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In Retrospect, Red Wings Perron Should’ve Punched Zub

Perron sat out six game suspenson for cross-checking Artem Zub



David Perron, Red Wings
The NHL suspended Red Wings forward David Perron six games for cross-checking Ottawa's Artem Zub.

David Perron is still appealing and the Detroit Red Wings are hopeful that his return to the lineup will also work out that way.

“He’s a naturally competitive guy, he’s an energy guy,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of what Perron can add to his struggling club, losers of four in a row and seven of eight games. “When things aren’t going our way, the more of that you can have is a positive.”

Perron is returning Friday to face the Philadelphia Flyers at Little Caesars Arena after serving his six-game NHL suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators defenseman Artem Zub in the face during a Dec. 9 game. He’s of the opinion that the punishment didn’t fit his crime.

“I understand that there was some discipline that needed to be done there,” Perron said. “I just felt like on my side that it was pretty excessive for the comparables, the history of my career, a lot of things that played into it. And we’re still going through that right now.”

Red Wings Perron Continuing Appeal Process

Perron is contining the appeal of his suspension, even though he’s served out its length.

“Right now it’s more for record and money,” Perron said.

Here’s the problem he faces in that regard. Once Perron was opting to utilize his stick as a weapon against Zub, it became a sticky situation.

Unlike society in general, the NHL is quite comfortable with a certain level of frontier justice.

“I think they do understand that a response in the league, the way things are right now, right or wrong, there’s a response that needs to be done there right away,” Perron said. “We assume that all 31 other teams would do something there for sure.”

He’s right, to a point. Had Perron chosen to take the route that was starting the whole incident – Ottawa’s Mathieu Joseph punching Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin in the head from behind, rendering him unconscious – things certainly would’ve turned out differently.

Remember, the only time Joseph did for his crime was two minutes in the sin bin.

If Perron had merely thrown hands at Zub instead of his twig, then the disciplinary action would’ve been much less harsh.

Just look at the history between Joseph and Larkin and you know that this is true.

Larkin Sat One-Game Suspension

In 2021, Joseph was with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the season opener, he thundered Larkin head first into the boards with a check from behind. It was Larkin’s first NHL regular-season game since his previous campaign was halted by a neck injury. Larkin didn’t take kindly to Joseph’s welcome. He rose to his feet and drove a gloved punch into the face of his assailant.

the NHL would also be issuing Larkin a suspension for his response – one game.

Anyone who’s played the game of hockey can understand Perron’s heat of the moment response to seeing Larkin laying motionless on the ice.

“Definitely not easy for me to go through that, turn around and see my captain down on the ice,” Perron said. “I think as a whole throughout the league, you’re trying to respond to these types of incidents.”

The message delivered by the NHL to Perron, and every player for that matter, is obvious.

When seeking retribution, drop the stick, then the mitts, and have at it.

If you’re taking that route, almost all will be forgiven.