suspension debate

Report: Claude Giroux to meet with league over Zubrus head shot


According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Flyers forward Claude Giroux will need to explain himself to Brendan Shanahan later this morning.

Kypreos reports Giroux will meet with the league at 11 a.m. ET today over his late head shot to Devils forward Dainius Zubrus. Giroux’s hit came late in the second period and earned him a two-minute penalty for an illegal check to the head.

Giroux’s hit and now apparent meeting with the league now puts his status for Game 5 in doubt. If the Flyers have to go into an elimination game without their top offensive player, their outlook for survival is bleak. For what it’s worth, TSN’s Bob McKenzie says Giroux’s hit was a textbook Rule 48 violation and the last time we heard that from him was in regard to Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa.

Ovechkin’s hit on Girardi raises questions; Hunter calls it “incidental contact”


One of the more memorable plays from the Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Rangers was seeing Alex Ovechkin lay a huge hit on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during the second period. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for charging thanks to him leaving his feet to make the hit. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.

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After the game, Caps coach Dale Hunter told Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times he thought the hit wasn’t as menacing as it appeared.

“It was more incidental contact where both of them were protecting themselves and trying to get out of the way,” Hunter said.

Dan Girardi told Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the play but did say Ovechkin hit him in the head.

“He hit my head a bit there, I think it was the right cal,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure what it was, charging or interference. My head’s kind of there, I think he’s just playing the game hard.”

Meanwhile, Ovechkin said he thought the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal said the thought after the game was that there would be no supplementary discipline for Ovechkin even in spite of him being a repeat offender.

Klesla to meet with NHL over his shove on Halischuk


Last night we saw Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla shove Predators forward Matt Halischuk from behind resulting in an ugly first period hit some thought would be suspension-worthy.

Turns out it was as the NHL will be meeting with Klesla on Sunday afternoon to see if he’ll be sitting out of Game 5 in Glendale on Monday night. Should Klesla wind up being suspended, the Coyotes will be losing their top defender and surprise offensive contributor.

Through the playoffs, Klesla has two goals and four assists and is fourth on the team in points. Losing him would make things a bit harder on Phoenix as they’d be looking to clinch the series. Halischuk was not seriously hurt on the play as he left the game briefly but returned.

Arron Asham to have face-to-face hearing over Schenn cross check


Arron Asham’s brutal cross check to the throat of Flyers rookie Brayden Schenn didn’t go unnoticed by the NHL.

Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports Asham will have a face-to-face hearing with Brendan Shanahan tomorrow at 11 a.m. to discuss the hit in question. With the meeting being in person that means Asham is likely looking at a suspension greater than five games. The NHL confirms Kypreos’ report announcing hearings with both Asham and James Neal.

Asham’s hit on Schenn happened during a wild first period of Philly’s 8-4 win over the Penguins that saw numerous scrums and assorted nonsense erupt throughout the game. After the tough suspensions we’ve seen for Vancouver’s Byron Bitz and New York’s Carl Hagelin, Asham’s very poor decision is going to see the book thrown at him.

Shane Doan will meet with NHL over his elbow to Jamie Benn


It didn’t take long for the NHL to step in on Shane Doan.

After Doan’s dirty elbow to the head of Stars forward Jamie Benn during Dallas’ shootout win, the league will be meeting with Doan over the play.

Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports Doan will meet with the league at 5 p.m. to discuss the play that saw him put Benn down on the ice with a needless shot to the head. Benn was not injured on the play and Doan received only a minor penalty for elbowing.

If you’re curious whether or not Doan is a first-time offender or not, he isn’t. Doan was just fined last week for boarding Calgary’s Mark Giordano and he was also the first player suspended after the implementation of Rule 48 last season when he hit Anaheim’s Dan Sexton.

Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said after last night’s game that he feels Doan should be sat down for the hit as he told ESPNDallas,com.

“I think it is a suspendable offense. He targeted the head with his elbow. The league will look at it for sure and decide. But it’s deliberate.”

It sure looks deliberate from this vantage point. Here’s video of the hit if you haven’t seen it. If this one doesn’t warrant action from Brendan Shanahan, who knows what will from here out.

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