From what I can tell, last night’s incident between Jannik Hansen and Marian Hossa is one of the more polarizing we’ve seen this year. Hell, I couldn’t find a video that wasn’t labelled “CHEAP SHOT” or contained commentary explaining why it was totally clean or had the Blackhawks announcers immediately villifying Hansen. Point is, make up your own mind here.

The facts:

The puck came out into the neutral zone area towards Hansen and Hossa, the latter having body position. Because of that, Hansen jumps a little and reaches up to snare the puck from behind Hossa. In the process – either intentionally or unintentionally, Hossa takes a rap off the back off the dome, and finds himself face down. He left the game, and wouldn’t return. No word on his injury as of yet. Hansen has a clean history, but apparently this play will be looked at by the league.

My opinion:

It’s too tough to say whether Hansen meant to or didn’t, so the League will find it impossible to suspend Hansen. I think they’ll fine him for a reckless play, which I’m not even sure it was (if he was in fact innocent in his intentions, it’s more unfortunate than reckless), but I think they’ll want to appease the Blackhawks who are none-too-pleased about it.

Your opinion:

In the comments, we’d love to hear if you think this was a malicious play, or just a hockey play. The caveat: you have to honestly list your favourite team (I have no dog in the fight as an Isles guy, but I’m from British Columbia, so do with that what you will). That doesn’t mean if you’re a Blackhawks fan and you think it was an intentional head shot that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think we’ll get a pretty good idea just how down the line this one is.

Comments (103)

  1. Flyers fan, can’t see much wrong with this. Having said that, there may be another angle that’s more conclusive.

    • Penguins fan. It looks to me like he was reaching up to grab the puck with his hand. He seems to realize he is not going to get it, because Hossa has better body position. His reaction to this is to push Hossa, but being that his arm is already up, he happens to get him in the back of the head.

      Hard to say either way, but that is just my guess.

    • Canucks fan here.

      I didn’t think the hit to the head was intentional.
      The situation was basically a jump ball type scenario but Hossa having better body position. Unlike basketball, hockey players are allowed to push or bump each other in competing for loose pucks even though one player has apparent better body position, just as long as the contact doesn’t drive another into the boards or cause contact with the head.
      I think Hansen attempted to reach for the puck while making contact with Hossa. Unfortunately part of his arm contacted Hossas head either on the way up or down.

  2. Full disclosure: I’m a Blackhawks fan. My opinion of this hit is that none of us can fully know Hansen’s intentions, but from what I’ve seen on the video and can glean from Hansen’s past, it was likely unintentional. It was, however, reckless. The same way a player is culpable if his stick inadvertently hits another in the face, he must remain in control of his body and extensions thereof. I could foresee a suspension of a game or two, but wouldn’t be upset or surprised with a fine and nothing more.
    -Hackett

    • hawk fan, agree with hackett here. it was unintentional but at the same time whenever a part of your body is in the area of another players head you have to be accountable for it. really think people should watch the TSN panels debate on this and listen to aaron ward who basically outlines this. this play is glorified because of the parties involved (hossa and any canuck) similar to the cooke incident. if it was anyone else on chicago vs any other team we wouldnt be discussing it i.e. setoguchi cross check

    • Canucks fan here.

      I agree with you Hackett. It looks unintentional from the 2 angles I’ve seen. And he doesn’t have a history that would suggest that he would do something like this intentionally. But Hansen needs to be responsible for his elbows so I could see him getting at least a fine.

      And. honest to god, I’m not a homer-type fan. If it looked intentional to me I would be ripping on Hansen.

    • another hawks fan in the “stupid and reckless, not intentional” boat here.

      I’m not entirely sure what the point of throwing your hand holding the stick up in the air is, seeing as it makes it way more likely that you’re going to high stick someone, but see above re: stupid and reckless.

    • Canucks fan here. Well put Hackett. Personally I would like to see the league do more about reckless hits like this, in part because it is so difficult to determine intent so why not just make the act itself punishable by suspension regardless of intent. But given the precedents I don’t see this being suspendable… if it was, and the NHL consistently suspended similarly reckless actions (haha, yeah right) I would be okay with a suspension.

    • Agree with this.

      It does not seem pre-meditated. Even a good player can get occasional on-ice tunnel vision where you don’t see the opponent, you just see the puck and what you want to do with it. (Happens to me constantly, because I am a terribad hockey player.)

      However, it is reckless and, obviously, hazardous to be getting your arms and stick up near the head.

    • Rangers fan, kinda agree with Hackett, seemed unintentional but stupid. A fine seems likely to me.

  3. Leafs fan (until Markham gets a team)
    Unfortunate play but looks more like an accident. D-man was trying to pull the puck down and looks like Hossa came in from his blind spot in front with body position.
    Didn’t look like he was trying to play the man, just the puck.

    A similar play happened in my rec league last week, though the outcome was not as severe.

  4. Penguins fan, but I do like the Canucks over Chicago. I find it hard to believe that Hossa was even injured on this play, it looked like he sold it a bit. I understand he’s coming back from a concussion, but that was a bump on the back of the head, not a full speed open ice collision which usually causes the problems. Looked harmless and accidental in my mind.

    • Yes, Hossa, after scoring 2 goals and dominating most of the game “sold it” and sat out the remainder of regulation, overtime, and the shootout (of which he was supposed to be the third shooter). Absolutely.

  5. So, key info first: I’m an Avs fan and think that Hansen should get 1 or 2 games, though I suspect he just gets a fine.

    The way that my own homer-ism comes into play is that I think back to the supposedly clean Stuart hit on Landeskog, so bear with me. Landeskog’s head was the initial and a significant point of contact, even if the league didn’t think that it was the “principal” point of contact and Stuart didn’t target the head. But, if the league is serious about concussions (which I don’t think it is), then they need to treat incidental body-contact to the head in the same way they would treat a stick to the head. If you are expected to be in control of your stick pretty much all the time, then I don’t see why that shouldn’t be the case for shoulders and elbows. So, I approach the suspension question in the mindset of: “if Hansen had smashed Hossa over the head high stick while trying to bat a puck down and injured him, then wouldn’t a game or two be appropriate?” I realize that didn’t happen, but it is my roundabout way for explaining why I think Hansen ought to get a few games, even if I don’t think it was some sort of maliciously pre-meditated hit.

  6. Canucks fan (yeah, yeah, here we go…)

    There’s no question of intent for me, but Jannik is dumb to try and grab that puck when he hasn’t got body position on Hossa. If it’s anyone else though, they’d have been OK to get up, Hossa wouldn’t have been penalised, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I’d say he should get a slap on the wrist and a minor fine to teach him to be more careful.

    The real question is, if Hossa is this vulnerable to concussions, should the Blackhawks follow Mike Gillis’ lead on Malhotra, do the right thing, and step him to tell him he’s a danger to his long-term health on the ice?

  7. Blackhawks fan,

    ##MJD*)@F)#FJWE(JDEW(JDSOKFJRJ#(SCKKDOKWD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Gotta concur with Hackett, just seems like a most likely unintentional (but irresponsible) hockey play. I suspect blackhawks fans are worried Hossa’s brain was turned into goo after the Torres hit so they are overly sensitive and treating Hansen like he is the modern incarnate of Valdemar the Conqueror (get it? he’s Danish). Colorado fan here so no skin in the game.

  9. Canucks fan.
    While I do think it was a little reckless of Hansen, I don’t think it was intentional. But, you are responsible for your body parts and he clearly made contact with the head of Hossa. So, I guess a fine would be in order, but I really don’t think this deserves a suspension. Definitely not more than a game!

    What I’d like to know is what you’d make of the refs only giving out a penalty after the Blackhawks had decided they didn’t like it (which they also only did after seeing Hossa lay there, so no one seemed to be bothered by it initially)…
    But I really do hope Hossa is alright, great player!

  10. Wings fan (admitted bias against Hossa). It didn’t seem that bad to me. My first thought is that Hossa is officially made of glass. I laugh at Chicago as they have his cap hit for the next 50 years and he wont play. But again I admit, I don’t like Hossa (or Chicago).

  11. *Hansen wouldn’t have been penalised, I mean.

  12. hansen would never do anything intentionally…

    http://youtu.be/64tCDJEQI7k

  13. TOTALLY NOT INTENTIONAL
    http://youtu.be/fmuG7Ljfp-M

  14. He may technically be “clean,” but you’re referring to the guy who speared Adam McQuaid in the nads in the SCF and did this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbbKhSKU3D0

  15. Flyers/Blue Jackets fan…
    I agree wholeheartedly with Hacket above. At first, I thought the hit was purposeful, until I heard that Hansen didn’t have a reputation for that type of play. I could be convinced that maybe it wasn’t a cheapshot, but I absolutely agree that a player has to be held responsible for his limbs and the fact was that Hossa CLEARLY had position.

    As for John’s opinion that he finds it hard to believe Hossa was injured… Head contact is head contact and Hansen has a bit of force behind that “swat”. Secondly, not returning to the game at all is not something one does to embellishes. Thirdly, as a Pens fan, I think you’d be a little more sensitive to the whole “I understand he’s coming back from a concussion” thing…

  16. Wings fan.

    Looks unintentional and unfortunately, Hossa has a history of being on the wrong end of unintentional injury related plays. Hopefully, he’s not out for too long as he’s a pleasure to watch. No one can skate like he does.

  17. Coyotes fan with no real love for the Blackhawks. It looks more like just wrong place wrong time and unintentional. If he was intending to injury him it seems like there would be easier ways to go about doing it.

  18. intentional or not….isn’t the rule “you have to control your stick”?……I’d imagine the same should apply to your elbow/forearm. I also find it hard to believe that he is that uncoordinated/slow to be a full second behind, the puck is gone (down to the ice and our of reach of his hand) already as he follows through with the elbow to the back of Hossa’s head.

    Hossa reckless headshot & Hossa injured on the play, they better give Hansen a game or two.

    Hockey fan (we all hate the canucks)

  19. Hawks Fan:
    Hit looked unintentional to me. Hansen might get a fine and to me that doesn’t matter anyways. I’m more concerned about Hossa than Hansen. I am however still waiting for Gillis’ comment that will say that Hossa intentionally jumped into Hansen’s forearm.

  20. I’m primarily a Pens fan, but the Hawks are number two in my heart. I agree with dwreck. If – and I agree that’s a big “if” – the league is serious about head hits, it has to treat them differently from other “reckless” plays. I’m not sure how we don’t get that your head houses your ~brain, which is an important organ in the grand scheme of things, more important than teeth or a knee, or even an Achilles tendon. So, once I got over the sick feeling of seeing Hossa lying there on the ice again, I’d have to say it wasn’t intentional. But it was still head contact and should be addressed.

    Also, once someone is completely healed from a concussion, they’re no more susceptible to another one than someone who hasn’t had a concussion. Hossa is ~not made of glass.

  21. I’m an Oilers fan. It looks intentional to me, if you follow where the puck goes and where Hansens arm goes, as the puck is falling down, he continues to drive his arm up into the back of Hossa’s head. Hansen should get 10+ games for this, but the league will probably just fine him because they don’t actually have the guts to punish guys properly.

  22. Canucks fan. No intent to injure. Okay with Hansen sitting a few games for recklessness. Hope Hossa is okay.

  23. Canuck fan, and big Hansen fan in particular

    Right off the bat, I thought zero intent and no way he should be suspended. Ya, you have to be in control of your stick at all times, but high sticking and elbowing rules are not the same rule.

    Serious question, what does the official rule book say? Do you need to be “in control” of your elbows in the same way you do you’re stick? That would definitely sway my vote.

    I was also really caught off guard with how badly Hossa went down. A bump like this could happen a dozen different ways, should Hossa be out on the ice yet if this can do that much damage? Maybe he should take a page out of Kariya’s book and call it a career.

    Speaking of Kariya, how do people call Hansen a dirty player in the likes of Kaleta? Google any hockey player’s name and you’ll find a YouTube clip of him doing something stupid. If you don’t, they’re either a superstar or aren’t playing hard enough. Everyone crosses the line now and again. But to put Hansen in the same sentence as a guy who has a history of headbutts and ended Kariya’s career with a blatant elbow, just to name a few, is mind blowing.

    • Can’t believe how many people are trying to swing the blame on Hossa (not just here, but on other sites as well). The play may develop “innocently,” but the follow-through and end result on Hossa obviously speaks to the impact of the action. I see a cheap-shot artist that takes advantage of an innocuous looking situation to do some damage to the guy with 2 goals in this game that has had concussion issues.

      I’m a Hawks fan.

      • “cheap-shot artist”

        Canucks fan here. You’re entitled to be angry about what happened, but cheap shot artist? That implies that Hansen has a history of deliberately hurting players. Which is absolutely not the case.

        • Except the SCF against Boston?! Andrew Ferrence, the goal he scored after hacking whoever that was down like a redwood. The hawks even saw his reckless, “not in control of his stick” thing last game where he slashed Bolland.

      • I’m not blaming Hossa at all. I think the fact that he didn’t return, despite the game going to OT, showed he was legitimately hurt. I was jut surprised at how hurt he got from something that doesn’t seem all that dangerous at first glance

      • If I was a fan of a team that wasn’t the Blackhawks, I’d probably be very keen to see Hossa retire too.

  24. Blue Jackets fan.

    I think it is a combination of both. As I see it, Hansen is trying to make a play on the puck but realizes Hossa is going to get it, which is where he initiates contact with Hossa to try and either knock Hossa out of the way or prevent Hossa from making a play with it. I don’t think he was trying to knock him out, was probably aiming more for the upper back/shoulders (and I think Hansen’s postgame comments support that).

    So yeah, intent to hit Hossa, no intent to hit him in the head. That to me is some games, mostly for recklessness (similar to the language they used for the Keith ban last season).

  25. Caps fan. Trying to determine players intent in these situations is never going to be easy. That being said, I certainly do not think Hansen approached Hossa with the intent to throw an elbow at the back of his head. If I had to guess, he saw the puck coming in the air, decided to attempt to reach to glove it down, say he was not going to get to the puck and decided his best bet was to hit Hossa. Unfortunately, with his arm/elbow up reaching he ended up hitting Hossa in the head.

    I am sure most folks that have played hockey or similar sports have been in a situation where they were fighting for a puck/ball, the opposing player wins possession and in a split second you end up reacting and doing something silly like tripping or hooking and afterwards think “what the heck did I do that for?” Which brings me to my opinion of this hit and these types of hits in general. My opinion is, if the NHL wants the blows to the head to stop they need to quit trying to determine intent and start handing out fines/penalties and suspensions for hits directly to the head, intentional or not.

    • over_head hit it on, well, the head…..intent shouldn’t matter….too hard to determine….was the hit to the head? Yes. then penalize/suspend/fine the player.

  26. Team: Penguins (and I’m not one who hates Hossa for leaving)

    It doesn’t look malicious at all, but reckless in the same way that most high sticks are. He was reaching for the puck and should have realized that Hossa’s head was in the way, so this is anything from a warning to a small fine.

  27. Sharks fan

    I have to agree with Dan above “I also find it hard to believe that he is that uncoordinated/slow to be a full second behind…”. I’m not sure it was full second, but it was ages in hockey play time.

    If he really didn’t want to hit the head then he would have lowered or moved his arm to the left when he missed the puck, he didn’t, so there should be at least a game or more plus a hefty fine.

    Until they start treating contact with the head the same way they do high sticking (intentional or not, it’s a fine/suspension/penalty) there are still players who are going to not take the second to think about it. Sucks for the guys being used as examples, but they’ve got to start somewhere.

  28. Devils fan here. My opinion is that this is the definition of reckless play. If the puck is in the air and you want to pull it down, you can’t do it by jumping off of the guy next to you.

    The shortest distance between Hansen’s hand and the puck is straight through the back of Hossa’s head. He doesn’t have to knock Hossa over to get the puck but he tries to and in doing so he makes contact with the back of Hossa’s head.

    Is it intentional? Not likely. Is it reckless? Absolutely.

    • Leafs fan. I agree with Rich. I really don’t see intent but then as others have noted, that is awfully hard to prove in a situation like this one. Reckless??..a bit sure.

      But lets face it. If this wasn’t Hossa, or any other player with previous concussions,are we even having this discussion?? I don’t think Hossa sold it. It has been proven that players that have had concussion(s) are more susceptible to get another one. If a player who had not had a previous concussion been hit like Hossa was it wouldn’t even show up on the hightlight reel as I really doubt they would have been hurt at all. This is NOT a knock against Hossa.

  29. Ceiling fan.

    I think Hansen is a douche.

  30. Looks like it was accidentally on purpose. Kind of a ” I’ll go for the puck, but if I miss it I’m gonna make it worth while.” type play Makes me wonder if this isn’t a little payback for the Keith/Sedin hit from last year. (Flames fan)

  31. Canucks fan. Hate the Hawks. Love Hossa. Hope he’s better immediately. Agree with comments that the incident is a perfect storm – canucks, hawks, star player head shot. If it had been the hawks and minne or the canucks and detroit, we’re not having this conversation.

    Control of your arm should be just like control of your stick – intentional or not, you hurt another player, you get suspended. I believe the new head shot rules would support that?

    I was thinking three games. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got five for no other reason that it matches Keith’s suspension.

  32. We all knew retribution was going to come, eventually, for Keith’s elbow to Sedin last season which knocked him out for weeks.

    Little did we know he would do it on the exact same play. Well done Mr. Hansen, well done. I’d say they call it even now.

    Flames fan btw.

  33. Bruins fan here. I do think Hansen was try to hedge his bets on this play. I think he was trying to partially play the body (not the head, which is clean) in case Hossa retrieved the puck and was able to make a move up ice. Because he was trying to remain in a defensive body position and go for the puck at the same time is why this play happened.

    I don’t think he meant to elbow him in the head but whether or not you mean to do something doesn’t make it right or wrong. An elbow to the head is just that… an elbow to the head. It was a bit reckless. Because he made an illegal play and because someone was injured on the play I can see him getting a small suspension. I don’t like the fact injuries get factored into the equation for the inverse of this situation when someone acts like a complete idiot but doesn’t get more than a minor penalty because no one died on the play, but that’s just the way the league handles things.

    I will say I strongly disagree with John. A person with a history of concussions is more susceptible to having more concussions in the future. Getting an elbow to the back of the head when you don’t think someone is going to take an elbow to the back of your head, can, in fact, lead to a concussion.

  34. Flyers Fan – I think it was unintentional. He appears to be trying to jump towards the puck. I also look at the split second after he hits him and he appears to be surprised and extending his arms as if to reach out and check on him, before he gets his head back into the play.

  35. whenever I try to catch the puck I lead with my forearm and I put enough force into it to collapse a moose’s lung, even if he was trying to bat it out of hossa’s possession you still don’t lead with your forearm. I honestly can’t think of a logical reason to throw your arm like that and to me it looks intentional but its one of those things that we can never know.

  36. Hawks fan with a strong dislike of the Canucks, so take it with a grain of salt if you must.

    1) There is absolutely no way to establish intent. Do I think he saw the puck go up in the air and thought “Fantastic, now is my chance to elbow Hossa in the back of the head”? No. I think he initially reaches out to play the puck. However, he had terrible body position and continues driving his arm through after Hossa knocks the puck down, so I think that most likely his intention was to just negate Hossa from the play and keep him from doing anything with the puck. While don’t think he intended to hurt Hossa, I think he intended to initiate contact with him. The two minute penalty was the correct call in my eyes.

    2) The idea that Hossa was in some way embellishing is absurd to me. The guy had been playing an incredible game and you better believe he would have been back on the ice for OT or taking a shot in the shootout if possible.

    3) A lack of suspension history doesn’t mean you can’t point to a number of plays Hansen has been involved in that can easily be called “dirty”. This should definitely factor into any suspension decision.

    All in all, I think at the very least this warrants a fine. I don’t think a 1 game suspension would be ridiculous, especially if Hossa misses even a game.

    • Canucks fan here.
      That was a very reasonable take. I tend to agree.
      This is the second time in two days I’ve met a reasonable Blackhawks fan, as opposed to, oh, proHockeyTalk commentators.

  37. Bruins fan – Burn Matt Cooke at the stake.

  38. I don’t think anyone has really given the response indicating what appears to be intentional contact, but reckless and therefore unintentional contact with the head.

    I have a hard time believing Hansen’s intention was to give Hossa a lump on the head, but I also have a hard time believing that his actual idea was to catch that puck. Put some pressure on your guy, make him feel you there, and force him to rush a decision to move the puck once it comes down (near his own blue line). I think Hansen probably had the right idea here, just maybe executed it a little poorly.

    Hawks fan.

  39. I can’t say definitively, but what it looks like to me is that he initially goes for the puck and then sees he won’t beat Hossa to it and then goes to give him a forearm to the back but hits his head.

    I think he meant to hit Hossa, but I don’t think he meant for the contact to the head.

    Still, reckless and deserves to be punished as such. I’d say 2 games.

  40. raps fan, (boycotting is fun :D) sucks to be hossa dude, all-around stupid play by hansen, 1-3 games or a fine

    anyone who thinks hossa is embellishing is looking way too into this, people embellish for way less things, let someone punch you in the back of the head unexpectedly and see how you react, wether hes hurt or not, 99% of you would of reacted the EXACT same way

  41. NJ Devils fan here.

    Intention does not excuse this play. A hit to the back of the head like this has to be a suspension, to me.

  42. NYR Fan. Potvin Sucks.

    Whether it was intentional or not, it was a hit to the head. That needs to be punished Every. Single. Time. While it is not clear whether it was a the unfortunate result of a dumb hockey play (1 game minimum in my view), or the foreseeable result of a dumb hockey play (5 games minimum in my view), we need to start making players think about their actions. Sure, we’re going to punish some guys for pure bad luck, but that’s the price the NHL is going have to pay for player safety some times.

  43. Blackhawks fan with a strong penchant for sunbelt teams (SJ, LA, CAR, TBL, & FLA). Hockey fan in general, and will watch just about any team, any level, play.

    I will agree w/ folks who say that historically, Hansen is not a “dirty player”. Hansen’s had concussion(s) of his own, and you might also recall that Shea Weber once pounded him face-first into the glass from behind (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhMQOLsEqR8), which Weber was fined for, and fortunately Hansen wasn’t hurt on that play. The league likes to say you need to “be in control of your stick”, and since they’re cracking down on head shots, and there’s a multitude of penalties related to how you hit people (including one called “elbowing”), it’s safe to say you’re supposed to be in control of your body, too.

    Had discussions last night w/ a couple people who felt that if you’re reaching for something, the elbow often leads. I’ve played enough softball that I felt pretty secure saying if you’re reaching for something, you lead with your hand, but to test it out, I went to my cabinets and grabbed stuff off high shelves … the elbow comes up, sure, but it’s led by the hand.

    In this case, it’s about positioning. If you’re Hansen, are you *realistically* going to be able to reach a puck if somebody is between you and the puck AND has the obvious better position for it? I’m sure players will talk about speed of game, etc, but IF Hansen’s intent was not to injure Hossa but rather simply try to knock him off the play/check him, he could/should have thrown his arm further back so it would have been his chest colliding with Hossa’s back instead. Hansen probably didn’t intend to injure, but it certainly was reckless, and from looking at the videos repeatedly, it would seem there’s enough time to have positioned himself better versus risking hitting Hossa in the head.

    As a first offender, Hansen will most likely get fined… but since this is “the kind of hit the league’s trying to eliminate”, he may have to sit a game or two instead as an example.

    • Agree with this (another Hawks fan here). At first I thought it was unintentional with both players going for a high puck, but seeing the replays, Hansen’s hand never reaches for the puck. Rather, he leads with his elbow and shoves his forearm directly into the back of Hossa’s head. I think it’s fair to say that the play may not have been premeditated (that Hansen initially was going to go for the puck), but hard to see hot it isn’t intentional.

      And why is that a player can’t be described as “dirty” just because they haven’t been suspended previously? See the youtube links above, as well as the cross check to the neck he put on Toews earlier in the game.

  44. Hawks fan (but bear with me):

    I don’ t think the hit was intentional. To me it looked like he was going for the puck, realized he was in no way going to reach over the giant that is Hossa to catch it, and decided on checking him. But his lack of control and his late split second decision ended with him being awkwardly caught between a hit and full on arm swinging. Maybe a game or two. Maybe.

    Also, I feel like Hossa gets a lot of flack for going down “too easily”. It was a blindside, elbow to the head, not purposely, but still: it hurts. Guys go down all the time, with less impact. It’s half because it’s unexpected. Anyone, with or without, concussion history would at least feel dazed after something like that. I even winced when Toews’ smacked his head off the crossbar.

  45. Blackhawks fan here. Played hockey for a long time and watching this play I have a couple thoughts. First, professional athletes have amazing hand eye coordination and Hansen’s hand misses the puck by about 1-2 feet. Second, I have no doubt that Hansen begins the play reaching for the puck, meaning his original intent was not to injure. Lastly, you can almost see the point in the play where Hansen realizes Hossa has better body position and the forearm curls in, no longer reaching for the puck but trying to put a hit on Hossa or at least knock him off balance. If Hansen didn’t jump for the puck the forearm/elbow hits Hossa in the back and we’re not having a discussion. I don’t think Hansen did it maliciously but I do think he meant to hit Hossa and just happened to accidentally hit him in the head. 1-2 games suspension.

  46. Hockey fan

    Accidental…not intentional….fine maybe, but most likely nothing.

    Did Hossa embellish?

    Either he embellished or he is a complete pussy. The hit to the head was minor at best. hossa is trying to sell the goods for sure…or, possibly, he could be a huge pussy. Hockey 20 years ago was almost as fast and twice as brutal, and we sure didn’t see the amount of ‘concussions, that we see today. I agree headshots have to stop….but some of these hockey players need to get some balls….Hossa has none.

    • Yes, Blackhawks star Marian Hossa left a close game and didn’t return so that a depth player on a team not even in their division might get suspended for an extra game or two, games that aren’t even against the Blackhawks.

      Makes sense.

    • “Hockey fan”?

      You mean clear and obvious, predictable and understandably hateable Canuck fan. I’m a Flyers fan and while I don’t see intent, but the Canucks do have a history of supporting unsportsmanlike hits and dirty shots… And this coming from a fan of the Bullies.

      • Actually no….Penguins and Flyers are my teams.

        It was a whiff of a hit that wouldn’t have knocked down a 2 year old….and Hossa fell to the ice dead. Pussy or embellished…its they’re simple questions and you answered neither.

        Your second comment ‘the Canucks do have a history of supporting unsportsmanlike hits and dirty shots…’ is just plain stupid. Every team has an agitator, some good hitters, and some good fighters. Every team has some divers and some dirty players. You have nothing to support your claim that they have this history of ‘supporting’ unsportsmanlike or ‘bad’ hits. That notion is retarded….after all, the Canucks were the ONLY team in the NHL not to have a suspended player in 2011-12.
        Every team in the NHL has given dirty shots and received dirty shots, so to stereotype one team into the category you have is utterly ridiculous. It is clear and obvious that you are a predictable and understandably idiotic Canuck hater. I must wonder though….do you stereotype people by their race or gender?
        I could care less about the Canucks, but the bad rep the media have given them is unsubstantiated and somewhat ridiculous and boring. There are 30 teams in the NHL…pass some of that hatred around.

  47. Leafs fan

    Looked like an Aussie Rules Football play.
    Not sure why he was going after the puck with his hand and over Hossa’s head.

    Fine for sure, maybe a game or two. Hard to know under the Shanny Suspension system.

    If you are Chicago though you have to be worried. Hossa went out pretty easy, and looks vulnerable to more concussion issues. Not a guy they want to lose for too long a period.

  48. Hawks fan. It’s tough. It’s clearly the definition of a borderline play. I don’t see malicious intent per se, but that game was super chippy and it’s impossible to ascertain whether or not there was an ulterior motive. Either way he shouldn’t be suspended. I know this: there WERE plenty of cheap shots by both teams on one another that were far worse than this one last night. Hossa is unfortunately a little more suceptible than others, just as Toews would be if he took a similar hit

  49. The Vancover Canucks supremacy in the west is being strangled to death by the Blackhawks. In really important games like this I have noted that Vingeualt’s Canucks have a tendency to seek out and injure opposing players when they’re hot. Remember Nathan Horton in Boston. Anyway Vinneault is a fool to think that isn’t a penalty, and Shanahan is a bigger fool if he doesn’t suspend Hansen. It’s a clear cut case of Big Hoss being to big and powerful to eliminate by regular means, so the Canucks’ bench boss sends someone in to do it however they have too. Player and coach should be fined, 10 game suspension, and Hansen should meet Hossa in the Octogan and see if he can take Big Hoss out like a man.

  50. Hawks fan. While I’d love to say it wasn’t intentional, I’ve watched too many Nucks game to say there wasn’t any intention (Nathan Horton anyone)? I can see arguments for both sides but I just have to say it was dirty

  51. Oilers fan, with a passionate hate on for the Canucks. That being said, i don’t believe there was any intent with the elbow but bottom line is Hansen put his elbow into the back of Hossa’s head. ELBOW TO THE HEAD!! 1 game suspension and a moderate fine.

  52. NYR fan with no dog in fight. I say unintentional but extremely reckless. 1 to 3 games to set example. Players have to be made responsible for contact to the head. But Shanahan will probably blame Hossa.

  53. Canucks and Blackhawks fan. Blah Blah blah I get it that is an oxymoron it is long story. Basically I appreciate talented hockey players and Chicago has plenty.

    I have a serious question regarding this scenario.

    Have we measured the intent of Jonathan Toews who threw that pizza up the boards? Rumors have been rampant that Captain Serious is attempting to make his team playoff “ready” in this shortened season. Having Marian Hossa take a mid season holiday to rest up for the playoffs is something to consider after all Hossa is getting old and with his injury history why not have him rest up awhile. What better way to make this happen then to frame the unsuspecting, who would be the sacrificial pawn in the elaborate plot to strategically rest up for the Playoffs. The Hawks should clinch a playoff spot soon. Lets not forget Mr. Toews 16 game break. ‘sprained knee” in the 2009-10 season, coincidentally the same year they won that big trophy. Wait Mr. Mush Head (Hossa) missed 25 games ‘shoulder surgery” in the same season after a second unsuccessful trip to the dance with the Detroit Redwings the year before 08-09. He had a nice 25 game break to rest up. Coincidence? I think not.

    • Yes. It was absolutely the time for Hossa to take a mini vacation…after already scoring 2 goals in that game and pretty much being a beast. I really, really hope that was an attempt at sarcasm.

    • Intention or not, there is no place in hockey for carelessly swinging your elbows around. If you elbow a guy in the back of the head that’s four inches taller than you “your an idiot. Just like the guy who skates into the blue paint full speed as if he doesn’t know he shouldn’t, or that there is a goalie there. Call it a suspension for being a Jack Ass. It’s called setting a precident.

  54. Canucks fan here!

    Objectively, if the roles were switched, and it was a Canucks player on the recieving end, I would want, at the very least, a fine. With that in mind, I trust the league’s judgement. I don’t think they can determine intent, but a short suspension isn’t unreasonable.

    • trust the league’s judgement? wow, you’re the first person I’ve seen that appreciates the “wheel of justice”

  55. Leafs fan. Totally intentional, you guys are blind.

  56. Canucks fan.

    Am I the only one who thinks he meant to give him a shot here? If not, this was a really weird way to reach for a puck in the air. Was he planning on catching the puck with his forearm? I don’t think he meant to knock him out or give him a really good shot but he did mean to give him a shove. He say an opportunity to get away with something. Same as how defensive players chop a leg or give a two hand to the back when in front of the net beceuase the ref won’t see it. I don’t think he should get suspended becuase it wasn’t an intent to injure or a huge blow, but I do think he meant to give him a small shot. I think there is a difference between a dirty hit and trying to get in small shots.

    Also all this talk about saying high sticks are the same as accidental shots like this is absurd. A player should not have his stick in the air so if you catch someone with it in the air its a pentalty. You have to take responsibility even if its an accident. But come on, now we say you are entirely responsible for any accidental hits? If i turn around not knowing anyone is around and catch someone with an elbow its a suspension? Two players accidently collide its a suspension? Even in this case. Let’s say it was an accident and Hansen either mistimes his catch, or Hossa moves slightly to box Hansen out, leading to a headshot that should be a penalty or suspension? The game is too fast for that. There must be some recklessness to the action.

  57. Penguins fan. All the angles of this are from outer space. Best I can tell is Hansen gave Hossa the old “accidentally-on-purpose” elbow to the back of the head (just reaching for this thi…oh did I hit you in the face?…Dearest me, sucker).

    I think he should be suspended, but I’m more wondering why he wasn’t suspended for crosschecking a referee “obviously-on-purpose.”

  58. “If i turn around not knowing anyone is around and catch someone with an elbow its a suspension? ”

    no but if you jack a guy in the back of the head with a forearm, yeah, you should be suspended. I’m confused, first you said Hansen meant to “give him a shot” now it’s accidental? When your elbow is over 6ft in the air, there is only one body part that it will hit….and it happens to be the part that holds the brain.

    • I said I thought the elbow/forearm was on purpose.

      But I went on to comment about what other commenters were saying on accidental elbows.

      I might be biased, but to me it didn’t really seem like he hit him that hard. I don’t think he jacked him in the head as you do. Also, how do you differentiate this situation and accidnetly spinning and elbowing? That’s why I said there must be some recklessness to the action, making it different than the high stick rule. It looks like we do disagree on the recklessness of Hansen’s actions here I guess, assuming it was an accident (although I think it was not an accident).

  59. Canucks fan here.

    I am not a gypsy, so I can’t read anyone’s mind. So I don’t know what to think on Hansen/Hossa.

    I will ask this question thought. If we’re concered about head blows, why are we not also discussing Bollig sucker punching Weise and then punching him 2 more times before Weise could defend himself?

    • The NHL doesn’t sell people elbowing people in the back of the head. The NHL does sell people punching each other in the face. Pretty simple.

      Incidentally, even if we were talking about the UFC, the same rules apply. Punch a guy in the face good enough, get a fight of the night bonus. Elbow him in the back of the head and you forfeit your purse.

  60. Canucks follower.

    Reckless, looks like he meant to give him a shot to the shoulders, but missed and hit Hossa’s head. Only way to know for sure is to put Hansen under hypnosis or hook him up to a lie detector.

    Comment on the comments here: Overall well thought out and objective. Check out Yahoo for the yellers and screamers.

  61. Sabres fan, I think it was intentional.

  62. As a guy who played at a high level with Euro imports, I can tell you that this is another case of a Euro who just doesn’t get it. Hansen will say he wasn’t trying to do anything but reach for the puck, which is probably true in his mind. The only problem is he ended up punching a guy in the head while trying to do it. Too many Euros are careless, especially with their sticks. I can’t even tell you how many times opponents wanted to fight Ponikarovsky when he was a Leaf because he did something dirty without knowing…and Pony like a giant moron would just stand there and take three punches like he didn’t know what was happening or didn’t know he had done something wrong. And for all of you blog maniacs, I’m not saying North American guys aren’t dirty, but it’s the carelessness that Euros consistently display that annoys me. At least when you carried the puck through New Jersey’s neutral zone you knew Scott Stevens was coming…you didn’t worry about him punching you in the head or playing stickball with your face when the puck was in the air.

  63. Hawks fan….
    First of all the folks who have left comments have done a great job at keeping it level headed.
    I don’t agree with how the call was made after Hossa went down, and the Hawks had a pow wow with the crew, that kind of officiating drives me up the wall and I’ve played and officiated. (not at any level near the NHL of course, I’m an amatuer at best)
    Never the less, I can’t remember ever going after a puck like Hansen did, and it’s just unfortunate that Hossa was the recipient. Focus on the next game, get Hossa as healthy as possible, someone go fisticuffs with Hansen the next time they meet, and carry on.
    Also, I’m tired of hearing about the NBA. hahaha, yah tell you something you don’t know right?

  64. Bruins fan..so you know where this is going.

    Gotta agree with the obvious, ‘accidentally on purpose’ hit to the head.
    His explanation after the game was pretty clownish too. Landing elbow first into the back of a guys head doesn’t happen by accident, anywhere ever.
    Cheap shots like that are what injures people and that’s what they’re trying to eliminate from the game. I’d fully expect a very short suspension, 1-3 games, because end of the day you still gotta be responsible for your actions. If it wasn’t a rivalry game, with two teams that have obvious bad history then there would’ve been a chance of nothing happening at all. Also to the people claiming Hansen doesn’t have a ‘history’ there’s enough youtube clips out there showing otherwise. He might not be a Cooke or an Ott but he’s no freaking Zetterburg either.

  65. Islanders fan. There is no obvious intent to injure that I can see whether or not there was. Hossa’s injury should not affect the call because a player can get just as hurt in an unquestionably clean play. It would be a stretch to suspend him.

  66. Tampa fan.

    We all knew the league was headed down a bad road when Colin Campbell started seasoning his disciplinary pressers with discussions of “intent”.

    Screw “intent”. Divining the goings-on of another person’s thought process and motivation is nonsensical and utterly subjective.

    You punish the act. He elbowed Hossa in the head. Period.

    Establish an a la carte standard for such infractions and just stick to it. If stopping headshots is an overriding priority, then shit or get off the pot and stop splitting hairs.

    Hit him with 3 games. Make 3 games the starting minimum for any blow to the head, no matter how innocuous. And proceed in severity of discipline from there.

  67. Not a fan of either team. To me it looks like Hansen was initially going for the puck but takes the opportunity to give Hossa a shot in the process since he’s there. Unfortunately that shot looked like an elbow to the back of Hossa’s noggin.

    A cheapshot maybe, reckless definitely. He elbowed Hossa in the back of the head. And like it or not the league clearly takes the level of injury into account. Absolutely should be fined, probably a short suspension.

  68. Canucks Fan:

    Pretty sure this was Matt Cooke’s doing, and he and Raffi Torres are cackling like mad in their castle in eastern Europe somewhere as we speak.

  69. If Hossa didn’t all ready have concussion issues from the past(Torres hit) we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Hanson has never had and issue with discipline throughout his entire career. He’s Danish for god sake, it wasn’t on purpose!!! The Hawks are a bunch of whiners, from their whiny coach to their captain( who grew up in the same neighborhood (St. Boniface) in Winnipeg.

  70. Islanders fan. Did not look intentional to me. He could have used better judgement in going for the puck.

  71. Canucks Fan. I agree with what most of the comments seem to say; that it was intentional to hit him, but not necessarily in the head and there was no intent to injure.

    What I want to add is that hockey is a really cheap game. There are cheap shots going on ALL THE TIME. This was just one more and it did not even look as bad as a lot of the others. While you cannot blame Hossa for the incident, it is still surprising that it was so serious on what looked like a pretty minor knock.

  72. Intention or not, there is no place in hockey for carelessly swinging your elbows around. If you elbow a guy in the back of the head that’s four inches taller than you “your an idiot. Just like the guy who skates into the blue paint full speed as if he doesn’t know he shouldn’t, or that there is a goalie there. Call it a suspension for being a Jack Ass. It’s called setting a precident.

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