Five Questions: Suspensions and Coyotes' future | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaFive Questions: Suspensions and Coyotes' future

Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012 | 07:14 PM

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The Phoenix Coyotes celebrate against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 29, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) The Phoenix Coyotes celebrate against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 29, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Have a question for Cassie Campbell-Pascall of Hockey Night In Canada? Here's where you can begin the dialogue. Send a question and Cassie just might provide you with the answer.

Have a question for Cassie Campbell-Pascall of Hockey Night In Canada? Here's where you can begin the dialogue. Send a question and Cassie just might provide you with the answer.

1.Why is there no consistency in the suspensions throughout the first round? Carl Hagelin got three games and Chris Neil nothing, yet Raffi Torres gets 25 games. Is there a reason for being all over the place? - Ed Anderson

I think there has been no consistency with any of the suspensions, and the reason being is that every incident has to be looked at on an individual basis.

For example, the Hagelin incident no question to me is the exact hit the new rules are trying to get rid of. It was a bad hit where the elbow leads to hit an opponent in the head. Because Hagelin was a first-time offender a three-game suspension during the playoffs was a very severe punishment.

The Chris Neil hit in my opinion was clean. It was a shoulder to the chest area of the opponent who had his head down and thus contact to the head was inevitable. I do not think the head was the principle point of contact. Having said this, I think it was the same hit that Montreal's Max Pacioretty put on Pittsburgh's Kris Letang earlier in the season and that received a suspension.

So this is where I too become confused. The Torres hit was simple...it was a dirty late hit by a repeat offender who obviously has not received a message that has been sent previously. I do not believe that there is a set way that you can give out suspensions.

I know from speaking to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma earlier this year that he believes there should be mandatory games for first, second-time and multiple offenders. This is something that the league could look at where depending on how many times you have committed the offence is how they base your suspension. They do this now to some extent, but it still leaves some grey areas in my opinion.

2.  If the Coyotes can somehow go all the way, what effect would it have on the team's immediate future? Does it save the franchise or simply postpone the inevitable? Or does it make a sale and relocation even more likely? - Michael Cuthbert

I think it postpones the inevitable. I know the league is happy that the playoffs are on in Phoenix and helping with the bottom line. The league will continue to look at all options that keep the team in Phoenix, but from what I am hearing it is pretty much a done deal that the team will be elsewhere next season. One option I have heard is to fold the franchise and have an expansion area take the team over for next season. This allows you to get the best price possible back for the team.

3. From a Devils fan, do you think Los Diablos have a chance of beating the Flyers? - Martin Cruz

I have picked the Flyers to make it to the Finals, especially now after they beat the Penguins who were my original pick. However, I think inconsistent goal tending could come back to haunt the Flyers once again.

4. Does the NHL like this new era of 2-1, 1-0, style game? I was under the impression that the new NHL was supposed to be one that had tones of scoring, yet 6 of the final 8 teams in the playoffs pride themselves upon D-first. - Mike O'Ryan

I think all winning teams and their coaches will tell you that defense wins championships. Thus that is always the focus, but we have seen some amazing high scoring games especially in the Pitts/Philly series. We have also seen lot's of goals scored in the Phoenix/Nashville series which is surprising to most, as those two goalies have been unbelievable.

However, one of the best games I have seen in this year's playoffs was Game 3 of the Ottawa/NYR series where New York won 1-0. There was a ton of action and a lot of quality scoring chances. The bottom line is a 1-0 game can be just as exciting as a 7-5 game and the main focus for the NHL has been parity and we have seen that throughout the playoffs and even prior to as we watched some playoff races right until the end of the season.


5. How significant of a loss to the league is it, not having a Canadian team in round two? - Tyler Commodore

The league has seen a tremendous increase in audience numbers in the USA and that is exciting. I think not having a Canadian team does hurt the Canadian TV ratings, but we all love hockey so much that I believe it's still fun to watch. Plus there is a lot of Canadian content on all the teams that we should still be proud of.

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