Matt Calvert is a solid NHL player. The forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets finished the 2016-2017 regular season with 10 goals and five assists in 65 games, and he was a key cog in the wheel for a team that comfortably made the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. However, Calvert had a rough night on Friday, and in turn, he decided to take it out on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl to the point that Calvert actually broke his stick over Kuhnhackl’s neck.
The incident took place as Game 2 between the Blue Jackets and Penguins came to an end, and as you may expect, Columbus was on the short end of a 4-1 defeat. After a 3-1 loss in Game 1, the underdog Blue Jackets were already in big-time trouble, but even with Calvert taking only a two-minute penalty for the play in real time, that likely doesn’t preclude him from being suspended.
In fact, Calvert avoiding suspension could be something of a PR nightmare for the NHL, and it probably won’t happen. On one hand, the stick breaking absolutely brought more attention to the incident. On the other, the play was already pretty dirty on the surface, and justice might actually prevail in swifter fashion because of the optics associated with the increased attention on the play. Fortunately, Kuhnhackl appears to be okay, but now Columbus fans wait for the NHL to rule on Matt Calvert’s actions.