Penguins’ Neal called for boarding Del Zotto; could call from NHL be next?


Could James Neal, a repeat offender within hockey discipline circles, be expecting another call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety?

Neal, the Pittsburgh Penguins forward, was given a minor penalty for boarding after a high hit on Nashville Predators’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto late in the first period of Tuesday’s game. A replay of the hit can be viewed here.

Neal hit Del Zotto as the blue liner’s back was partially turned to the play. Neal’s left forearm also came up and appeared to make contact with the back of Del Zotto’s head.

Del Zotto stayed in the game – his next shift after the incident came early in the second period.

Neal has already had a run-in with the league for a knee to the head of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand in December. As a result, Neal was handed a five-game suspension.

Neal and Del Zotto also have a history with each other.

Last spring, the Penguins announced Neal suffered a concussion after an elbow from Del Zotto when he was still with the New York Rangers. You can see the video by clicking here.