So what is the league to do? Lapierre is scheduled to have a hearing on Friday and Kaleta gets a 10 game suspension and is currently appealing it. I hope the decision is upheld because I believe Brendan Shanahan got this one right. It's time to take ice time and money away from these types of players, especially repeat offenders. The league has no use for them. Their antics and unsafe play cast the game in a bad light. If not for Lapierre's somewhat average skill set, I would imagine he wouldn't be on the radar of many teams. Kaleta on the other hand has no skill set. If he weren't a local of Buffalo, it's hard to think that any other locker room in the NHL would welcome him with open arms. It's only fitting that players who cause intentional harm to their peers lose time away from the ice.
The league needs to take a stance on these situations and Shanahan is working his way up to making the suspensions more legitimate. The number of games handed out is starting to increase and hopefully the players who are consistently on or crossing the line will take notice. Look on any list of the league's most hated players and the two rodents above are sure to be on it. You know who used to be on it, but isn't anymore? Matt Cooke. Cooke was at or near the top of that list for quite some time, but has found a way to repair his severely damaged reputation over the last couple of seasons. This year he is seeing important ice time for the Minnesota Wild while gaining praise for the change in his play, as well as showing he can contribute in more positive ways. And that's the key with players like Kaleta and Lapierre - they don't contribute anything more than chirps, dirty hits and turtles. If Brendan Shanahan and the rest of the NHL higher-ups agree to take a firm stance and start making the punishment fit the crime more consistently, we will finally be able to rid this fantastic game of these scrubs.
If the opportunity ever arises to make the NHL a better product, whatever that opportunity is, it needs to be explored. Well, here it is, a chance to clean up the game thanks to two bad experiences early in the season. The NHL has the table set to make an example of two of it's most hated players. Mr. Shanahan, Mr. Bettman, the floor is yours.