This afternoon the news has come out that Ads d-man Bryan Rodney will be suspended for two games as a result of his illegal check to the head of Texas Stars center Travis Morin. Rodney will officially miss the Ads games against the Texas Stars (Wednesday) and Rockford IceHogs (Friday).
The play occurred after a turnover at the blue line on an Admiral power-play. Morin was almost off to the races until he looked to his left and met the shoulder of Bryan Rodney. Morin stayed down on the ice for a brief time but did not miss a shift on the ice. Rodney was penalized with an illegal check to the head (Rule 48.2, minor penalty) but was not given a match penalty for the incident.
My take on the suspension: It was certainly a hit to the head. Based on the lone replay I saw of the incident at the game there was no intent from Rodney to hit Morin’s head. My guess is Rodney is looking to put a shoulder through the body of Morin to deny him a shorthanded breakaway, Morin tries to brace for a hit, and the net result is a shoulder to the head. Penalty? Yes. Two game suspension? No. I’ve watched a lot more blatant attempts of shots to the head at the NHL level this year (ex. Michael Grabner) receive similar punishment. It wasn’t as obvious. It wasn’t as dirty. Yet, this is an era of player safety. Any hit to the head, intent or no intent, is going to be under the microscope
Thoughts on the suspension? Who fills in in-place of Rodney? (Get better soon Jarvinen.)