As the saying goes: "Video doesn’t lie," which is among several reasons why Evander Kane likely still is fuming regarding the three-game suspension he received Saturday.
Here’s the offending hit that landed Kane a 3-game suspension.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) February 15, 2020
Not going to argue against the penalty or discipline… so long as it is enforced league-wide on a consistent basis…
…which it is not. pic.twitter.com/ZDHuFNvKC7
Almost exactly one year prior, the Sharks forward suffered a similar headshot from Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
Not only did the hit go unpenalized, there was no hearing and no corresponding discipline. Kane missed the next several games due to injury
It begs the question: What does the league’s Department of Player Safety see differently here? Both plays and hits do indicate that heads were similarly targeted. If Kane was guilty, then so was Chara and vice versa. And that’s just one of a dozen easy comparisons that come to mind.
This is not a piece suggesting the NHL has a vendetta against San Jose. It is a plea for the NHL to gain consistency in what it calls a penalty, a fine and a suspension.
Currently the league distributes video explanations of all suspendible plays, complete with narration and multiple replay angles. One huge way to increase transparency, would be to publicize similar documentation of plays and hits that were deemed not suspendible.
This would serve two main purposes. First, it publicly acknowledges that the league did actually review and audit a controversial action in question. Sometimes it feels like those who distribute the discipline only conveniently appear when they need or want to.
[RELATED: Kane blasts 'ridiculous' NHL Player Safety discipline]
Secondly, it would help all of us gain a better understanding of what their standards are. At present, little is predictable. Players, coaches, broadcasters ... anyone involved with the games can trust what their eyes see, but not know exactly how the league will respond.
Until rules are consistently enforced with minimal wiggle room, players will continue to take their chances on calculated risks. And everyone else will be confused by a library of dangerous plays on social media, which don’t equally add up in suspensions.