After an outcry from fans and media toward the National Hockey League for not suspending New York Rangers forward Rick Nash for a controversial hit on Tomas Kopecky, the league’s Department of Player Safety responded.
The league released a video explanation for why Nash was not suspended for a high hit on the Florida Panthers’ forward on Thursday.
It was stated during the video explanation that: “Although we do not think this was a legal hit, we also believe it does not rise to the level of supplemental discipline.”
It was also stated that Kopecky turned his back “just prior to Nash making contact, which contributes to the impact of the hit.”
The department deemed that Nash did not target Kopecky’s head and that it was not the principal point of contact.
Earlier in the day, the league’s disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, called the Nash hit “rotten” but that it was not enough for a suspension.
On Friday, the league suspended Canucks defenseman Alex Edler two games for colliding with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith behind the Phoenix net in the second period of Thursday’s game.
The Canucks released a statement Friday evening, saying the club did not agree with the league’s decision, but would not comment further.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.