Sources have informed Defending Big D (and Bob Sturm of The Ticket is reporting this as well) that Steve Ott has been suspended two games for his transgressions on Saturday night.
[Update: The DMN is reporting that the suspension is for the hip check on Colaiacovo.]
Steve Ott was involved in two on-ice incidents on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues when he committed two questionable hits in the second and third period. The first, a hip check on Carl Colaiacovo, led to a near-brawl between Blues and Stars players, however Ott was not penalized for the hit. The second was a knee on knee hit on B.J. Crombeen, which led to a fight with Crombeen being assessed an instigator penalty, as well as a fighting major. In my opinion the hit on Crombeen was much worse and much more dangerous, but apparently the NHL felt differently.
Follow the jump for further thoughts on the suspension.
First, here is Mike Heika's take:
The NHL has not released its reasoning, and it generally does not take questions on its suspensions, so they will probably simply explain that Ott is a repeat offender and that the check was dangerous.
I disagree, but what do I know.
The frustrating thing about the NHL's supplementary discipline is that it appeared to me that Ott's hit last March on Gregory Campbell was more worthy of a suspension than this one. He received no suspension for that hit. It also appears that Rob Scuderi's hip check on Jason Chimera was much worse, and Scuderi (who has no previous suspension history) was only fined.
Maybe that was considered in this suspension. Who knows.
We've covered Steve Ott extensively this week on Defending Big D and I'm not going to rehash everything I've been saying for the past two days. But here's the bottom line:
Steve Ott toes the line between agitation and insanity. Stars fans love the edge he brings to the team, but at the same time he needs to find ways to hold himself back. He's much more valuable to this team when he's on the ice and not when he's suspended or hurt. Ott is now a three-time offender in the eyes of the NHL; any more questionable or dirty hits and he could be looking at a very lengthy suspension.
That being said, the fact that Ott was suspended for just the hip check is ridiculous and proves just how inconsistent the NHL is when doling out punishments. Rob Scuderi lays out a much more devastating type of hit and only receives a fine; perhaps the suspension has more to do with Ott's past and reputation.