In a brief statement, he said
"While it is apparent that there was no deliberate intent to injure on this play, Mr. Orpik's careless hit on his opponent resulted in a serious injury. Even if a player leaves himself vulnerable, the checking player does bear some responsibility in avoiding a hit on a defenseless opponent."
The suspension will cost him just under $10,000.
I figured this is how it would pan out, but I'm still disappointed. Just as I was disappointed with the relative brevity of the Bertuzzi suspension. Of course Bertuzzi's meditated attack on Moore was quite a different animal than Orpik's reckless disregard of both respect and rules. However, both plays resulted in a player having his neck broken. I am still of the opinion that Bertuzzi shouldn't be in the NHL. I've gone on record as saying I do not think Orpik should be banned, but three games is a little light, given circumstances.
First and foremost is that his disregard of a rule that exists in the interest of safety resulted in a player with a very serious injury that might still threaten his career.
Second, he has a history of violence against Erik Cole. I haven't heard anyone talk about this, but Brooks Orpik was penalized TWICE in the previous meeting of these two teams (February 10) for plays against Erik Cole. Once was for roughing, in which Cole received a matching penalty. The other, with just five seconds remaining in the game was for cross-checking Cole. I don't know, but it sure seems like he was targeting Cole. I don't know why this wasn't taken into consideration.
I know I might be reacting so strongly because it's a player on my team who got hurt, but this really is an issue that needs to be handled better, lest we see someone suffer a worse fate than Cole or Moore.
What's worse is that Orpik has shown little compassion or remorse for his negligence. He has repeatedly defended the hit, and has said that he didn't follow through or use his hands, even though replays prove otherwise. Then, he even uses twisted, conflicting logic about "hurting" people.
First he says
I've watched the video a bunch of times and it's clear from my point of view there's no intent there to hurt him. I actually put my hands down and didn't follow through with the hit. It's just unfortunate. You don't ever want to see someone get hurt. I was surprised. He saw me coming and at the last second he kind of turned away. He's such a big, strong guy he does that a lot and you usually bounce off him and he can get a step on you. But he fell awkwardly. Obviously you don't want to see him get hurt but sometimes that's the nature of the game.
Then, in the very same interview, he says:
"You hit guys to hurt guys. You don't hit guys to injure guys. It sounds kind of funny but it's a lot different."
Ummm. Didn't you just say "you don't ever want to see someone get hurt"?
I'm not even going to launch into the thing about his "other" major boarding penalty. The one in an AHL game two years ago. The one that is stunningly similar to this one. The one he conveniently forgot about when he said "It's the first boarding major I've ever had"
Anyway, I think he got off easy, and I think he's not quite as "undirty" as some people think.