Mario Lemieux obviously didn’t think that NHL came down hard enough on the New York Islanders for their Friday night goonery.


“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

“We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

“If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”


That’s a statement that ranks right up there with his “garage league” statement from many years ago. But one question has to be asked here. If the Penguins had done to the Islanders what the Islanders did to the Penguins and the punishment had been the same, would Lemieux have reacted the same way?

Sorry, but I don’t think so.

Incidents like the one Friday on Long Island still pop up in the NHL on rare occasions because prominent people like Lemieux only speak up when they are on the wrong end of them.

Check out what Islanders’ GM Garth Snow said on TSN.