Canes’ Walker Not Suspended For Sucker Punch

Near the end of Boston’s 4-0 Game 5 downgrading of the Hurricanes last night, Carolina winger Scott Walker decided to take out his frustration on the Bruins’ Aaron Ward - with a sucker punch to Aaron’s face.

Scott Walker punches Aaron Ward

Check that - first Walker came flying in with an unexpected elbow to Ward’s face, then Scott slugged Aaron, which may have resulted in a broken orbital bone for the battered Bruin.

After witnessing such a sucker punch, you might think that Walker deserves some kind of suspension. And that’s why you won’t get a job with the National Hockey League front office anytime soon.

(Video of Walker wailing on Ward after the jump.)

BOSTONIST informs us that the league did fine Walker $2,500 for the punch, but the hitting Hurricane won’t be suspended for Game 6. Of course, the Boston-based blog takes exception that Scott wasn’t more severely punished:

The punishment is the second of a one-two sucker punch—a more accurate metaphor might be a sucker punch team-up—because the NHL rules prescribe an automatic suspension for any player who receives a fight instigator penalty during the last five minutes of a game. Walker’s instigator penalty came with just under 3 minutes left to play.

Carolina GM Jim Rutherford says he is “satisfied with the league’s ruling“. But Boston coach Claude Julien is certain not to be, based on the comments he made even before the NHL made its decision:

“In reviewing what I saw, I just didn’t like what happened. I just don’t think there was any need for that. He sucker-punched him once coming into the scrum when [Ward] was involved with another player. He dropped his gloves and sucker-punched him. I don’t care what people say about Ward should have protected himself. He had no intentions of getting involved. We asked our guys to stay composed and not fall into that trap. He did just that. A guy with Walker’s experience should know better than to sucker-punch a guy.”

After watching the video again, what do you at home/work/the library think?

If you were NHL commish Gary Bettman, how would you rule on the Scott Walker situation?

View Results