Jets' Wheeler sounds off on Malkin, Department of Player Safety

Kelvin Kuo / USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler is unimpressed with the NHL's most recent designation of player discipline.

Wheeler called out the Department of Player Safety for its inconsistency in doling out penalties on Tuesday, after seeing teammate Jacob Trouba handed a two-game suspension for a questionable hit on Ottawa Senators winger Mark Stone.

Wheeler was caught with a controversial hit from Pittsburgh Penguins pivot Evgeni Malkin last week, but the Russian star escaped major punishment, receiving only a minor penalty.

"Makes you wonder: If you sit out a couple days, does he get a phone call?" Wheeler said to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "That leaves a lot of room for interpretation on my end. You just like to see consistency."

"From my perspective, you’d like to see the guy (Malkin) at least get a phone call. You don’t touch the puck. Leaves his feet. Hits you in the head. That’s the unfortunate part about it."

Wheeler wasn't done.

"Malkin’s a pretty good hockey player. I think he knows who has the puck and when they have the puck," Wheeler said. "His instincts are pretty good out there. I never had the puck. I never even saw him coming. He comes from the side of me. All I felt was my head snap back. Why is he hitting me at all? It has no impact on the play whatsoever."

Aside from expressing frustration over his own situation, Wheeler suggested the league's approach isn't helping players moving forward.

"You can live with (Trouba) getting two games as long as there’s consistency throughout," he said. "You like to feel protected out there. With what’s transpired in the last week, it raises a lot of questions."

Jets' Wheeler sounds off on Malkin, Department of Player Safety
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