Those of you who have long-ish hockey memories may recall that back in May of 2012, Anton Volchenkov absolutely wrecked Brayden Schenn during his rookie season behind the net. I didn’t remember the hit until today when it suddenly occurred to me, “Hey, maybe the car accident of a hit from last night had a little deeper meaning to it.”
Here’s Volchenkov on Schenn less than a year ago:
Volchenkov throws thunderous body checks with consistency, and doesn’t seem like a guy you’d get on a tee for revenge too often. So last night, when Brayden Schenn hopped on the ice and saw Volchenkov digging the puck off the wall on his backhand side, you can’t fault him for licking his chops.
He steamrolled Volchenkov with what my Twitter mentions assured me was a suspendable, dirty hit. Then I saw this McKenzie tweet…
Hit looked IMO more “fine” than “suspension” so we’ll see. Either way, suspect NHL may want to send message to Schenn stay grounded on hits.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 23, 2013
…and figured I should give it another look. Here it is:
My thoughts: I’ve made my feelings known about skates coming off the ice after a hit, but I’ll reiterate – when you go to hit someone hard, not just rub them out, you start low and drive up-and-through with your legs. The contact can cause the skates to come off the ice, so often people cry “jump!” when the player didn’t. However…Schenn seems to be coming up-and-through a little too early here, looking to get the extra pop, possibly because it was a guy he had on his hit list.
I’m sure you could grab a screenshot of some incidental contact with the head, but I don’t think he targeted the head. The whole thing screams grey area to me, so given that Volchenkov didn’t get hurt on the play, I don’t see a reason to suspend (only using that as a tiebreaker here, because I’m really torn. In general I say suspend to the action, not the result. BUT I’M REALLY TORN).
The NHL’s current priority seems to have shifted temporarily from “Boo headshots” to “Fans are happy, yeah? You guys are good? Big hits, amirite? Cool. Carry on,” so I’ll stray slightly from McKenzie here and say I’ll be surprised if Shanny pulls the trigger on a suspension.
UPDATE: Suspension or no, Schenn is at least going to get a talking to:
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) January 23, 2013
The new CBA rules allow for fines more significant than the ones we’ve seen in the past as well:
Permissible fines for on-ice infractions increased to an amount up to 50 percent of the Player’s Paragraph 1 NHL Salary and Bonuses (not including Performance Bonuses) divided by the number of days in the Regular Season and may not exceed $10,000 on a first-time basis, and $15,000 on a second and subsequent time basis (determined in accordance with a rolling 12-month period). All fines above $5,000 are subject to the hearing procedure accorded to Players subject to suspension not exceeding five (5) Games.