Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the crowd before the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Morning Rankings: NHL Suspensions

This Sunday’s Rankings will not be called “Power” rankings because there is nothing powerful about this week’s rankings. The hot topic in the Sports world is violence of athletes outside of their sport. The NFL once again assumed the spotlight in this category. NFL commissioner Roger Goddell is getting killed in the media for his “two game” suspension for Baltimore Raven Running Back Ray Rice. In addition to his two game suspension, Rice was fined 50,000 dollars and will lose two games checks. Rice is scheduled for make four million dollars this season. Rice is on a 5 year 35 million dollar contract.

Rice was arrested for beating up his fiancé at the time and dragging her around like a cave man. Personally I am outraged by the suspension issued by the NFL; it is a joke that Rice got two games. In the NFL Josh Gordon Browns wide receiver could get a year suspension for smoking marijuana two years in a row. HOWEVER domestic violence against women is only worth two games. The NFL commissioner Roger Goddell should be ashamed of his decision and his league.

The Rice suspension got me thinking about the NHL and Gary Bettman. Bettman might be the least liked commissioner in all of sports. He is booed every time we walks onto the ice, but his league does not have the kind of off the ice issues that the NFL has. Commissioner Bettman also knows how to hand down a suspension. Now for the record Bettman is not perfect (Ryan Malone deserved to be suspended for a DUI) but I think he is doing a better job than Commissioner Goddell.

With that being said, here is how the NHL is tougher on its players than the NFL. So here are the Top 5 NHL issues suspensions from last season:

5. 10/23/13 John Scott 7 games for a hit to the head: John Scott was suspended 7 games for an Illegal hit to the back of the head of Loui Erickson of the Boston Bruins. Scott forfeited 26,923.05 to the NHL Players Emergency assistance fund. Scott’s salary for 2013-14 was $750,000.

4. 5/23/14 Daniel Carcillo 10 games for contact with an official: Dan Caricllo was suspended for 10 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs for making with an official in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final. The suspension was then reduced to six games by Commissioner Gary Bettman.

3. 12/18/13 Deryk Engelland 5 games for boarding: Engelland was suspended three games for an Illegal check to the back of the head of Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader. Engelland forfeited 14,529.90 to the NHL players’ emergency assistance fund. Engelland’s salary was 575,000.

2. 10/15/13 Patrick Kaleta 10 games for a hit to the head: Kaleta was suspended without pay for 10 games for an illegal hit on Jack Johnson. Kaleta was considered a repeat an offender and based on his NHL salary; he will forfeit 152,439.00 for his actions. His salary was 1,250,000.

1. 12/14/14 Shawn Thornton 15 games for punching unsuspecting opponent: Thornton was suspended 15 games for attacking Penguins Defenseman Brooks Orpik during a game on December 7th. This was his first suspension and Thornton was forced to forfeit 84,615.45. Thornton salary was 1,1000 last season.

Those were the top 5 NHL suspensions from last season. I was going to do a top five on the NHL player arrests last season, but I couldn’t find five NHL players arrested last season. Now the NFL is a different story, the Baltimore Ravens who Ray Rice plays for, had 5 players arrested since February of this year.

In case you were wondering the top suspensions in the NFL for this coming season is 6 games for substance abuse. The next highest suspension is four games for performance enhancing drug use. That of course is pending Josh Gordon’s case for substance abuse. I hope NFL Fans take on the NHL approach of booing their commissioner. In other words, I like the NHL enforcement of suspensions better and I like the NHL better than the NFL.

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