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Kerry Fraser suggests that Red Wings’ Zetterberg’s high stick on Hamhuis doesn’t merit suspension

Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg's stick accidentally made contact with Dan Hamhuis during the Red Wings' 2-1 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, and a Canucks fan asked TSN's Kerry Fraser whether Zetterberg's high stick--which was posted by HFBoards' SimplySensational in .gif form...

Should merit a suspension, a la Zach Kassian's 5-game suspension for high-sticking Sam Gagner. Fraser responded as follows:

The most obvious similarity on the two plays you reference is that injury resulted to both Sam Gagner and Dan Hamhuis; albeit in varying degrees of severity (broken jaw vs. substantial cut to lip). Beyond that I see considerable differences that exist when considering the potential for player suspension.

I would argue that Zack Kassian was in control of his stick when he swung it with purpose in an attempt to make some form of contact with Sam Gagner once the Oiler forward stopped hard to avoid the body check that Kassian was in the process of delivering. I don't believe for a second that Zack Kassian intended for the swing to catch Gagner in the face and break his jaw. None the less, that was the unfortunate result of the wild stick swing used as part of an intended, but missed body check. Kassian received the appropriate double minor penalty on the ice at the time of the incident.

The careless manner with which Henrik Zetterberg brought his stick down hard as he was rolling over to regain his feet following an awkward tumble falls within the spirit and intent of the high-sticking rule. Rule references: 60.1 (Players must be in control and responsible for his stick) and 60.3 (When a player carries or holds any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent so that injury results, the Referee shall assess a double-minor penalty for all contact that causes an injury, whether accidental or careless, in the opinion of the Referee.)  Henrik Zetterberg should have been assessed a double minor on the play but no call resulted from the high-sticking infraction. Any of the four Officials could have made this call as a result of the injury to Dan Hamhuis.

While the call on the ice should have been the same in both cases there are distinct differences between these two plays when supplemental discipline is being considered. Henrik Zetterberg was in a prone position on the ice and the momentum of rolling onto to his knees included his stick travelling over the top accidentally striking Dan Hamhuis. This lack of responsibility and control by Zetterberg was careless for sure but not worthy of a suspension.

Zack Kassian on the other hand had his skates under him and I submit swung his stick intending to make contact with his opponent in some manner.  The deliberation of this act and the severity of the injury that resulted are worthy of a suspension.

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Comments

awould's avatar

I look at that and can’t imagine how anyone could think it is suspension-worthy. He wasn’t even looking at Hamhuis. Fraser describes it pretty well, just poor control of the stick. Taking into account the fact that Zetterberg is not the type of player who would intentionally swing his stick at anyone and it’s even more laughable. Sounds like Vancouver fans are going to have a tough tough time dealing with their team’s apparent mediocrity.

Posted by awould on 11/01/13 at 02:44 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Man, that had to hurt, and Z definitely deserved a double minor penalty.  Obviously it was accidental, and as awould says, Z would never intentionally swing his stick at anyone.

Posted by w2j2 on 11/01/13 at 02:54 PM ET

Avatar

I look at that and can’t imagine how anyone could think it is suspension-worthy.

Seriously

Posted by godblender on 11/01/13 at 03:14 PM ET

WolfKeeper's avatar

Look who was asking the question!!!

Canucks fans think the world (and NHL officiating) has it in for them.

Posted by WolfKeeper on 11/01/13 at 03:27 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Fine him $2499 to pacify (and insult) the bleating Canucks fans.

Posted by Savage Henry on 11/01/13 at 03:45 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

fines are no joke. They play a role in deciding future suspensions, so if an accident occurred again they could suspend him.

Posted by EDJ on 11/01/13 at 05:29 PM ET

Avatar

I’m in Vancouver, listened to sports talk radio all day today, not a single mention of this incident. In fact I hadn’t even thought about the incident since the game until I visited the site just now. You guys are doing all the bleating.

Posted by vansteve on 11/01/13 at 06:14 PM ET

Avatar

They fined James Neal for this in Nov 2011.

Posted by NathanBC on 11/01/13 at 06:42 PM ET

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I’m in Vancouver, listened to sports talk radio all day today, not a single mention of this incident. In fact I hadn’t even thought about the incident since the game until I visited the site just now. You guys are doing all the bleating.

“You guys” being who, tsn?  Hfboards?  Kerry Fraser?  The Canucks fan who asked the question?

Posted by Garth on 11/01/13 at 06:44 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

They fined James Neal for this in Nov 2011.
Posted by NathanBC on 11/01/13 at 06:42 PM ET

Interesting ....had no idea.  Looks similar to me.  Too bad the league can’t tell the difference between accidental and intentional 100% of the time.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 11/01/13 at 07:29 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.