It looks like Stephen Stamkos of Lightning is spitting on Rangers Alexis Lavrinier

Stephen Stamkos seemed to spat at Jason Lavrinier.

Stephen Stamkos appeared to spat at Jason Lavrinier.
image: Getty Photos

The NHL division of participant security must resolve this shortly. Video proof towards Lightning captain Steven Stamkos who allegedly spat on Alexis Lafrenière seems overwhelming, however not conclusive. In any other case, why would he throw his head again and lunge ahead along with his lips curled up on the Rangers’ left flank?

Stamkos seems to hook up a sport of Loogie in Lafrenière whereas officers separate them on the ice. The 2 fought a uncommon Nationwide Hockey League playoff after the ultimate whistle Tampa Bay 3-1 win over New York Thursday evening, the primary sport of the Japanese Convention Finals the place the house workforce was not victorious.

The duo exchanged punches as they slid onto the ice and have been distracted by a pair of referees. After the separation, Stamkos makes a spitting movement, though little doubt saliva could be seen coming from the mouth of a Tampa captain. However why would you make this transfer although? There is no such thing as a want to maneuver your head in that path simply due to idle discuss. It is a dangerous search for Stamkos, who had a comparatively clear profession with solely a $5,000 advantageous on his disciplinary file.

The Rangers are 5-0 in elimination video games within the 2022 playoffs and must enhance that mark to seven consecutive wins to qualify for the Stanley Cup. Recreation 6, with the Lightning up 3-2 within the collection, It takes place on Saturday evening in Tampa. If Stamkos spit on Lafrenière, he’ll be fortunate to slot in. The investigation from DoPS ought to be fast given how vital the Stamkos are to successive Stanley Cup champions.

Seeing no secretions from Stamkos to hit Lafrenière just isn’t sufficient to clear his identify, nor tangible proof that Bret Hart – Monster Phlegm Job in Survivor Collection 1997 didn’t occur. Both means, a press release ought to be launched by the league about precisely what occurred. Silence is compliance and the NHL will not need to erase the identify of one in every of its largest stars? Or punish Stamkos and ensure we do not have a spitting epidemic at residence in season?

Playoff suspensions are uncommon, as there have solely been three video games within the post-season, every lasting one match. There is no such thing as a means the NHL will hesitate if the investigation results in clear proof. And if all that is in some way misunderstood, Stamkos will play in Recreation 6. It ought to be fairly clear quickly, not like Captain Tampa’s allegedly spitting angles.

There aren’t too many instances of NHL gamers spitting on an opponent. Capitals striker Garnet Hathaway was given a three-game ban for spitting on then-Anaheim defender Eric Godbranson in November 2019. Roberto Alomar spitting within the face of a 1996 referee that modified the trajectory of his baseball profession has by no means overcome that stigma. In March, UCLA basketball participant Mac Etienne pleaded not responsible to a misdemeanor assault cost after he was caught spitting video on followers after a sport in Arizona.

The final participant to be suspended in A closing or later He was a member of Lightning in Alex Killorn, and obtained a one-match suspension in 2020 for an unlawful strike towards the islanders. Blues striker Ivan Barbashev was suspended for one sport within the 2019 Stanley Cup Remaining for a head kick to Bruin’s Markus Johansson.

Stamkos’ presence on the chopping block is an unprecedented space for the NHL, the place one of many sport’s elite gamers could be suspended for a pivotal match, within the depths of the post-season. In virtually each respect, the NHL is beneficial for getting the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Remaining over Tampa, or not less than returning to an vital Recreation 7 in New York.

The workforce that represents the league’s largest market is driving the monetary and tv means in additional methods than Lightning’s third consecutive look. The suspension with out indeniable proof will probably be seen because the NHL attempting to ship the New York Collection as greatest it will possibly on a silver platter. That will not be near a certain factor because the Stamkos-less Lightning nonetheless has a knack for beating the Rangers.

If Stamkos is discovered to have spat at Lafrenière, he ought to be suspended for 3 matches, similar to Hathaway. It might value him the remainder of the collection and one sport subsequent season, or not less than one sport within the Stanley Cup Remaining towards Avalanche. His star energy should not be able to that Put it aside right here.