October 15, 2010
In just about every case where an NHL player has been suspended due to physical contact, the aftermath of the play consisted of a player being slow to get up off the ice or taken off on a stretcher. Judging by the way Colin Campbell has ruled on these sorts of things, if you hurt a player, get ready to spin that "Wheel of Justice"; if he's okay, there's nothing to see here, move along.
During Thursday night's 3-2 Ottawa Senators' win over the Carolina Hurricanes, Nick Foligno(notes) laid a textbook blind-side hit on Patrick Dwyer at center ice. Uninjured, Dwyer got up immediately, made his way to the bench and didn't miss a shift the rest of the game.
Shoulder: Meet head. Hit: Meet upset coach.
UPDATE: The NHL has fined Foligno $2,500 (max under the CBA) for the hit. Here's Colin Campbell:
"While there was no injury as a result of the hit, it is clear that Foligno delivered a shoulder check from the blind side that made primary contact with Dwyer's head," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "It is also clear that Foligno was delivering the hit in an attempt to get the puck. Finally, in determining that a fine was the appropriate discipline for this incident, I took into account that Foligno has not been suspended previously by the League."
48.1 Illegal Check to the Head - A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted.
Looked like the play meets all the requirements of the rule that was put in place this season and outlined in the NHL's rules video put out last month.
After the game, Carolina head coach Paul Maurice was none too happy with the lack of a call. Via Scoreottawa's Blog, click the image to hear his comments:
By the letter of the law, Foligno should expect a call from Campbell in the next 24 hours and a suspension should be dealt out. When the blind-side hit rule was devised last spring, it was to make these cases cut and dry and easy to punish. Foligno's hit on Dwyer should be an open and shut case for Campbell.
Then again, we've all said that before.