You have to have clear proof and the video evidence was not enough clear evidence of Mikhail Grabovski’s bite on the right wrist of the Canadiens Max Pacioretty during Saturday night’s 6-0 loss to Toronto Saturday night.
The only way Grabovski would be ruled guilty of the biting would be admitting his guilt. Since there is no oath to “tell the truth” taken in these hearings, Grabovski was free to plead “not guilty” on all counts. Left with video that did not clearly show the bite and an officiating crew that did not have the best of nights, the league’s Department of Player Safety felt it did not have enough to convict.
Biting incidents appear to be difficult for Brendan Shanahan and his department to deal with. In Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final, Alex Burrows appeared to bite the finger of Boston centre Patrice Bergeron. There was no suspension issued in that incident either.
Statement from the NHL
Following a telephone hearing conducted this morning, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety has decided not to assess Supplemental Discipline to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski for an incident that occurred during NHL Game No. 160 Saturday night in Montreal.
After interviewing both players involved in the incident and reviewing all of the available video and medical reports, the League could not determine conclusively that Grabovski bit Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. The Department of Player Safety has concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to support imposing Supplemental Discipline