NHL inconsistency on slew-foots continues as P.K. Subban gets away with another one
Does the NHL actually care about slew-foots or does it only care when Brad Marchand does it?
At the risk of sounding like a homer, there is certainly a strong case to be made that Marchand was singled out by the Department of Player Safety while George Parros and company continue to look the other way on similar infractions committed by other players.
Most notably, Devils defenseman P.K. Subban got away with yet another slew-foot on Friday night -- this one against Winnipeg's Nik Ehlers -- and it appears there will be no supplemental discipline to follow.
This is at least the fourth time this season Subban has kicked out an opponent's leg, which is kind of the exact definition of a slew-foot in the NHL's own rulebook.
In the preseason, Subban kicked out the leg of Rangers forward Ryan Reaves, causing Reaves to fall awkwardly and ultimately miss nearly a month with a lower-body injury. Subban was not fined or suspended.
Later in October, Subban slew-footed Flames forward Milan Lucic. The NHL fined Subban $5,000, but notably called it a "dangerous trip" and didn't use the term "slew-foot."
Just eight days later, Subban was fined again, this time $15,000 for "tripping" Anaheim's Trevor Zegras. Once again, the league avoided calling it a slew-foot despite the fact that it looked like a textbook slew-foot.
And now Friday night. For whatever reason, the NHL has made it clear Subban isn't in danger of being suspended for any of this, so why wouldn't he keep doing it?
Meanwhile, it clearly has a zero-tolerance policy for Marchand. Whether you think Marchand's infraction actually was a slew-foot or not (personally, I think it was), you have to admit the discrepancy in punishments is pretty hard to make sense of.
The inconsistency extends beyond just Marchand and Subban. San Jose's Kevin Labanc was suspended one game for a play that looked no better or worse than what Subban has done. Meanwhile, as Jack Edwards pointed out on Merloni & Fauria this week , Detroit's Michael Rasmussen kicked out Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly's skates just one day after Marchand got suspended and faced no supplemental discipline.