There was a lot of talk about some form of discipline for Rick Nash following his hit on Tomas Kopecky, however, the Wheel of Justice has cleared Nash of all charges. Bob McKenzie was the first to tweet early today that there will not even be a hearing on the hit.
Puck Daddy quoted Brendan Shanahan saying, “On the Florida feed, when you slow it down, you see Kopecky’s back right shoulder is the initial point of contact. If you slow it down even further, you see the back right shoulder and the nameplate aren’t just the initial point of contact, but the principal point of contact.”
The article goes on to explain that Shanahan felt it was whiplash that caused Kopecky’s helmet to fall off and leaving one’s feet is not as big a factor as many make it out to be.
I cannot lie, Shanny’s reasoning for not suspending Nash sounds pretty solid. However, I don’t buy an ounce it.
The real reason didn’t suffer the same fate as Lupul, and many others, is the name on the back of the jersey. The one point of consistency the NHL’s Department of Safety has displayed is letting star players off the hook. On the rare occasion they will give an All-Star a game or two, but overall they get the benefit of the doubt.
I have watched the hit and see no way a Department of Safety can let something like this slide. Even if it was an “awkward, spinning collision, as Shanahan called it, Nash displayed reckless control over his limbs and delivered a very dangerous check. The check lists includes leaving his feet, making contact to the head, using his elbow, and hitting a defense player in a vulnerable position. Unacceptable to let slide without even a hearing.
As a Rangers fan I am happy they will not have to lose him, but as a hockey fan this is the type of reckless hits they should be penalizing if they are going to change the culture in the league.
To see the hit in question then watch the video below: