Lost in all the ballyhoo surrounding Zack Kassian's violent run-in with Sam Gagner was the lesser incident from the Vancouver Canucks tilt with the Edmonton Oilers Saturday: Dale Weise picking the head of star winger (and, for the time being, top centre) Taylor Hall.
But nothing escapes the Department of Player Safety, and on Monday, the banhammer came down on the one-time Dutch League superstar. Weise has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason, a grand total of three meaningless games, for the collision. Shanahan explains:
"Weise does not hit Hall squarely through the body, and the head is the main point of contact. This is an illegal check to the head."
That pretty much sums it up right there. You put your shoulder into a guy's head -- and only his head -- and you're going to sit.
One assumes Weise's defence was that Hall came off the boards unexpectedly, rather than meeting him at the wall a little higher up, but the DOPS wasn't having it, especially when the position of Hall's head doesn't change in any meaningful way. Had the two men collided where Weise may have expected them to, it's safe to assume the hit would have been just as illegal.
Weise deserves to sit. Frankly, he deserves to sit for longer, but fortunately for him, Hall remained in the game and this is his first offence. Thus, he'll sit for three meaningless games and be eligible for opening day.