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Robert Bortuzzo’s four-game suspension is a joke and a prime example of why the National Hockey League needs to rework the way they issue suspensions.

Bortuzzo, a repeat offender in the eyes of the Department of Player Safety, only received a four-game suspension for repeatedly cross-checking Viktor Arvidsson in the small of his back.

This isn’t the first time Bortuzzo has been disciplined by the DoPS.

It didn’t help that Bortuzzo has been fined twice before for crosschecks and that he was considered a repeat offender because of a three-game suspension in the 2018-19 preseason for elbowing Capitals defenceman Michal Kempny in the head.

So no stranger, Bortuzzo is, to the league’s safety department. But despite the league calling him a repeat offender saying it played into his current suspension, they only handed him a four-game suspension.

Arvidsson, meanwhile, is missing four-to-six weeks with what is being called a lower-body injury suffered directly due to the vicious crosschecks he received.

It’s criminal how an NHL star like Arvidsson, who scored 34 goals in 58 games last year, is sidelined for so long while Bortuzzo, a third-pairing defenceman on a good day, only gets a slap on the wrist.

And it’s clear the NHL now needs to step up and rework the way suspensions are handed out — especially in the case where a player suffers an injury that will keep him out of the lineup. This isn’t a case so much as a star player being taken out by a not-so-good player, but rather about fair punishment.

For every game that an injured player misses due to the action by another player deemed suspendable by the league, the offending player should be forced to miss a game.

In this case, Bortuzzo should be suspended for as many games as Arvidsson misses due to injury.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the league’s best, or league’s worst player committing the offence, because if the league were serious about the safety of their players, they would take serious action in situations like this.

On Twitter: @zjlaing