The NHL has, rightfully, come down hard on the San Jose Shark’s John Stark and suspended him for four games for the unessecary punch he delivered Monday night to Anahiem Duck’s forward Tim Jackman. Scott punched Jackman using the butt of his stick after merely being shoved, and while Jackman doesn’t appear to be actually looking at Scott. These two have a history with each other. Scott was previously suspended in October for two games by the league for leaving the bench on a line change to fight Jackman.
According to the league, Scott’s history as a repeat offender also factored into the suspension. Adding to the suspension in October, Scott was suspended seven games last year for a headshot on Boston’s Loui Eriksson.
Here is the Department of Player Safety’s official statement:
“While we accept Scott’s assertion that he was merely trying to shake off Jackman — and although Jackman’s shove initiates the exchange — it is such a common maneuver executed with so little force that Scott’s response is neither predictable, nor acceptable. Similarly, though Scott’s response is more of a flailing reaction than a premeditated or forceful swing, it is illegal and he is responsible for the damage it does.”
Noting their prior history, I think the league got this one right.