Found April 15, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:

HagsAlfieThe National Hockey League has suspended New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin for three games for his elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson in the second period of Saturday's Game 2 against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Hagelin had a hearing with VP of player safety Brendan Shanahan earlier this afternoon.

According to the rulebook and the rulebook alone, yes, Carl Hagelin deserves the suspension. The NHL is, well, supposedly is striving to remove all dangerous hits to the head from the game. Therefore, any hit that results in contact with the head, whether it was intentional or not, should warrant a suspension. I compare this to the tripping penalty; it is going to be called whether the player intended to get his stick caught in the opposition's skates or not. This is the only way the League is going to get rid of head shots all together. 

Hagelin went into the corner with his elbows recklessly up in the air, and even though he did not originally target the head, it was his irresponsible actions that led to Alfredsson absorbing the hit with his face. Yes, Alfredsson ducking initiated the contact with the head, but regardless, Hagelin's elbows were up when they shouldn't have been. So by the rules, it is a suspendable play. 

However, where the objection lies is in the NHL's consistency of the application of this rule. Earlier last week we saw a play in the Detroit Red Wings/Nashville Predators series in which defenseman Shea Weber deliberately took the head of forward Henrik Zetterberg and smashed it into the glass using his hand. There was deliberate intent to injure the head on that play by Weber, so again, by the rules, there's no arguing that the poor decision by Weber warranted a suspension. However, Brendan Shanahan assigned only a $2,500 fine to Weber, therefore allowing Shea to play in the very next game. 

Taking that into consideration now, Hagelin's hit to the head of Daniel Alfredsson, which was not intentional, should not be a suspendable play. If Shanahan is going to set standards by only handing out a fine for a deliberate intent to injure the head, he also needs to establish consistency with that. There's no way he can make a case for Hagelin's hit on Alfredsson being anywhere near as bad as Weber's smashing of Zetterberg's head in Nashville. 

Also, whether or not the victim of the head shot was injured should not decide if a suspension should be applied. Again, we look at the Weber/Zetterberg incident, and clearly there was intent there. But if Zetterberg is injured on the play, does Shanahan change his mind and hand Weber a suspension? Probably, which exposes just how corrupt the NHL's disciplinary system is. 

And does star reputation vs. non-star reputation factor into the final decision as well? Is Shanahan more inclined to suspend a rookie in Hagelin than he is a well-known superstar such as Weber? That shouldn't be the case, but I can put my money on it having an impact of some sort. 

Lastly, three games is not justifiable based on the penalties, or lack thereof, that Shanahan has delivered to far more serious incidents over the past week or so. This is excessive, especially for someone who has no record whatsoever. 

Shanahan's explanation of the Hagelin suspension:

So now you're going to tell me that Hags' hit was any worse than Chris Phillips' elbow/shoulder to the head of Ryan Callahan in the same game?

Video:

 

Chris Phillips, by the way, did not have a hearing with Shanahan for that hit on Callahan. So although he nearly left his feet to plant his shoulder into Callahan's head, the two-minute elbowing minor was satisfying enough, right? Right?

This, coupled with what we saw between the Penguins and Flyers this afternoon, is making the National Hockey League into a joke. 

It's truly sad. 

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Hagelin hit gave Alfredsson concussion

Daniel Alfredsson has confirmed he sustained a concussion in Game 2 of Ottawa's playoff series with New York when Rangers forward Carl Hagelin elbowed him in the head. However, the Senators captain participated in Monday's morning skate and said he's a game-time decision for Game 3 at night. Alfredsson missed more than half of Ottawa's series-tying victory Saturday...

Practice Note: Hagelin Has Hearig; Day Off for Hank; Alfredsson Feeling Good

Pat Leonard of the Daily News reports that Carl Hagelin had his hearing with the NHL at 1:30 p.m. A decision is expected later today....there better not be a suspension. Although I am fully expecting one.Meanwhile, all the healthy players were at practice execpt for Henrik Lundqvist who was given the day off.With Hagelin at the hearing Fedotenko skated with Richards and Gaborik,...

Rangers' Hagelin suspended for three games

The NHL has suspended New York Rangers rookie winger Carl Hagelin for his hit on Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. You got to give Hagelin credit he has since apologized for his hit on Alfredson. "I sent him a text yesterday that said I'm sorry and I'm very regretful for what happened," Hagelin said after Sunday's practice. It will...

Rangers F Hagelin suspended 3 games

New York Rangers rookie forward Carl Hagelin was suspended three games for elbowing Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head during Saturday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.The hit by Hagelin knocked Alfredsson out of the game, a point cited by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in doling out the punishment."It is important to note that...

Lineup decisions: Kreider or Eminger?

With the news that Carl Hagelin is gone for the next three games, the Rangers have a few decisions they need to make regarding the lineup. The loss of Hagelin is a big loss, as the Rangers lose their fastest skater and a top six forward. That is not easily replaced in the lineup. Rookie Chris Kreider is the best option to fill in for Hagelin, as discussed earlier today, but the coaching...

Rangers-Senators Preview

Carl Hagelin still seem stunned a day after laying out Swedish countryman Daniel Alfredsson with an elbow to the head that left the Ottawa captain with a possible concussion and landed the mild-mannered New York Rangers rookie in trouble with the NHL. To say that plays like this are out of character for the 23-year-old Hagelin would be an understatement. The speedy forward claims...

Senators' Alfredsson skates with team, iffy for Game 3

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson participated in Monday's morning skate prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the top-seeded New York Rangers. Alfredsson was injured after taking an elbow to the face in Saturday's Game 2 from fellow Swede Carl Hagelin, who was suspended for three contests. The veteran forward is questionable for...

Pregame: Rangers Seek Game 3 Response in Ottawa

After the raucous events that took place in Saturday’s Game 2 between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden, this series is guaranteed to get a whole lot more interesting as it progresses.  Both clubs will enter Scotiabank Place for Game 3 on this night with a win under their belt, seeking a tiebreaking effort that will put them ahead for the...

Carkner Speaks on Boyle, Dubinsky on Misconduct

As we wait for the NHL's decision on Carl Hagelin's elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson, here are some quotes from Matt Carkner of the Senators and Brandon Dubinsky on last night's melee that kicked off Game 2 at Madison Square Garden.  Carkner on Boyle: Carkner: "I expected Boyle to defend himself. That obviously wasn't the case." #Sens ...

Alfredsson Passes Baseline Concussion Test

According to head coach Paul MacLean, Daniel Alfredsson has passed his baseline concussion test and depending on how the captain feels, he will be a game time decision tonight. In other words, having skated on the team's second line with Kyle Turris and Nick Foligno at this morning's practice, it would probably be foolish to dismiss Alfie's questionable status for game...

Julie Robenhymer: Day Six: Who Wants To Play Hockey?

*I was super late in posting yesterday's blog so if you missed it... Day Five: Sitting On The Edge* After a day riddled with discipline hearings, we finally got a night of hockey without any unsavory incidences and even an NHL debut as two-time National Champion Chris Kreider replaced the suspended Carl Hagelin in the lineup. Before we get to the games, let's start...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.