The National Hockey League, as advised by VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan, will be conducting a disciplinary hearing with New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust this morning. That hearing will be in response to Prust's elbow to the back of the head of New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov, which went unnoticed by the officials early in the second period of Saturday's Game 3 at the Prudential Center.
The general consensus here is that Prust will be handed a suspension for his reckless decision, otherwise Shanahan's basis of holding a hearing would be nonexistent in the first place. The question becomes just how long will the Rangers be without their bottom six grinder and how will the League compare and contrast this incident to others that have occurred throughout these Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Two things work in Prust's favor: there was no malice intent on his part and he is not a repeat offender by any circumstance.
On the contrary, two things also work against him: he's a New York Ranger and he also got away with bumping Martin Brodeur quite a few times in Game 3.
At this point, the League's biased feelings against the Rangers can be publicly stated without accusation of conspiracy theory, since there's no theorizing still involved - it's all fact. And you also cannot deny the fact that the NHL does its best to protect a veteran and future Hall of Fame inductee in Martin Brodeur.
Neither should factor into the final decision, but the truth of the matter is that the NHL is nowehre near perfect and will be heavily conidering both.
Here's another look at the elbow: