First 15 games for Mark Bell.
Now 20 games for Steve Downie.
Could it be, after all these years and all those one- two- and three-game suspensions that did nothing to deter anybody from doing anything, that the NHL has decided to get serious?
Now, let's be clear; the Bell and Downie suspensions are very, very different, and not really to be compared. Bell's was for an off-ice incident in which he'll go to jail for six months, and that was certainly a new direction in which the league chose to extend its disciplinary muscle.
Downie, meanwhile, today received one of the longest suspensions in NHL history for a hit that wasn't one of the worst in league history or one of the most destructive.
What they have in common, however, is that both bans were designed to set a precedent.
Look at the Downie suspension.
Remember, Claude Lemieux only got two games one year for caving in Kris Draper's face during the playoffs. Chris Pronger got one game for knocking out Dean McAmmond, the same victim of Downie's Tuesday night hit, during the 2007 Stanley Cup final.
New Jersey forward Cam Janssen, meanwhile, received only three games for knocking out Maple Leaf defenceman Tomas Kaberle with a late, high hit in a regular season game last year, an incident that in some ways was similar to the Downie hit.
Now Downie gets 20? Something's going on.
What this suspension apparently means is that in choosing over the summer not to institute a league-wide ban on hits to the head, the NHL is telling players that those who still insist on flagrantly delivering such hits of a dangerous type are going to be punished to a far greater extent than would have been the case in the past.
In other words, the league is trusting the players to behave in this area without putting in another new rule. If they don't, expect huge suspensions, like this one.
Of course, consistency has long been the NHL's problem. And the league still insists there was nothing wrong with Chris Neil's vicious, blind side head shot on Chris Drury last season.
But after getting nowhere with piddly little suspensions for years, perhaps this is indeed a change of NHL policy. Certainly, the nonsensical, archaic notion that the players can police themselves has gone forever.