Video: Hard hits versus illegal checks, by Brendan Shanahan


The NHL has published another video explaining its criteria for supplementary discipline. This one has VP of player safety Brendan Shanahan talking about the difference between hard, clean hits and illegal checks.

One clean hit that Shanahan showed was by Ottawa’s Chris Neil on the Rangers’ Brian Boyle in last year’s playoffs.

The decision to not discipline Neil led to criticism of Shanahan from various fans and members of the media, not to mention Rangers coach John Tortorella.

But here’s why there was no suspension:


In the video, Shanahan emphasizes that “the head needs to be both the principal point of contact and targeted,” and also that players need to be aware of their surroundings. Translation: If you’re going to cut to the middle while carrying the puck, keep your head up.

Maybe in the future all contact with the head will be penalized with no exceptions, but that’s not the case right now.

h/t Justin Bourne