The NHL’s head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has declared an open-ice collision involving Troy Brouwer and Derek Stepan to be accidental.
Shanahan, the league’s senior vice-president of player safety, tweeted out his verdict for this particular case Friday evening.
Early in the third period of Wednesday’s game between Washington and New York, the Capitals’ Brouwer was cutting through the middle of the ice in the neutral zone, when he collided with the Rangers’ Stepan, who was backing up.
Stepan left the game and was put through the league’s concussion protocol, but eventually returned.
While there was initially the belief that it was an accidental collision, Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault had a different perspective immediately following the game.
The referee said that it was accidental contact and…I just looked at the replay there. If he (Brouwer) couldn’t see him (Stepan) there, I don’t know what else he was looking at,” Vigneault told reporters afterward.
“Obviously the principle point of contact was the head, so, we’ll see.”
Stepan later added that he was “fine” after the collision.