This is just getting ridiculous.
St. Louis Blues star forward, and Team USA Hero, T.J. Oshie, was knocked out in the second period of their 4-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild, by (yet another) illegal hit to the head from the shoulder of Wild left-winger, Mike Rupp. He eventually was able to skate to the bench and get to the dressing room, with assistance, but he didn’t return to the game.
In the video below, Rupp is seen lowering his shoulder and then delivering a blow directly to Oshie’s head/neck area. Rupp was just returning from 23 games off as a healthy scratch, and it’s looking like he will be heading for another “vacation” shortly, as USA Today is reporting, he’s expected to have a phone hearing with the league, meaning he may be suspended for up to five games.
Who will be handling Rupp’s suspension, however, is still a mystery. Former NHL director of player safety, Brendan Shanahan, has announced today that he will be the Toronto Maple Leafs new team president going forward. Whoever it is that will be taking over his old job has an opportunity to send a message that could help eradicate these types of dirty, dangerous hits from the game forever. Players like Rupp should be suspended, if not banned from professional hockey. He’s an “end of the road”, 10-year, veteran who really is bringing nothing to the game at this point, except plays like this.
Oshie, on the other hand, is exactly the type of player the NHL needs headlining it’s game if they ever expect to reach mainstream relevancy in the United States. So, when a player (Rupp), who is basically contributing NOTHING to his team’s success comes along and tries to throw his career off track, such as he did last night, he should be dealt with as a cancer to the growth of the game as a whole.