To the surprise of no one, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Derek Joslin received word that NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan wanted to have a talk with him regarding his hit on Florida Panthers leading scorer Kris Versteeg in the first period of the Panthers 3-1 win Tuesday.
Word came down late Wednesday afternoon that Joslin will not be further disciplined by the league. No fines, no suspensions. Now whether or not you agree with the decision will probably depend on if you’re a Panther fan or not. My take is this: I don’t think the intention when Joslin wound up his elbow, was to hit him in the head. After a jillion (yes, jillion, look it up) views of this hit, Versteeg is indeed falling when the elbow/forearm strikes his face. However, Versteeg is falling because of a (uncalled) trip as Joslin’s stick is tied up in his feet. And while, I don’t think it was Joslin’s intent to trip then elbow Versteeg, he should be held at least somewhat responsible for an elbow he throws. Maybe a fine, maybe a game, but nothing? Not even a penalty called on the ice? That is what Panthers fans will probably be up in arms about. And you can bet that more than a few Panthers will be looking for Joslin (or, at least, they should be) the next times these two teams face off.
Incidently, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reported through his Twitter account that Versteeg did not skate Wednesday at Panthers practice, saying coach Kevin Dineen called it a maintenance day.
What say you hockey fans?
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