Brendan Smith Punished 8 Games For Headshot
Brendan’s Smith’s campaign to make the roster out of training camp has likely ended Friday morning with his eight game suspension (3 preseason games, 5 regular season). While we have not yet seen the video explanation from VP of Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan, we can assume this lengthy suspension is due to the fact that Smith caught defenseless Blackhawks forward Ben Smith with a blow to the head.
The league has made no secret about wanting to rid the game of this type of hit. Under Rule 48:
Illegal Check to the Head – A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.
I’ll be very interested to see Shanahan’s explanation of the ruling. I do believe that the Blackhawks forward put himself in a bad position, and Smith did not intend to deliver the blow to the head. There was, however, an injury as a result of the hit and the head was the “principal point of contact,” which may have factored into the ruling. We’ll wait for the tape for further comment, but you can believe the Hockeytown will be second guessing a former hero for his latest decision.