So last night Shea Webber bounced Henrick Zetterberg’s head off the glass twice, the intent was obvious; Weber intended to repudiate the questionable check with some “on ice justice” with a hit to the head (you can see a .gif here). With head contact such a high priority of the NHL and its Player Safety department, headed by Brendan Shanahan, many thought there would be penalties coming down for Weber.
Well, Weber was seemingly given a “slap on the wrist” – a maximum fine of $2500 – for his actions. Although many of you die hard puck-heads will be screaming at me; this was NOT ENOUGH and sends a message that the “wild west” attitude is acceptable in the playoffs.
“This was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg’s head into the glass,” Shanahan said in a statement. “As is customary whenever supplemental discipline is being considered, we contacted Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.
“This play and the fine that addressed it will be significant factors in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs.”
It seems to me that Shanahan took the VERY easy way out and did not suspend Weber, which is contrary to the last video on the Player Safety Video page of NHL where Nate Prosser of the Minnesota Wild was suspended one game for a head-butt in a scuffle after a play. The last time I understood the rules it was an infraction to BOARD someones head, intentionally.
So what gives? Is the head an issue or is it not? So far Shanahan has whiffed on this apparently easy one-timer.