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Deep Blue Sea: Max Domi gets slap on the wrist

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Sep 19, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Domi (13) during the warm-up session before the game against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Max Domi has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason following what the NHLPA is calling “roughing” on Aaron Ekblad Wednesday night.

The term more people are taking to is “sucker punch,” though that doesn’t quite feel accurate either. Here’s the entire sequence of events:

Whether or not that squarely fits into the box definition of a sucker punch also feels a bit irrelevant. Domi punched an unwilling participant with an ungloved fist. That’s more than just roughing — it’s dangerous, even without Ekblad’s history with concussions.

But his punishment is to sit for the rest of the preseason.

This is a player who will have a top-six role in Montreal. He’s not some kid trying to prove he has value in this game — because that’s what preseason game are. They’re exhibition matches that have no value except for players on the fringe of the roster.

Fighting, though unlikely to ever be removed from the sport completely, is something that hockey has been, to an extent, moving away from. It’s pointless, but more importantly, it poses a major safety risk and has been responsible for ending careers and ending lives thanks to the brain damage incurred.

So a pointless play in a pointless game made by a player who has nothing to prove, but with just a big enough name that the NHL can’t sit idly by and do nothing.

Thus, Max Domi sits for the rest of the preseason, where he wasn’t going to be proving himself anyway and where he earned no salary.

Ain’t that hockey?

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