NASHVILLE Predators All-Star defenseman Shea Weber will avoid suspension for his hit after the final whistle in Game 1 on Wednesday of his team's 3-2 victory over Detroit in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Weber was assessed a roughing penalty at 20:00 of the third period for grabbing the head of Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg and what the league described as shoving it into the glass. The fact that Zetterberg did not suffer an injury appeared to be key to the ruling.
In a news release posted on NHL.com, NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan said that Weber would be fined 2,500, the maximum allowed under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.
"We felt this was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass," Shanahan said in a statement. "We reached out to Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2."
"This play and the fine that addressed it will be significant factors in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs."
Weber is the Predators' captain and was a finalist last season for the Norris Trophy, which is given to the league's top defenseman. This season, his 19 goals tied for the league lead by a defenseman and he ranked in the top five in the NHL in average time on ice per game.
Nashville is the No. 4 seed in its series with perennial power Detroit. The Predators have faced Detroit twice in their history but neither won nor led a series. This series represents the first time they have led in those three meetings.