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No suspension or fine for Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall

According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall escaped a suspension or fine for his hit on Jakub Voracek last night:

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall will not be suspended or fined for his hit on Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek on Tuesday, an NHL spokesman said.

Kronwall leveled Voraceck with a shoulder check to the head midway through the second period. Voracek left the game and ended up receiving stitches in his mouth. He was to be re-evaluated today.

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, and the Free Press’s Helene St. James confirm, though both Khan and St. James say the Wings haven’t heard a peep from the NHL about the hit. TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported the news.

Update: Per CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio:

Voracek uncertain of status for tomorrow. They r watching for concussion. Says hit was clean and his fault

Also, from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi:

Voracek says he’ll know Thurs. if he can play. Sounded subdued. #Flyers
...
Voracek says it was a clean hit, the type that should not be outlawed. Blamed himself for having his head down. #Flyers

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Niklas Kronwall escaped a suspension or fine

Is someone really escaping a suspension when he throws a legal hit?

Posted by Garth on 03/07/12 at 02:52 PM ET

peiz11's avatar

I was stuck watching the Flyers broadcast so what was the sickest part of the hit was Bill Clement who went on a rant that ended with assuming Kronwall wanted to kill Voracek basically. I never loved Clement but lost all respect for him listening to him go on and on about terrible it was that he targeted the head, should be kicked out, etc.

Big hit…yes. Voracek never learning to keep his head up while playing hockey…yes. That was probably the cleanest Kronwall hit in a while since there was no question he stayed on the ice and elbow stayed fully in for once.

Posted by peiz11 from Minneapolis on 03/07/12 at 03:01 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Get ready for all the “Red Wings get away with murder because Shanahan used to be a Red Wing” bullshit. In all honesty, I’m surprised that they didn’t decide to fine him. I agree with Garth that it was a legal hit, but I also know the NHL.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/07/12 at 03:02 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I’m shocked. I like the decision for several reasons, but I’m still shocked.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 03/07/12 at 03:07 PM ET

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Kronwall leveled Voraceck with a shoulder check to the head

i wish people would stop describing it as a check to the head.  The AP article that TSN posted said Kronwall “blasted Voracek with an elbow-to-face shot”

It was more like Voracek ran face first into a body check. 
at least the NHL got it right

Posted by jwad on 03/07/12 at 03:08 PM ET

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Peiz,

I think Clement’s freakout was more about the refs not blowing the whistle because Voracek was in serious trouble rather than the hit itself.

Posted by Mike on 03/07/12 at 03:10 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“It was more like Voracek ran face first into a body check”

That’s whay I don’t get. I’ve played a lot of hockey and even with your head down, you should at least know that if you’re skating up the boards like Voracek was, that a Dman is likely going to be there. And if you’re on that side of the ice against Detroit, you should realize that #55 might be looking for you.  It’s just like that hit that Stuie had against Umberger in the playoffs a couple years ago. The BJ was coming straight up the boards right toward the defender, reaching for the puck. It was just a recipe for disaster. I’m glad that the guy is ok (kinda) but I’m also happy that Kronner didn’t get suspended. It wasn’t warranted in this case.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/07/12 at 03:12 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“The BJ was coming straight up the boards”

Did I really just type that?  shut eye

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/07/12 at 03:22 PM ET

sjketcheson's avatar

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 03/07/12 at 12:22 PM ET

LOL! Priceless

Posted by sjketcheson from the floor of the Hasek on 03/07/12 at 03:27 PM ET

YYZerman's avatar

Peiz,

I think Clement’s freakout was more about the refs not blowing the whistle because Voracek was in serious trouble rather than the hit itself.

Posted by Mike on 03/07/12 at 12:10 PM ET

At first it was about the whistle, but after he was talking like an idiot. Even to the point where the Flyers got a penalty for trying to start sh!t. He even said about Ranaldo getting a 2 min unsportsmanlike that he “needs to do a better job, Ranaldo needs to sneak up on them next time”.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 03/07/12 at 03:27 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m shocked. I like the decision for several reasons, but I’m still shocked.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 03/07/12 at 12:07 PM ET

Really, the only argument for a fine or suspension is “I know what the rule states and can see that this hit fits the letter of the rule, but I no longer agree with the rule and have decided to supersede my authority and change it so I can punish a guy.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/07/12 at 03:36 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Nope good Hit, Brutal hit but good & Clement, Jones & the rest of those idiots that do Flyer games are a joke!

A Couple of nights ago Jones said on NBCsportsNetwork that TB shutdown Geno Malkin, Probably made a lot easier by the fact that his knee was surgically repaired! LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 03/07/12 at 03:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Shanahan and the league have set precedence that if a player if reaching and bending down and that causes the head contact, that it is then the player’s responsibility.  Essentially this is the league’s way of saying “Get your head up, kid”.

The fact that Kronwall’s form was consistent with his other hits (backing in, arms tucked) had to also help.  I’m sure they’ve had to look at several Kronwall hits in the past and deemed them legal, and this time they saw his form, saw Voracek leaning, and honestly at that point it was fairly cut and dry.

The real problem here I see is the sense of retaliation:  Philly is so concerned with getting Kronwall that there’s not even an opportunity after the whistle to sort anything out.  Even if Kronwall wanted to (I don’t know in the least if he did or would have) he could not have gone over to say something to Voracek or even give him a stick tap to the backside.  So of course it comes off as cold.

*sigh*  Just no personal accountability in today’s world.  Not even just in hockey…

Posted by Primis on 03/07/12 at 03:38 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

well primis they did it with the Nystrom hit on Letang said that Letang lunged & put himself in a bad position

Posted by Evilpens on 03/07/12 at 03:45 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Shanahan and his guys usually get things right. 

Voracek skating with his head down, looking backwards was very vulnerable.  Kronwall is well known for exploiting this kind of situation.  The hit was textbook.  It was clean and the resulting exploded Flyer was as expected.

These guy need to learn to keep their head up and to cross the blue line with their head on a swivel.

No action is definitely the right call.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 03/07/12 at 03:46 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Sounds like just about everybody (except Clement whom I fortunately did not have to hear as I had Ken and Mick) agrees on this and the NHL got it right. 

What I’m disturbed about is this trend toward players thinking guys should have to get into fights to defend themselves after legal hits.  What’s up with that?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Avatar

A Couple of nights ago Jones said on NBCsportsNetwork that TB shutdown Geno Malkin, Probably made a lot easier by the fact that his knee was surgically repaired!

Yeah, that was weird, because wasn’t he talking about the playoffs?  Malkin didn’t play.  He tore up his knee and missed everything after that.

Jones seemed totally confused as to what he was talking about.  Which for him is probably par for the course.

Posted by Lex Talionis on 03/07/12 at 03:58 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

I still don’t get it. PPOC was with the head, is that not the letter of the rule as it stands right now? It can’t be the PPOC? Vorachek actually looks up at the last second or I think it could’ve been much worse, compression type hit to the top of the head. Did he target the head? No, but just because he doesn’t target it does that make it not fall into the rule anymore? I honestly don’t know at this point, I’d like to see some consistency. The Letang one, I thought he lunged/changed at the last second which is why there was nothing on this. I don’t think you could say the same thing here as Vorachek always had his head down, looking up at the last second.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/07/12 at 04:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

By the way…. Kronner’s consistency with his hitting form explains probably why he stopped Kronwalling people altogether for a while:  he apparently was working on making his form legal…

Posted by Primis on 03/07/12 at 04:08 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I still don’t get it. PPOC was with the head, is that not the letter of the rule as it stands right now? It can’t be the PPOC?

Posted by phillyd from New Jersey on 03/07/12 at 01:05 PM ET

Here, let me clear this up:

“48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered.”

That is the rule, as stated, exactly, on the NHL’s website.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=64063

Posted by Primis on 03/07/12 at 04:15 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by Primis on 03/07/12 at 01:15 PM ET

Thank you, then all the analysts out there need to read it too and stop telling us that all hits where the head is PPOC are outlawed. In that case, this hit didn’t warrant anything and that goes directly to Kronwall’s style of stand-up, almost straight up and down, style of hitting.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/07/12 at 04:19 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Thank you, then all the analysts out there need to read it too and stop telling us that all hits where the head is PPOC are outlawed. In that case, this hit didn’t warrant anything and that goes directly to Kronwall’s style of stand-up, almost straight up and down, style of hitting.

Posted by phillyd from New Jersey on 03/07/12 at 01:19 PM ET

That’s the thing though:  these “analysts” KNOW it, the rule has been discussed to death since October.  They do know it.  There have been a bunch of non-disciplinary actions now explained by the “Even though he hit the head, the player’s head shouldn’t have been there” ruling.  However, that interpretation does not make for an interesting drum to beat, so they create their own to beat instead.  It’s not even a matter of homerism or bias, it’s a matter of some people wanting or needing a crusade, and this is perfect for it.

Again, nobody seems interested in personal accountability anymore.  If there’s a “victim”, then there has to be a separate “villain”.

Good on Voracek though for owning up that it was a clean hit.  I hope he’s ok, and for his sake I hope he learned not to do it anymore…

Posted by Primis on 03/07/12 at 04:30 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

What I’m disturbed about is this trend toward players thinking guys should have to get into fights to defend themselves after legal hits.  What’s up with that?
Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 03/07/12 at 12:48 PM ET

No kidding, especially with regard to Kronwall. They’re just pissed that Kronner is so good at it and they don’t like it.

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Roanoke, VA on 03/07/12 at 05:06 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

why anyone chases the puck up the right side against Kronwall baffles me. what is this? the 50th hit like this in four years?

Posted by Rdwings28 on 03/07/12 at 05:23 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

oh yes, in other news, Sid cleared for contact, oh boy.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 03/07/12 at 05:24 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I’m really surprised that Kronwall was not fined or suspended.  Thought for sure it would be a three gamer because he hit Voracek directly head.  That’s usually when the NHL suspends players.  Oh well, I’m not complaining.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/07/12 at 06:22 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Voracek uncertain of status for tomorrow. They r watching for concussion. Says hit was clean and his fault

I thought he was a d-bag when he played in columbus, but this is the right thing for him to do/say. Kudos and get well soon.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/07/12 at 06:42 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

If Kronwall wasn’t a Swedish Red Wing, he just may have been Don Cherry’s favorite.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 03/07/12 at 07:04 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Rdwings28 on 03/07/12 at 04:04 PM ET

+55

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 07:24 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

Also remember that the Wings had an unreal shit - Philly forwards were on the ice for the longest shift of the game (my guess) and Voracek was gassed. So that might explain his mistake.

Posted by alukacs on 03/07/12 at 07:30 PM ET

Avatar

Would have been better if Kronner had buried his shot at the end of that play.

Posted by RyanVM on 03/07/12 at 09:21 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

I think when Voracek’s arms were ‘Supermanning’ it put the fear of god into EVERYONE…including Kronwall. I think the Wings were stunned and concerned, it was scary on a human level, and they never continued competing during the second period. Naturally, fans of someone who looked like they just witnessed a near miss execution were jarred into frenzy. I would be if it were Datsyuk…all the chemicals swirling in a fan’s head after a hit like that blend into a concoction of fear and bloodlust.

That being said, I wish Shanahan would post a video of WHY this wasn’t a suspension so we could shut up the whiners…I’m still hearing Bullystreet Broad fans chirp in my ear about how dirty Kronwall and the Wings are…geesh, i thought Flyers were tough guys. Wrong again…and their fans are no better than the Blues’

Posted by The Hurricane on 03/07/12 at 10:49 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think when Voracek’s arms were ‘Supermanning’ it put the fear of god into EVERYONE…

This is truth, even I felt sick when I saw that… I felt sick when I saw B. Smith lay out B. Smith.. the way he fell I thought he broke his neck.  Once you could see him coming around though it was game on.  I agree though, probably the “look” of the hit probably scared the Wings in a real life sense.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 10:59 PM ET

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Voracek says it was a clean hit, the type that should not be outlawed. Blamed himself for having his head down.

Respect for that.

Can we ignore the Philly commentator and instead focus on the issue of why the whistle wasn’t blown as soon as it became clear Voracek was in trouble? I know the rule and I understand it, but I disagree with it. I think as soon as it becomes clear a player is hurt, the play should stop. If it’s decided that the player was faking it then call a penalty for that, but otherwise player safety should trump the game.

oh yes, in other news, Sid cleared for contact, oh boy.

I don’t think anyone can deny that Sid has matured in the past couple seasons that he’s played, and, even when he was falling down from the smallest contact and getting upset at nothing, I still wouldn’t wish him to miss so long with a concussion/spinal injury/whatever they’re calling it. Of course this probably means he’ll win the Bill Masterton trophy.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/08/12 at 01:00 AM 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.