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Byfuglien Suspended Four Games for Hit on Miller

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Dustin Byfuglien receives an unsurprisingly light punishment for what could have been an incident with significant medical consequences for J.T. Miller.

Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets' defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been suspended four games for his crosscheck to the head of J.T. Miller in Tuesday's game, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced this afternoon.

On one hand, four games is a decent chunk of the remaining season as the Jets fight for a playoff spot. On the other hand, it's awfully hard to see what Chris Simon did and see much difference in the action. J.T. Miller very well could have had a number of severe injuries from that play. It would be nice to see the NHL take a proactive approach to removing idiocy from the game before we get another Todd Bertuzzi incident. In the eyes of the law, attempted murder does not usually grant much more leniency than a successfully committed murder. J.T. Miller not getting injured on the play was happenstance. The NHL needs to stop punishing based on the result and needs to focus more on the action itself.

Then again, I wrote earlier this year about how the NHL's disciplinary system is broken and teams need to take on a much bigger responsibility. If I'm Jets' Head Coach Paul Maurice or GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, I'm not only upset at Byfuglien lessening my team's playoff hopes, but also making the organization look bad. And I make it clear to him that it similar incidents won't be tolerated going forward.