NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan says the league didn’t like Rick Nash’s hit on Tomas Kopecky Thursday night, but that wasn’t enough to suspend him.
In a phone interview with Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy, Shanahan explained that while Nash’s hit should’ve been penalized during the game, it didn’t contain enough elements to garner supplemental discipline.
“We don’t like this hit. It absolutely should have been a two [minute minor], and probably should have been a five,” Shanahan said. “We don’t see this as being principal point of contact to the head. For a fact, we don’t see much contact to the head at all.”
Shanahan also added he spoke to Nash on Thursday night, and told the Rangers forward the hit was “rotten.”
Nash caught Kopecky late in the third period with Florida holding a 2-0 lead. He wasn’t penalized and Kopecky left momentarily before returning to score an empty-net goal, icing the Panthers’ win.
Many have pointed to the fact Nash left his feet as a reason for punishing the hit. To that, Shanahan said the NHL doesn’t suspend players for leaving their feet, but rather “leaving your feet and hitting a guy in the head violently.”
The decision not to suspend Nash has come under heavy scrutiny.
Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir wrote “pretty much everyone dropped the ball on this one,” while the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran said Nash “got off scot-free,” suggesting it would’ve been appropriate for Shanahan or the disciplinary department to issue a video/statement explaining why the Rangers forward wasn’t suspended.
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No disciplinary hearing for Nash after Kopecky hit
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.