In the world of NHL discipline there have always been apples and oranges. In the case of Ryan Malone vs. Chris Campoli, the NHL ruled in favour of oranges.
You can be disappointed, as a Montreal Canadiens fan, that Brendan Shanahan didn’t hit Malone with something substantial, especially in light of his behavior throughout Sunday night’s game in Quebec City, but at least he explained clearly the reasons for his decision.
The question is, “Do his arguments hold water.” Can you blame a fan for thinking that the league had made a blow-to-the-head a black and white issue. Apparently what we actually have is the hockey equivalent of being “a little bit pregnant”.
Here’s the Shanahan view of the incident as it appeared in the written decision.
“We felt that this hit was the most challenging one so far in this preseason for the Department of Player Safety to evaluate,” said Shanahan. “In the end, we felt that Malone had committed to the hit when Campoli was upright. However, when the contact was made, Campoli’s head position significantly changed just prior to the hit.
“There are elements about the hit that we don’t like – specifically, the principal point of contact being the head and that it was not a full-body check. But the overriding factor in our judgment was that Campoli’s loss of the puck and subsequent bending forward for it just prior contributed significantly, if not entirely, to those elements.”
In case you missed it, here it is again