Alex Edler of the Vancouver Canucks may be in hot water with the NHL after his hit to the head of Tomas Hertl, who plays for the San Jose Sharks. As per the league’s official press release on the matter:
At approximately 19:46 of the second period, Edler collied with Sharks forward Tomas Hertl near the Vancouver bench, resulting in Hertl losing his helmet. There was no penalty called on the play and Hertl skated a regular shift in the third period.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
It will be interesting to see how the league handles this particular play. While Hertl does lower himself toward the puck a bit, the motion was a natural part of the skating stride. Edler made no attempt to avoid making contact with the head, instead following through completely with what could be deemed a dangerous play.
The hit will draw plenty of ire from Sharks fans, as Brad Stuart was recently suspended for a hit that was arguably “cleaner” than this one. Regardless, hits to the head don’t come much more clear than this, and if the NHL truly wants to make a statement about what will and won’t be tolerated, they have a chance here.