Jesse Winchester’s leaping elbow into Chris Kelly was cringe-worthy

In the first period between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers on Thursday night, Jesse Winchester decided that taking a shot at Chris Kelly’s head wasn’t enough, so made it a leaping elbow to Kelly’s head.

Here’s the reverse angle of the hit from SB Nation, where you can see Winchester makes clear contact with Kelly’s head. Chris Kelly, his former teammate in Ottawa, by the way.

And there was no penalty called on the play …

Kelly, luckily, didn’t seem too shaken up, as he had eight shifts in the first period for the Bruins. Gregory Campbell fought Winchester on the next shift for retribution.

This one was rather ghastly; as egregious as John Scott’s blow to Loui Eriksson’s noggin. It literally looks like Winchester should have bounced off multi-colored ropes and delivered this in the middle of a WWE ring.

So will Mr. Winchester state his case in person or over the phone? Because it’s hard to imagine he’s not getting rung up by the NHL for this one.

As far as we can tell, he would be a first-time offender. What he has been, however, is a player that's dealt with significant concussion issues. Winchester was limited to 32 games in 2011-12 due to concussion symptoms while with the Ottawa Senators. As he told Sens Extra:

“I don’t want to be…you see the shows about (former NHL star) Keith Primeau and stuff. I don’t think I’m in that group, but it’s scary enough to go through four months without, with being yourself very little during those four months. I just want to be my full self.

“I’m going to play when the time comes. Hockey is my favourite thing in the world, but worrying about it is not going to help me. You can look around the league and there are people who have gone through the same sorts of things and there are no answers. It’s frustrating, but to say life sucks, yeah, it does a bit at the moment, but I got hurt doing what I love.”

As Chris Kelly nearly did.