Senators owner Eugene Melnyk ready to get serious on repeat offenders

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com
Melnyk doesn't think repeat offenders should get to stay in the NHL. (Getty Images)

It seems everybody has an idea these days about how to control the chaos that dominated the first week-plus of the playoffs. CBSSports.com columnist Ray Ratto proposed penalizing the team a lot more instead of just the player. Gregg Doyel, another CBSSports.com columnist, believes the NHL needs to exact some corporal punishment and spank its players a little more.

You know it's out of control when Taiwanese animation does a video on it.

But none of the ideas thrown out there have been as outside of the box as thoughts shared by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. In his NHL, Raffi Torres wouldn't be playing for any team again.

He didn't mention Torres -- I did that -- but that's more or less the message behind what he told the Ottawa Sun in an interview discussing the head-shot problem in the league right now.

"What we need to do is stop the talk. You have to seriously begin nailing repeat offenders right out of the game. If there's a one-off, mistaken hit, fine. That's up to the league to decide, but if you have a repeat offender then that person should be out of the game without question. They have no business playing in the NHL. It's the equivalent of getting a junkyard car driver in the Daytona 500. Why are you putting a reckless driver in an elite group?"

That wasn't all. To help with decided how to punish the players who aren't getting the boot from the league entirely, he has a concept for a ranking system, separating the players into classes. I'll let him explain further.

"It's very simple: You rank your players 'A', 'B' and 'C'. You take out one of my 'A' players during a playoff series, I get to select one of your 'A' players that's not going to play. Forget about the goon, he doesn't care if he plays again, he's getting paid, but give me a choice of who I can take off of your roster. It's no different than chess: You take away one of my kings, I take away one of yours. That will put pressure on a lot of these players not to do repeat hits."

Other than not understanding how to properly play chess, that's certainly putting the hammer down. Although I'd add on my two cents to his plan that the goon go as well. It wouldn't make sense to let the goon stay around.

There are plenty of people calling for harsher penalties for the offenders so the message finally starts to really get through, but I wonder if this won't be too harsh. Obviously this would be fought tooth and nail by the NHLPA so it's just hypothetical talk here.

But the impetus for Melnyk to speak up about this again now -- he has before -- was the hit that Daniel Alfredsson took in Game 2 that left him concussed. Seeing him go down made Melnyk think of Alfie's family and wife, and his captain's life after hockey.

"They're not just plastic figures you can kick around and think they're going to come back," Melnyk explained.

Obviously there are a lot of questions about the suggestion and too many obstacles that it would ever be implemented. But overall the general idea is similar to that of Ratto's suggestion of punishing the team as much or more than the player. Would that finally be enough to get the cheap shots out of the sport?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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