April 25, 2010
Marian Hossa(notes) will be in the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night during Game 6 against the Nashville Predators. NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell released a statement this afternoon explaining his reasoning for not suspending Hossa for his hit on Predators' defenseman Dan Hamhuis(notes) late in the third period yesterday.
"I have made the decision that this play does not warrant supplemental discipline after considering all of the facts, including reviewing the video and speaking with Mr. Hossa," said Campbell. "This play is distinguishable from recent incidents by a number of factors, including the degree of contact involved; the fact that the consequences of the play do not appear to be as severe; that this was a hockey play involving a race for the puck; that Mr. Hossa is not a repeat offender; and that the call of a major penalty by the referee was significant and appropriate."
Here's the hit that caused plenty of debate in the past 24 hours:
Whether you agree with the decision or not, it seems to be clear that every NHL player receives a "Get Out of Suspension Free" card, as whether or not the player is a repeat offender carries plenty of weight in Campbell's decisions. Also, the fact that Hamhuis told reporters that he was fine after the game was a big factor.
Many had suspected a suspension after the hit was similar to the one on Brian Campbell that got Alex Ovechkin suspended last month. Of course, because Ovechkin was a repeat offender, the Washington captain was dinged for two games.
This is just another kick to the [Gretzky's] for the Predators who watched Chicago tie the game shorthanded while Hossa was in the penalty box, then moments after his five-minute major expired, he came out and went on to score the game winner. As Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said yesterday, what happened at the end of Game 5 needs to be quickly forgotten by his team, otherwise they'll be starting their off-season on Tuesday:
"(But) you have to let it go. I don't want this team to be emotionally impaired, plain and simple. If you're emotionally impaired, we're at a disadvantage. We're at enough disadvantage being down three games to two.
We need all the advantage we can get. So being emotionally impaired is something we have to get rid of. That's what we're trying to do today and we'll be ready tomorrow. This group responds real good as pros all the time."