When Harry Met Shanny

After a morning hearing, Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's Director of Player Safety suspended Harry Zolnierczyk four games for his hit on Mike Lundin.

Shanny's explanation:

"As the video shows, as Lundin carries the puck through the neutral zone, Zolnierczyk comes onto the ice for a line change. As Lundin enters the offensive zone, he cuts to the middle and dishes the puck to his wing. Zolnierczyk, who has Lundin lined up, moves in for the hit. However, instead of delivering a hard, legal check, he launches prior to the check, making significant contact to Lundin’s head; this is charging.

In all areas of the ice, players still have the responsibility to keep their head up and expect to be checked. But, what no player should expect is that his opponent will launch upward, off the ice and into his head.

 It is important to note that although Lundin is bracing for the hit and trying to minimize its force by stopping. It does not significantly change his position prior to this illegal check. What’s more, while we often see players lift up off of the ice after delivering a check as a result of the impact, this is not one of those cases. Zolnierczyk launches before contact is made.”

It's a tough break for Lundin, who has clearly struggled to find a place in the lineup, and then gets knocked out after 53s of TOI in his return after a few successive healthy scratches. Hope his whiplash isn't too major.

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