentional head hit with his stick.
Adding to this perception of inconsistency, Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph, once again involved in an incident regarding the Red Wings captain, managed to avoid any penalties from the NHL Department of Player Safety, which is overseen by former NHL enforcer George Parros. This further fueled discussion about the consistency and adequacy of disciplinary measures within the league.
Dylan Larkin calls out the League in a scathing statement
Understandably so, Larkin expressed his frustration with the lack of consistency in enforcing the rules of player safety.
“The last week in the League has been pretty eye-opening,” Larkin said. “It's been kind of a trend – this last week has been a highlight for player safety. As a player, I'm obviously closely attached because I just went through something, but I've talked to guys on our team, guys from other teams, and it's hard to feel safe out there. It's hard to know how to protect yourself.”
“This instance, watching it back, I wasn't really doing anything,” Larkin said of the incident. “I just was trying to make a play on the puck and just standing there, really. … How do you protect yourself? Who's protecting you? There's a lot of (unanswered questions) in our sport right now.”
Larkin made a point to commend the work of NHL officials on the ice. However, he specifically directed his criticism towards those responsible for decision-making regarding player safety, emphasizing that his concerns were aimed at that particular aspect of the league's administration.
“I truly believe we have the best refs in the world,” Larkin said. “I just think it’s the message being sent down from the top on what is safe and what is not and how to discipline it — there’s a lot of questions there and it’s kind of scary as a player.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Red Wings welcomed back captain Dylan Larkin to the lineup last night, his first game since December 9.
- Larkin expressed his frustration with the NHL Department of Player Safety and their inconsistency in rulings.
- Larkin also stated that he feels that on-ice NHL officials do a good job and that his criticism is directed at the NHL's executives.
Larkin's remarks echoed the sentiments shared by numerous fans, reflecting their frustrations regarding the League's approach to player discipline. The recurring frustration heightened when Mathieu Joseph avoided punishment for another headshot on the Red Wings captain.
The Red Wings are currently grappling with a concerning slump, having secured only one victory in their last seven games. They aim to turn things around in their upcoming matchup tomorrow night against the Winnipeg Jets