Aside from the unsurprising news of another Pascal Leclaire injury, the attention of the hockey world this morning has been focused on Nick Foligno’s blind-side headshot on Carolina’s Pat Dwyer on Thursday night.  Although he never left his feet, or raised his elbow, Foligno’s third period hit on Dwyer was a text book “headshot”.  Dwyer got up immediately and skated to the Hurricanes’ bench, and did not miss a shift.  There was no call on the play.  Had the outcome been a little different, say a stretcher was required to get an unconscious Dwyer off the ice, then maybe we would have seen a penalty called on the play.

Upon review, it’s clear that Foligno’s shoulder made direct contact with Dwyer’s head. Still, no call… nothing. Nothing but a very upset Paul Maurice.  Canes Country, for one, believes that a call would have been made had Dwyer appeared to be seriously injured, and that the officials may have acknowledged the controversial hit with a quick “make-up call” shortly after the play:

“An interference penalty called on Milan Michalek shortly after the hit had the feel of a make-up call — and it led to Carolina’s first goal — but that still doesn’t address the fact that the early season results are in and nothing has changed with the officials calling penalties on these hits, particularly if the victim isn’t laying prone on the ice. It shouldn’t take a player suffering a serious injury — or the offender displaying clear malice, of which I don’t believe Foligno had — for the call to be made.”

Unlike the hit we saw on Jason Pominville by Niklas Hjalmarsson that resulted in a 2-game suspension, Foligno’s hit has had less of a polarizing effect on the media.  The majority of writers, bloggers, and talking heads agree that a call should have been made.  The NHL’s offseason emphasis on eliminating headshots and blind-side hits has not gotten through to the players, according to some, and the Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor has gone as far to suggest that Foligno should be suspended for at least one game:

“… while I do believe an argument can be made for no suspension, I am going to argue strongly for one — at least a game. The message clearly isn’t getting through. Just as parking tickets are meaningless if they cost next to nothing, so, too, with discipline in hockey. And given that the “punishment” available in fines does not even amount to pocket change — piffle, the players say — the one punishment that registers is losing games when one is healthy. In the case of Foligno, missing a game will hurt far more than the lost money…”

Where do you stand, should Nick Foligno face disciplinary action for his hit on Dwyer?  Where will the NHL’s “wheel of justice” land if it is in fact spun?

**Update**

The NHL has fined Nick Foligno for his hit on Dwyer.  No suspension, but the fine is believed to be around $2500.

We’ve also got video for Paul Maurice’s post-game comments courtesy of The Score Ottawa: