You Are Viewing All Posts In The Rule 48 Category

SHANABANNED: Nate Thompson gets two games for vicious elbow

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

By Allan Muir

If the NHL’s Department of Player Safety updates their instructional videos over the summer, Nate Thompson might want to request a copy for posterity. There’s a better than zero chance the Tampa Bay forward will have a starring role.

Thompson was dinged Saturday afternoon for two games after delivering a textbook head shot on New Jersey’s Matt D’Agostini on Friday night.

Hard to believe he was able to mount much of a defense. The case was a clear violation of Rule 48. As Sheriff Shanny noted, Thompson “recklessly target[ed] D’Agostini’s head by extending up and making it the principle point of contact.”

The evidence was pretty damning — I mean, Thompson was eyeing his target all the way and clearly had the chance to use the body instead of throwing a brutally obvious elbow — but D’Agostini wasn’t hurt on the play. And since that element clearly weighs heavily in all DPS deliberations, there wasn’t going to be a book thrown today.

Not sure a message has been sent here, but it was far from the dirtiest hit of the year. Since five of the previous 12 suspensions this season have gone for a pair of games, this call is probably just about right.


  • Published On Mar 30, 2013
  • Giroux’s hit on Zubrus gives Shanahan second chance to get ruling right

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Though Dainius Zubrus of the Devils ultimately wasn’t injured, the headshot he received from Claude Giroux (not pictured) was egregious enough to merit a disciplinary hearing. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    Will the NHL show courage and suspend Claude Giroux for Game 5 of the Flyers’ series against the Devils? A disciplinary hearing took place on Monday morning and Giroux certainly deserves a ban for targeting the head of the Devils’ Dainius Zubrus late in the second period of Sunday’s Game 4, which New Jersey won, 4-2, to push Philadelphia to the brink of elimination. But to remove Philly’s best player from the lineup in a potential elimination game would be a bold a move for Brendan Shanahan and the league’s Department of Player Safety. It would, however, show that they’ve learned from an earlier mistake.

    UPDATED: The NHL has suspended Giroux for one game. Here is the league’s statement and Shanahan’s video explanation.

    Read More…


  • Published On May 07, 2012
  • NHL tries to restore order

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Refs seem to have rediscovered the idea that sending a player to the box and leaving his team in a potentially costly penalty-kill is one of the best ways to curb on-ice mayhem. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    Perhaps Wednesday will go down as the day the NHL regained some control over the Stanley Cup playoffs and did it in the most logical manner – having the referees call penalties rather than “let the boys play.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 19, 2012
  • Red line rule won’t make NHL safer

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    The NHL game is faster because the players are in better shape and there’s less obstruction to slow them. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL’s general managers will gather for their annual March meeting next week and hints have been dropped by some to members of the media that they’d like to revisit the rule that makes possible one of hockey’s most exciting plays — the two-line stretch pass that leads to a breakaway.

    Ostensibly, this would be the GMs’ way of helping address the game’s concussion problem, the idea being that the NHL has gotten too fast in part because the two-line pass increases players’ speed and thus the force of collisions and the possibility of concussions. But various league sources say the GMs as a group won’t allow this rule — if it makes it onto the agenda — to be overturned. While there is certainly ongoing concern about concussions, the notion that the game is going to be somehow slowed to prevent them is not the direction the majority of managers want to take. Some of the less progressive GMs are still trying to turn back the clock, but they are in the minority.

    Read More…


  • Published On Mar 08, 2012
  • Nystrom’s hit on Letang bares a Rule 48 shortcoming

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font


    By Stu Hackel

    What line did the Stars’ Eric Nystrom  cross on Wednesday night in Dallas when he collided with the Penguins’ Kris Letang? Was it a legal hit? A targeted head shot? An unfortunate accident? It’s a question more easily asked than answered.

    And it’s an important one — not just for Letang who may (or may not) have suffered his second concussion of the season as a result — but also for the NHL and its ongoing quest to help keep them game as physical as possible while ridding it of deliberate attempts to target the head. This is the kind of play that falls in between those efforts.

    Read More…


  • Published On Mar 01, 2012
  • Head hits remain source of controversy

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    No ban for Francois Beauchemin for his hit on Mike Fisher was one of the NHL’s recent vexing decisions. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

    By Stu Hackel

    In the first regular season road test of the expanded Rule 48 on hits to the head, the NHL cruised through any obstacles and arrived at a solid ruling: the Oilers’ Andy Sutton was handed a five-game suspension Tuesday by the NHL for a hit to the head of Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog in a game last Friday.

    This would not have been a suspension last season. It would have been considered a legal north-south hit, non-penalized and not suspendable. In the battle against head injuries, the new Rule 48 shows a flexibility not often attributed to the NHL and those responsible for crafting it, the league’s general managers. They recognized the shortcomings of their initial Rule 48 and improved it.

    Yesterday, we looked at some of the more puzzling decisions by the league’s Department of Player Safety on boarding and hits from behind, wondering if they haven’t been too soft since the regular season began, especially in light of the tough suspensions that were handed down during the preseason. Today, we’ll look at some other rulings it has made.
    Read More…


  • Published On Nov 02, 2011
  • Five major themes for the new season

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    The Flyers are the most conspicuous of the many teams that were overhauled or made major moves. (Christopher Szagola-US PRESSWIRE)

    By Stu Hackel

    The new season is almost upon us and there will be stories to be told in the league’s 30 locales. But there are also overarching tales that will affect them all, or at least many of them. It’s the big picture that concerns us today, so here are some of the main themes — listed in no particular order of importance — that will likely provide texture beyond the wins, losses and matches decided by the postgame skills competition.

    1. Chemistry Experiments – During the 2007 offseason, after missing the playoffs, the Flyers cleared out copious amounts of cap space and remade their roster by acquiring Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Two years later, the Canadiens did the same on a larger scale. This past offseason, what seems like an unprecedented number of teams made dramatic changes to their rosters in an effort to change their fortunes.
    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 04, 2011
  • Perron’s stalled recovery, NHL rule tests, a new White Shark

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    David Perron was at the center of a contentious concussion debate last season. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

    By Stu Hackel

    David Perron has the potential to be exactly what the St. Louis Blues need: an exciting, high-scoring winger who can create and finish scoring plays. He hit the 20-goal mark in his third NHL season at 21 years old, and last season had five goals in his first 10 games as the Blues went 7-1-2.

    Perron was concussed in his 10th game on a blindside hit by the Sharks’ Joe Thornton and the Blues were never quite the same again. They missed the playoffs and Perron missed the rest of the season. Now the word out of St. Louis is that he won’t be ready for training camp and that’s just not good news.

    Perron’s plight hasn’t gotten the attention some other more well-known concussion victims (like Sidney Crosby and Marc Savard) received, but his injury was no less devastating and it seems to have had a larger impact on his team. It has served as a flashpoint for how the NHL sometimes negatively reacts to change, although this incident certainly played a role in the league recognizing the need to make Rule 48 stronger for next season.

    And Perron’s situation also serves as an important reminder of why concussions are so insidious, because every one is different and they sometimes can be very difficult, if not impossible, to immediately detect and diagnose.
    Read More…


  • Published On Aug 03, 2011
  • Will head shots decline under new Rule 48?

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Montreal’s Michael Cammalleri is all for a good, hard physical game, but wants hitters to take a lot more responsibility for headshots. (Winslow Townson/AP)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHLPA staged a golf outing this week not far from Toronto and the most prominent tidbits to emerge in the media were from the impromptu remarks that Executive Director Donald Fehr made forecasting the future of labor relations. Last week, we noted that the mini-orgy of front-loaded, long-term contracts that teams have recently doled out could well prompt some owners to press for changes during the next CBA negotiations. Given the fact that teams can’t seem to control themselves when it comes to spending, these proposals could be more exacting than the current system that the league achieved by locking out the players for the 2004-05 season, and we wondered if more labor unrest was on the horizon.

    Fehr’s remarks were meant to be reassuring (TSN video and a complete transcript from Sean Fitz-Gerald in The National Post). He downplayed the potential for a clash with team owners over the deals in question or that the cap floor is too high and forces low revenue teams to spend beyond their means. And he added, “The hockey players and the fans suffered through that seven years ago, and the owners achieved what they wanted to achieve. So, hopefully, that’s behind us.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Jul 13, 2011
  • Expanded Rule 48 may cause more confusion

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Under the proposed “new and improved” version of Rule 48, targeted hits to the head will be legal as long as the player who receives the blow isn’t considered to be “defenseless.” (Elise Amendola/AP Photos)

    By Stu Hackel

    On Monday, the NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee will consider a decision by the NHL’s general managers to expand Rule 48 on blindside and lateral hits to the head. While the league inches its way toward a new rule, it’s uncertain at the moment exactly how that rule is going to be different and if it will be any more clear than the murky inaugural version that was on the books for 2010-11.
    Read More…


  • Published On Jun 10, 2011


  •