The most important word uttered by NHL VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan in his video announcing the 3-game suspension of Mark Fistric of the Dallas Stars? "Charging."
The NHL suspended the Stars defenseman for three games for his hit on charging New York Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter last Saturday, costing Fistric $16,216.23. There was no penalty on the play. The NHL believes there should have been, based on Rule 42.1:
"A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner."
One of the defenses of Fistric was that his feet left the ice during the hit because of his momentum; "exploding" into the hit rather than leaping into it. Shanahan acknowledged that, and felt that the air he got on the jump was an indication that it wasn't simply part of the follow-through.
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News wondered if this hit by Luke Schenn on Stars winger Tomas Vincour was comparable. We imagine the argument would...