Welcome to the annual wrap-up of the most-read articles of the last year!
Evander Kane’s crosscheck of Nazem Kadri may not have had major implications in the Western Conference finals last year, but it surely was a contentious moment.
Minutes into game three, Kane caught Kadri with a crosscheck in the back feet from the boards, and the latter crumbled into them. I took issue with the one-game suspension that followed mainly because of what other supplemental discipline looked like in the postseason.
Come game four, the Kane hit happens on Kadri minutes into the game. Kane sits for five, Kadri is out. Now, Kane is set to miss game four.
As the game went on, more questionable calls were missed, namely Nathan MacKinnon’s slew foot on Leon Draisaitl. The pair battle for a puck bouncing off the boards in front of the Oilers bench. MacKinnon places his left leg behind Draisaitl’s right leg continuing with his stride. His upper body entangles with Draisaitl’s pushing the latter backwards.
Draisaitl hits the ice hard, and hobbled down the tunnel to the Oilers locker room, but returned a short time later. There’s no supplemental discipline expected to come for either MacKinnon, or Landeskog.
My issue isn’t so much with Evander Kane being suspended. It’s a dirty play that frankly doesn’t have a place in the game. But neither does a cross-check to the back of the ankles, a blatant hit to the head, a jumping elbow, a blindside hit to the head, nor does a slew foot.
And let’s not even talk about Crosby getting away with the same hit, nor Hagel only being fined.
The issue is that there seems to be more subjectivity rather than objectivity from the NHL department of player safety, let alone the referees that take the ice every night. That’s why it’s time for the league to take a deep dive into its refereeing and the way the player safety department operates.
If the league truly wants to create safety for all of its players, it’s time for a revamp of the entire process front-to-back.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]