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Shanahan Rules No Suspension Or Fine Regarding Kronwall Hit

Paul here posting for George who is out and about…

via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall will not face any disciplinary action from the NHL following his hit on Ryan Kesler during the third period of Wednesday’s game, general manager Ken Holland said.

NHL vice president of safety Brendan Shanahan reviewed the play and didn’t think there was anything malicious about the hit.

“They looked at, they look at everything, but (Shanahan) said there’s no suspension, no fine,’’ Holland said.

Kesler said his main problem was that Kronwall didn’t “answer the bell’’ by dropping his gloves and fighting him.

Update from George: The Free Press’s Helene St. James confirms:

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall won’t face any disciplinary action for a hit on Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler. Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed this morning Kronwall won’t be suspended nor fined.

Kesler got upset after being nailed along the boards during the third period of Wednesday’s 4-2 Canucks victory, but he said after the game that the hit “wasn’t that bad.” He was just mad Kronwall wouldn’t fight when invited to do so.

Kesler, a Livonia native, is just the latest of Kronwall’s targets to sound off after a bone-crushing hit. Teemu Selanne has done the same, as did Brian Campbell after seeing then-Chicago teammate Martin Havlat get laid out in a playoff game.

Ironically, Kronwall is one of the most genuinely nice people off the ice.

“Laid-back. Quiet. Very respectful,” goalie Jimmy Howard said today when asked to describe his teammate’s personality. “He’s so shifty as a defenseman. You see him backing off, but yet he’s so quick, and next thing you know, he’s right there in your face. That’s just one of his strong attributes that he has—he’s such a great skater to be able to show that he’s backing off and then as soon as you get the pass, he’s right there. I had no problem with the hit.”

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Comments

Avatar

awesome.  so now we have the blueprint for a legal big time hit.  Basically you skate full throttle at your opponent, knowing they have no clue you are coming, then leap off your skates at them, but before contact, you turn your back to them.  This allows you to walk away free from penalty or fine because you really had no idea what part of the body you hit. 

we should all actually thank kronwall and the incestious relationship Shannahan has with the redwings.

everyone all together please.  “Thank you Kronwall”

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 05:55 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Yes, as Shanahan has banned Wings defenseman Brendan Smith five games for a hit to the head is incestuous.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 12/22/11 at 06:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 03:55 PM ET

Man, the whining from Penguins fans is getting unbearable.

Shanahan’s job is to rule on supplemental discipline, not make comments as to whether the refs should have called it one way or another. I guarantee if you ask candidly, he’ll tell you it should have been a penalty for charging.

That’s not his department though.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 06:07 PM ET

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Actually, I think if you watch Shanahans explanation on the Engelland suspension, which was just posted, and most of the others, its pretty clear why there isnt a suspension here.

Ok, yes his feet were off the ice but:

1. he did not target the players head
2. The head was not the principle point of contact
3, even though his feet were off the ice he did not drive upward while delivering the hit.
4.  He went out of his way to not hit the player with his shoulder or elbow
5.  He did not follow through after the hit.
6. The player was not injured

Also, no suspension does not mean that it was a clean or legal hit, just that it didnt meet the bar for suspension or fine.

it is completely reasonable to argue that this is a charging penalty.  If your only concern is the players skates, and not any of the other aspects of the hit, then it is absolutely charging.  However, the bar for supplementary discipline is higher then a minor penalty not being called during the game.  Shanahan cant go around throwing out a suspension everytime a minor penalty isnt called on the ice.

Posted by jwad on 12/22/11 at 06:11 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Kronner probably could have been called for charging on the play, but that’s all that maybe should have come of the hit. As far as Kesler not knowing Nik was coming, Kesler said himself that he knew Nik was coming and put his head down for a second. Nik turning his back to Kesler on the hit and “broadsiding” Kesler was probably better than Nik hitting Kesler with his shoulder like he usually does. Kesler said that it was a clean hit which makes his reaction to the hit, trying to fight Kronwall, even more silly than it was. It’s like Mickey is always wondering, why does a fight have to happen after every hit nowadays. If Nik had elbowed Kesler in the temple, then he would have had something to be held accountable for. If anything, Kesler was pissed that Nik tagged him fair and square.

And as an aside, I wish Ken Daniels would stop talking about Kesler being from Livonia. We know this by now and also Kesler was quoted in an interview once as saying that he basically went out of his way to cheer AGAINST all Michigan sports teams. He needs to quit mentioning Kesler’s Michgan connection.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 12/22/11 at 06:13 PM ET

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Basically you skate full throttle at your opponent, knowing they have no clue you are coming

Full throttle?

a) He was coasting backwards.
b) He couldn’t possibly have hit Kesler more square in the front so stop with the whiny BS about Kesler not seeing him coming.
c) No head contact.

Yes, he left his feet, and he shouldn’t have, but if you think that deserves anything disciplinary then you are out of your crybaby mind.

Posted by Garth on 12/22/11 at 06:14 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 03:55 PM ET

Except Kesler admitted he saw him coming.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 06:14 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Geez now Pens fans are whining. Ugh. Like any team that employs Matt Cooke should even be commenting on this.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 12/22/11 at 06:26 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Agreed about Cooke.  You also need to add Orpik to that.  How many guys playing have actually tried to kill an opponent.  That jerk ran Erik Cole head first into the boards and broke his neck. 

There was no penalty in this hit.  Kronwall has been known for extremely hard hits as long as he has been playing organized hockey.  This was a perfect opportunity.  Kesler had the puck, was skating down the boards right at him.  Kronwall shifted into forward, made a spin move and backed into Kesler who was knocked backward and on his ass.  Poor whiney heinie.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 12/22/11 at 07:19 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Like any team that employs Matt Cooke should even be commenting on this.

Like any team that employs Todd Bertuzzi should be commenting on this.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:25 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

You can leave your feet, just don’t aim for the head. It’s called Kronwalling and is at worst a charge with no further discipline no matter how many times you’ve done it over the years.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You can leave your feet, just don’t aim for the head.

It’s ... at worst a charge

That’s actually a completely accurate statement.  What seems to be the problem?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:35 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

That’s actually a completely accurate statement.  What seems to be the problem?

When someone does it several times over the course of a few years without discipline, it’s a problem. Kronwall amazingly has gotten away with it. At this point, he should be getting disciplined.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:39 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

If at any point, a Penguin leaves his feet and hits an opponent anywhere but the head, I don’t want to see one ******* comment about that player and that he should be suspended.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

He should be getting disciplined for something that’s a two-minute penalty?

Yeah, it was a missed call last night. Sometimes those things happen. Brooks Orpik gets several roughing minors every year, is it time to start suspending him too?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If at any point, a Penguin leaves his feet and hits an opponent anywhere but the head, I don’t want to see one ******* comment about that player and that he should be suspended.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 05:40 PM ET

So we agree that James Neal shouldn’t be suspended for what he did against Chicago the other night?

Good to know.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:43 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Brooks Orpik gets several roughing minors every year, is it time to start suspending him too?

Brooks Orpik doesn’t have a pattern of making hits by leaving his feet and severly injuring players. See Martin Havlat.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:43 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

It’s pointless to argue with you morons (Red Wings fans).

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 07:44 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So you want to travel back in time to where Rule 48 wasn’t in place and suspend Kronwall for making a hit that wasn’t against the rules at the time?

Fair enough. When does Cooke start his suspension for the Savard hit then?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Brooks Orpik doesn’t have a pattern of making hits by leaving his feet and severly injuring players. See Martin Havlat.

Also, according to this genius Penguins fan, one instance is a pattern.

I fear for the next defenseman Crosby punches in the nuts, because he has a pattern of doing that.

Can’t wait to see Malkin instigate a fight in the last minute of a game, which is very fitting within his pattern.

What a joke

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s pointless to argue with you morons (Red Wings fans).

Posted by cs6687 on 12/22/11 at 05:44 PM ET

No need for name-calling.

Ha!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 07:59 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t understand why Matt Cooke was brought up in this thread.  Most Pens fans agreed with the suspension.  The problem most had with it is that it will unfortunately never happen again.  The NHL basically made Cooke its sacrificial lamb instead of its precedent.

The whole “yeah he left his feet but…” thing needs to go.  You don’t ever leave your feet on a check.  You don’t hit a guy from behind into the boards.  You don’t target the head.  As far as if he was targeting the head, is there any other reason for Kronwall to jump there that makes any sense?

As an aside, is everyone stressing over the holidays?  Seems like everyone here posting is just in a pissy mood.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 12/22/11 at 08:23 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t understand why Matt Cooke was brought up in this thread.

Then just reread the thread. Apparently, that one fan (who may or may not speak for any of you) believes that Kronwall should be suspended for a hit that deserved a two-minute penalty because he made a play almost three years ago that would probably bring him a suspension now.

Like it or not, that hit on Havlat was not suspendable at the time because of Havlat being hit in the head. The hit that would later bring about the change that would have made that hit suspendable came from none other than your boy Cooke. There have been plenty of dirty plays, but c’mon, you have to at least recognize that the Savard hit is THE HIT which many feel finally helped bring about the change.

The change that, I’ll remind you, the guy above who happens to root for the same team you root for, would like applied retroactively. 

All I’m saying is that charging somebody where you don’t hit him in the head is not suspendable.  If Kronwall jumps into a guy and blasts him in the face, he’s going to get suspended because he’s going to deserve it.  But you can’t put him on trial for past transgressions which fell within a completely different standard without opening up the can of worms on looking back on EVERYTHING that would now fall under the league standards which were established only this last September.

Very few people believe Kronwall should have gotten off scott-free.  Pretty much every sane person believes it was a charge.  However, it was only a charge.  It was something which deserved a two-minute penalty and that’s it. 

As far as targeting the head, do you honestly believe that a crybaby like Kesler wouldn’t have said it in the postgame if he felt Kronwall hit him in the head? A jump does not always equal targeting the head. Take a look at the jump that James Neal put on Duncan Keith.  Do you think Neal was targeting the head there?  If not, then what other reason could there possibly be for Neal to have jumped there?

I think you’ll find the answer for one works well for another.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 08:41 PM ET

Avatar

I would argue that leaving your feet make a hit while also turning your back on the opponent should merit an even stiffer suspension that one where a player leaves his feet and there is contact with the head.  In most cases, the player is not actually targeting the head, but the head is hit while both players are moving.

In the kronwall hit, he is obviously not looking… with ill regard to whatever body part it contacted.  Its like arguing that by driving through a crowded neighborhood blind-folded is somehow less dangerous or the driver should be held to a lesser penalty than if a person drives carelessly through a crowded neighborhood without the blind-fold.

Both are dangereous… both should be suspendable.  But then again, it is the red wings and it is Shannahan.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 08:49 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 06:41 PM ET

+19 for every post you’ve made on this topic.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 08:51 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 06:49 PM ET

You keep implying that Shanahan is protecting the Wings, but the reality is that a Red Wing HAS BEEN suspended by Shanahan when he did something worthy of suspension while under the current rules, Kronwall has not done anything worthy of a suspension under those same rules.  Frankly, it’s getting annoying that you and a few other Pens fans keep whining about this on multiple posts in Red Wing specific blogs.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 08:57 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would argue that leaving your feet make a hit while also turning your back on the opponent should merit an even stiffer suspension that one where a player leaves his feet and there is contact with the head.  In most cases, the player is not actually targeting the head, but the head is hit while both players are moving.

You could argue that.  I would recommend against it on the grounds of it being asinine, but nobody’s stopping you.

It’s not like Kronwall was skating backward at full speed and just jumped blindly into the first Canuck whose presence he felt, like your driving analogy would tend to imply. What DOES work is that the driver, blindfolded or not, is going to be punished based upon what he does:

Blindfolded or not, this driver is driving recklessly. That is something which deserves a penalty. To move the analogy forward, this is comparable to a guy getting a two-minute minor for charging.  After all, reckless driving is not really that serious of an offense.

If the driver hits somebody, then he is going to be punished more serverely because, blindfolded or not, he’s committed a much more serious act (in this case, the more serious act would be making contact with the head. 

So there we have it, reckless driving is reckless driving and hitting somebody in the head is hitting somebody in the head, regardless of any perceived metaphorical blindfold a person gives himself.

Surprisingly, this is exactly the way the league views this situation as well.  I’ll remind you of the Brendan Smith suspension in the preseason where he was given five games for hitting Chicago’s Ben Smith in the head.  Forgive the paraphrasing here, but please trust that I feel I’ve gotten very close below with what Shanahan told the league when he released his video.

“Targeting the head can be defined as either reckless or intentional.  While I don’t believe Brendan Smith intentionally targeted the head of the player, he recklessly hits him there and therefore has been judged to have done something wrong.”

Bringing us back to the present, if Kronwall had hit the head of Kesler, the act would have been viewed as an instance where he recklessly targeted the head and therefore would have deserved supplemental discipline.

While we’re at it, we can probably trust that a guy turning at the last second to make contact with another guy who doesn’t end up targeting the other guy’s head probably did so as a result of being a functioning human being with a what must be a developed sense of both proprioception and exteroception (put simply, he knows where his body is and has a very good sense of where Kesler’s body is at the moment of action).  After all, it’s very easy to assume a professional hockey player would have those qualities, since lacking them would make his job extraordinarily difficult. Wouldn’t you say?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/22/11 at 09:05 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

Shouldn’t the argument be about Howard being totally run over and the goal not being called off due to incedental contact? That was really one of the worst blown calls I’ve ever seen.

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 12/22/11 at 10:00 PM ET

Avatar

Kronwall has not done anything worthy of a suspension under those same rules.

leaving your feet while charging into a player is not worthy of a suspension?  or it is not worthy if you are a red wing?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 11:12 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 09:12 PM ET

It is a 2 minute penalty.  JFC, next you’ll be saying that all high sticking calls that are missed should be suspensions too.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 11:14 PM ET

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While we’re at it, we can probably trust that a guy turning at the last second to make contact with another guy who doesn’t end up targeting the other guy’s head probably did so as a result of being a functioning human being with a what must be a developed sense of both proprioception and exteroception (put simply, he knows where his body is and has a very good sense of where Kesler’s body is at the moment of action).  After all, it’s very easy to assume a professional hockey player would have those qualities, since lacking them would make his job extraordinarily difficult. Wouldn’t you say?

No, I wouldn’t.  I would say it is a cowardly play of a player trying to protect his own knees in a reckless collision he himselft has created

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 11:14 PM ET

Avatar

JFC

classic. 

 

 

 

 


merry Christmas

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 11:16 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 09:16 PM ET

Seriously?  Now you’re just trolling.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 11:27 PM ET

Avatar

Seriously?  Now you’re just trolling.

Shanny will not have this position forever… so if you want to stay on the “its fair… its fair” bandwagon good for you.  Truth is, the suspensions have been incosistent.  The penguins have a defensemen on the injured list because of a concussion from an elbow that was so blatantly bad in the middle of the ice and it goes uncalled for a penatly as well as no suspension.  The defensemen is still not playing.

there is a reason why there is such a thing as checks and balances in government… so that inapproriate relationships do not affect the rules.  Shanny has such a relationship with the redwings organization.  good for redwings, bad for most of the rest of us.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 11:33 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Frankly, it’s getting annoying that you and a few other Pens fans keep whining about this on multiple posts in Red Wing specific blogs.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/22/11 at 06:57 PM ET

You’d be touchy too if your team were the poster children for suspendable plays.  I wish the Pens fans around here would come up with a new go to line… its just getting pathetic for them.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/22/11 at 11:34 PM ET

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I wish the Pens fans around here would come up with a new go to line… its just getting pathetic for them.

really?  like Gary Buttman has it out for my team?  Oh, no… nevermind, the redwings own that one.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 11:39 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

really?  like Gary Buttman has it out for my team?  Oh, no… nevermind, the redwings own that one.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 09:39 PM ET

As for the other Wings fans here, I haven’t seen anyone bring up the commissioner in relation to the Kronwall/Kesler question.  Whereas I’ve seen Pens fans being lame asses in every thread on the topic.  I don’t really understand why you guys have such strong feelings on the topic.

As for myself, you’ll of course do me the courtesy and find where I said that, won’t you?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 12/23/11 at 12:00 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

leaving your feet while charging into a player is not worthy of a suspension?  or it is not worthy if you are a red wing?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/22/11 at 09:12 PM ET

If you’ll permit me to answer a question with a question, if this is your position, then why wasn’t James Neal suspended for charging Duncan Keith earlier this week?  More to the point, why weren’t you calling for one?

He left his feet to charge a guy and didn’t make head contact.  It’s the same kind of play you’d have Kronwall suspended for.  What gives?

No, I wouldn’t.  I would say it is a cowardly play of a player trying to protect his own knees in a reckless collision he himselft has created

So you wouldn’t assume that a professional hockey player has a sense of space and the objects (including himself) which fill that space?  That seems like a pretty bad position to take considering the facts. 

So if I get your logic straight, when going after a big hit that may involve you hurting his knees, a player should not do anything to protect his knees?  That’s just silly. As far as a reckless collision… like I said, that’s a two-minute penalty that Kronwall should have gotten.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/23/11 at 11:21 AM ET

Surfer Ken's avatar

Hockey is a contact sport and rule number 1 is to keep your head up.  If you have a problem with that then go watch/play basketball.

Posted by Surfer Ken from San Clemente on 12/23/11 at 09:44 PM ET

Avatar

We all can agree that the NHLOA is
very inconsistent in they’re yardstick
of measuring of what is and isn’t a
penalty. There’s also a committee
that votes on suspensions.
Lastly, agreed that the Gary Nuttman
is pro-U.S teams.

Posted by Dac on 12/26/11 at 11:42 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.