November 24, 2008
If the hit from behind Los Angeles Kings forward John Zeiler put on Adam Foote of the Colorado Avalanche has skipped your mind already, we posted the video over the weekend. It shows Foote going to the corner for the puck, looking back at Zeiler skating after him; Foote has his back to Zeiler to play the puck, and Zeiler gives him a shot to the back with his arm -- sending Foote crashing into the glass head-first, and he remained flat on his stomach near the boards while trainers rushed out.
According to the NHL, which has allegedly reaffirmed its commitment to fight against dangerous plays that potentially lead to head injuries, this offense was worth three games in the press box:
Los Angeles Kings forward John Zeiler has been suspended for three games, without pay, as a result of a boarding incident that took place during NHL Game #295, Nov. 22 against the Colorado Avalanche, the National Hockey League announced.
Zeiler was assessed a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct for hitting Colorado defenseman Adam Foote at 6:51 of the second period. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Zeiler will forfeit $8,770.17. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Maybe Foote's diagnosis didn't come quickly enough. In a League where the punishment fits the aftermath, Foote will miss his team's game against the Anaheim Ducks pending tests for neck and back injuries, along with a possible concussion.
There's been plenty of debate about dangerous hits this season. Sometimes, the NHL has gotten it right. This is not one of those times. If you wanted to compare this to the Tom Kostopoulos hit on Mike Van Ryn, another three-game suspension, go ahead -- that suspension clearly didn't deter anything.
A premeditated hit from behind that had Foote worried about his career ending that night gets three games with no pay. Yeah ... that'll teach'em.