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NHL Suspends Daniel Paille Four Games for Blindside Hit on Ray Sawada

And so the NHL continues to be a mockery when it comes to actually standing behind it's tough talk on heated issues like blindside hits.

Again, if you missed it from last night's game, our very own community member, TracyJean1972, captured the video and posted it to her Youtube Channel last night. Be sure to check out all of her fine work if you're snowed in.

It's not like you have anything better to do. :o)

Videos and additional thoughts are after the jump.

Paille hit on Sawada - 3 Feb 11.mp4 (via TracyJean1972)

Now granted, Daniel Paille doesn't have the reputation as a dirty player. In his NHL career, he's never been suspended. And according to multiple reports after last night's game, he was contrite and remorseful for his actions with his teammate Andrew Ference even going so far as to admit during a second intermission interview on NESN that it was, indeed, a blindside hit.

And to their credit, I haven't seen one Bruin fan anywhere online try to defend the hit. Obviously, the images of Matt Cooke delivering a devastating blindside hit to Marc Savard last season is still very much fresh in their minds with Savard slated to undergo a medial evaluation today to see if he'll even be able to return to play at all this season.

Matt Cooke knocks Marc Savard out (via NHLArchive)

That all having been said, it would be nice if the NHL actually backed up their tough talk on these kinds of hits with actions that speak louder than their words. As it is, this amounts to nothing more than grandstanding on the part of the league.

Which begs the obvious question.

What's it going to take for the NHL to truly put their foot down and send a message to it's players that they mean business when it comes to this?

A paralyzing hit? Or one that results in death?

Again, I'm not here to necessarily castigate Paille. This isn't really about him since he's not a dirty player.

This is yet another example of the league only doing something about a problem after outside pressure gets too high. They're never proactive about these kinds of issues. Only reactive.

Let's go back about seven weeks to the blindside hit that Tom Sestito put on Nik Grossman, shall we? Again, video courtesy of TracyJean1972.

Sestito hit on Grossman 18 Dec 10.mp4 (via TracyJean1972)

I'm convinced the only reason Tom Sestito of Columbus escaped punishment for his blindside hit on Nik Grossman in December is because Grossman was not injured. And that's the wrong way for the NHL to dole out punishment.

Stop being reactive, NHL. And start handing out punishments that will truly make the players stand up and take notice that you mean business on this issue of blindside hits.