Maurice speaks about Byfuglien’s suspension, says he has no argument with NHL decision

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Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice said today he had no argument with the four-game suspension the NHL handed to defenceman Dustin Byfuglien on Thursday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/04/2015 (2794 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice said today he had no argument with the four-game suspension the NHL handed to defenceman Dustin Byfuglien on Thursday.

Maurice did have a few issues with the other decisions and the “outrage” crowd over some of the criticism Byfuglien has absorbed for his cross-check in Tuesday’s game against the Rangers, including with Rangers coach Alain Vigneault’s reaction.

Byfuglien will not be eligible to return until April 11 against Calgary. His suspension begins with Saturday’s game here against Vancouver.

Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has been slapped with a four-game suspension for this controversal check against New York Rangers' forward J.T. Miller in Tuesday's game.

“I know the person,” Maurice said today. “I know the man. The event, it wasn’t a retaliatory thing. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own actions and it was a cross-check and it was a dangerous one. I have no problem with the suspension. I’ve said that here and even before I got here (that) I have no problem with any of the suspensions that happen in the league. And that’s true of Evander Kane and Adam Lowry’s suspension earlier.

“The rub is that we will always disagree with the weight of those suspensions.

“Is it two? Is it four? Is it 10? I have no problem with what the league decides on that. Where I’m going to disagree at times is which hit is worse. Is the (Antoine) Roussel hit (Feb. 12 to Adam McQuaid’s face) worse than that?

“I don’t have to make those decisions. It’s a tough job. I’ve seen two hits from behind that in my mind are worse than the two that our guys got suspended for. But that’s my job. I’m going to protect my guys and always see them in the best possible light.

“I mean, Alain Vigneault wanted the electric chair. And I’ve got a lot more time for Dustin than that. So we will always be a little agitated by what we feel is the unfairness of it. From my point of view though, I think you can hand out heavier suspensions on all these events and the players will make the adjustment. The tough part is being consistent with it. And it is tough. It’s not an easy thing to get right. So we take the four games and we did something we shouldn’t do and we pay the price and move on.”

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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