A Handy Guide for Beginners: Suspendable Actions in Today’s NHL

In today’s NHL, there are a lot of different things a player can get suspended for. Gestures, hits and dumb oral statements all may carry a fine and/or suspension. To help ease the transition for rookies, new fans and the general hockey public I’ve compiled a Handy Guide to the different types of suspensions one can incur when playing in the NHL*. Remember, the length of these suspensions can vary greatly due to what scientists call the ‘Wheel of Justice Theory’ and new ways to get suspended are being invented every day. So, even if you think you haven’t done something wrong, you may just be doing something so very, horribly wrong that no one else has thought to do it in that way just yet.

* – This guide should be used as a reference tool and not as a definitive article due to the variables involved which include but are not limited to: Sean Avery, which side of the bed Colin Campbell woke up on, how many people ordered a Snuggie today, the angle of the sun on a given day, flux capacitors, Sean Avery and the number of skanks at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale this Friday night divided by the number of blow out haircuts.

Pictured right: This many blow outs means you need to have at least 20 skanks in the bar to earn a 4-game suspension.

And now, the list.



  1. Elbow to the head – Obvious for its concussion giving ability. Length varies. Suspenable up to three games if you collide with opponents hands and play for irrelevant desert-based team.  Knocked down to one game during playoffs if the following conditions are met: Team is relevant (1), opponent had serious concussion (2), you have a history of dirty play (3) and your name ends with hris ronger (4).
  2. Shoulder to shoulder hit – Remember to keep your chin-strap loose to draw your opponent into a game misconduct for this type of hit. NHL will rescind the misconduct anyway, but it’s funny while it lasts. No suspension unless you’re Sean Avery.
  3. Throat slash gesture – One game suspension ’cause yeah it was funny but there are kids around ‘n’ shit. Just watch your back in case the other dude is in the mob or crips, etc. THUG LIFE *cranks shotgun dramatically*
  4. Actual throat slash - Yeah, let’s go with lifetime ban, charges of homicide/attempted murder and Federal “you’re probably gonna get stabbed by a white supremacist during rec time” Prison on this one. That’s just, yeah, um, you probably shouldn’t ever actually do that unless confronted by Freddy Kruger, The Predator or that thing from Paranormal Activity.
  5. Injuring a teammate – No one gets suspended for stupidity that creates more-than-fair playing conditions for the other team. But they should be. I propose that YouTube commenters vote to determine the length of a suspension based on how hilarious the video is. This plan is flawless.
  6. Jackin’ it (pretend) - 2 games and remorse. Oh, the remorse… Punishment is upped to sex rehab with Tiger if you’re Sean Avery.
  7. Jackin’ it (actual) – Suspension of indeterminate amount due to THE CHILDREN THINK OF THE CHILDREN COVER LITTLE BOBBY AND BETTY’S EYES!! Possible additional sentence of death by talking heads as cable news networks have their way with you. But not in that way, you perv.
  8. Attempting to blog* – Leads to banning and banishment back to parents basement in certain visiting lockerrooms. Carries suspension length of “come back when you’re employed by the MSM”. Length varies by offender and how many Twitter follwers they have.

    * – Not to be confused with actual journalism which, while similar, is less witty, more verbose and comes with optional pompous attitude and ability to make jokes about said bloggers in said basements.

  9. Biting – 2 games. Also provides offender with enough name recognition to parlay 15-minutes of fame into moderately successful restaurant chain. The chain inevitably fails when no one wants to go to a place called Jarkko’s Big Bite and the market for disgusting sweat soaked meat is already cornered by Taco Bell.
  10. Sucker punch (aka Absolutely Destroying Matt Bradley’s World) - 4 games. A high price to pay for telling an entire 24-man roster “DON’T COME NEAR ME I’M THE WILD CARD!!” in not so many words. But at least they’re all scared of you now. Well, they would be if they weren’t Hockey Players Programmed to Seek Revenge Sweet, Sweet Revenge.
  11. Waving your stick in front of fat guy in a red suit - Gets you your own rule in @nhlrulebook and 2 game ban. May also anger other children in line at the mall if committed between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  12. Crossing the 4th Wall (aka going into the stands) - 6 games, unless you use a time machine to commit this crime prior to 1980 when “men were men and no one really gave a shit”. Pre-1980 offenders get off with lesser penalties and memories of a bygone era. Modern day offenders get destroyed in the press, on Twitter but not by whomever they’re assaulting in the stands. These days, spectators are generally fat, flabby and meek. However, they may be drunk and drunk super powers may apply.