The National Hockey League, repeatedly and consistently, punishes Connor McDavid for being Connor McDavid.Players are allowed to treat arguably the world’s greatest hockey player with all manner of spit and abuse with a minimal number of trips to the penalty box.But have McDavid, a first time offender, create an unintentional hit to the head of New York Islanders’ Nick Leddy and he’s suspended for two games?It happened at 17:32 of the first period, drawing an appropriate two-minute penalty in Thursday night’s 4-3 win, in which McDavid scored the winner in overtime.Reaction from the organization came in the form of a statement from Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and vice-chair Bob Nicholson not long after the announcement was made.“We are highly disappointed in the NHL’s decision to suspend Connor McDavid for two games. We strongly disagree with the decision and it is difficult to accept for our team and, most important, our fans at a critical time of the season. We will unequivocally support Connor as he explores his options.”In Edmonton, anything less would have almost been considered an act of treason.Most NHL fans, of the Oilers or any other team, were probably expecting a small fine, at most.At McDavid’s salary, it turns out to be a rather large fine: $134,408.60.Returning from missing a game with the flu Thursday to record a goal and an assist, the two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, who won the Hart Trophy two years ago, will not play Saturday night at home to the Anaheim Ducks or Monday in Nashville.Two games is fair, if that’s the rule of thumb for such incidents by first time offenders for an unintentional happening. But that’s hardly the history.And getting a two-minute penalty out of the referees for some of the very intentional acts committed to the person of arguably the No. 1 attraction in the league? This looks and smells like the NHL announcing to one and all that it treats its superstar player with the same rules of justice as all the others. And that would be fine, if it were true and worked both ways, but it doesn’t.To my eye, as McDavid went to throw a shoulder into Leddy, who lost his balance a bit and the result was McDavid’s shoulder making contact with the head of the defenceman, who returned to finish the game.If a hit to the head is a hit to the head and is two games, then that’s one thing. Stuff happens. Move on.But it’s McDavid and everything else involving the player, who has accumulated the grand total of 88 minutes in penalties in 267 games so far in his career.And … well, lets go back.There have been so many examples.Let’s take the back-to-back games in Los Angeles and Anaheim in early January.In L.A., Drew Doughty sent McDavid staggering back to the bench from the effects of a world-class elbow to the jaw and was shown on TV laughing on the Kings bench. He didn’t even get the two minutes.The next night in Anaheim, the Ducks Hampus Lindholm crosschecked McDavid in the numbers and sent him headfirst into the boards in full view of a referee and again didn’t get a penalty.Both were intentional. Where was the department of player safety on those two incidents?When the Oilers returned to practice the next morning in Edmonton, coach Ken Hitchcock had seen enough in his short time coaching McDavid.“We’re a league that is supposed to showcase our top players and the tug of war on him is absolutely ridiculous. I can see the whacking and hacking going on when he’s got the puck, but to me, it’s all the stuff behind that doesn’t allow him to showcase his speed. I think it’s a real disservice to a player like him. He’s not allowed to play the give-and-go. It’s like give-and-hold.“I’ve watched it for a month and never said a word. You are never going to hear Connor complain. He’s going to play through it. He isn’t going to stop playing when you put a stick on him.”McDavid has dealt with all of that without saying a word. But let him commit an unintentional, no harm incident and they throw the book at him?It’s amazing that this just-turned-22-year-old talent has produced 85 points in 58 games with what he has to play through, and now he has to sit out two more.McDavid continually picks himself up and just goes back to playing hockey. In this case, he should have been hit with a fine and allowed to do just that on Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday.The young man never asked for a Connor McDavid vs. The Refs controversy that followed the Hitchcock eruption. And he didn’t ask for the Connor McDavid vs. the NHL controversy that’s out there now.E-mail: email@example.comOn Twitter: @ByTerryJonesOil Spills podcast: Trade deadline approaches with Edmonton Oilers in sell modeThe Edmonton Oilers are indeed sellers for the 2019 NHL trade deadline coming up on Feb. 25. They dealt goalie Cam Talbot to the Philadelphia Flyers for Anthony Stolarz in order to clear salary cap room for defenceman Andrej Sekera, who returned to the Oilers lineup from injury.But can the Oilers under interim general manager Keith Gretzky reasonably do much else besides give players away for middling draft picks to try to clear salary off the books?Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud. You can also listen via the player below.