Zdeno Chara Headhunts Twice, No Hearings Scheduled
If you want to know the problem with fairness in the NHL’s doling out of supplementary discipline, it’s not between what various players get in terms of suspensions, it’s between the hits that are suspended and the hits that aren’t. Take Zdeno Chara’s performance last night:
Early in the first Chara hits San Jose forward Tommy Wingels in the head late in the corner in a hit that was not as bad looking, but arguably similarly dangerous as Wingels did not return. Later in the game, Chara performed this piece of work on Tomas Hertl, post whistle in fact:
It is also worth noting that neither garnered a penalty call even though the latter happened directly in front of a referee. Of course few in the media are making note of this because Chara is NOT THAT TYPE OF PLAYER largely because the media has arbitrarily decided he is NOT THAT TYPE OF PLAYER. Even though he kind of is. Right Max?
If the NHL is serious about players not nailing each other in the head, it has to start punishing players for nailing each other in the head regardless of the following things:
- The consequences of said nailing in the head, injurious or non-
- The nailer
- The nailee
- How bad said head nailing looked
- The situation
Because the message that players get is “if I nail this guy in the head in this situation, the NHL won’t do anything about it so I might as well keep doing it” as Zdeno Chara has so wonderfully illustrated time and time again. Those two Chara hits are far more dangerous than the Scott hit because 1). they perpetuate the head-nailing culture, and 2). they come from a player that spends 6-10 times as much time on the ice.