More headshot controversy in the NHL tonight, this time coming in the form of Dane Byers of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Some of you may be saying “Who?” and you’re not totally wrong for wondering. Byers has struggled to get regular ice time in the NHL since making the jump to the pros five years ago. IN FACT he was traded twice last season and played for three different AHL teams. He was called up for this game on an emergency basis.
In the ensuing video, Byers catches San Jose Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins with his head turned and blindsides him coming out of the Sharks zone. Lets make no mistake about it, Desjardins is a pretty gritty/tough player and this is a perfect example of a guy having no idea he’s about to get buried. Given previous calls against blindside hits, this play strikes me as a suspension.
My guess is Dane Byers gets one game for this hit at either the AHL or NHL level. Between the blindside and follow through I suspect the NHL won’t think too highly of this play. Plus, Byers was given a game misconduct and had 17 PIMs in the game. All of these point to bad news for Dane.