After either a six hour wait - or one of the longest phone calls in history - the NHL Department of Player Safety has passed judgement on Michael Grabner, suspending the Islanders winger two games for a check to the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe.
The official video for the suspension shows a few more clear angles on the play in which Grabner makes clear contact with Gerbe's head. Grabner wasn't attempting a body check at the time of the hit, and Gerbe's melon ends up the principal point of impact. The hit, from Grabner's perspective, was avoidable, which the NHL VP Brendan Shanahan also cites.
No penalty was called on the play and Gerbe didn't miss a shift in the game, a 4-3 Hurricanes win on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
The previously clean Grabner now has a rap sheet with the NHL and will be listed as a "repeat offender" should he face supplemental discipline again.
The league has made it clearer this season that hits resulting in direct contact with the head are against the rules, whether the head was "targeted" or not. The Grabner/Gerbe incident appears to be a text book case of the new Rule 48.1, which was adjusted during the off-season by the NHL's Competition Committee to make incidental hits to the head as illegal as predatory ones.
So the Islanders will have to be without both Grabner and the currently concussed Lubomir Visnovsky against their next two opponents the... [checks schedule] Canucks and Penguins. Oh.
More from Lighthouse Hockey:
- Lubomir Visnovsky Injury: Concussion puts key Islanders defenseman on IR
- [Bits] Nelson is Back, Kabanov is the New Mr. Hockey & the Islanders Go To The Bank
- For Whom The Shanny-Phone Tolls: Grabner Faces NHL Discipline for Hit on Gerbe
- Islanders Goaltending History: The Curse of Billy Smith?
- Post-Game Video: Capuano laments Islanders' missed chances; Tavares says effort not good enough