Word came out today that Jannik Hansen has been fined $2,000 by the NHL for a dive he made in a game against Tampa Bay on December 22. This was his second citation (which is what caused the fine to kick in) as he was also warned for a dive in a game against Pittsburgh on November 4.
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) December 31, 2015
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) December 31, 2015
I remain convinced Hansen was simply trying to fly like Superman on that play.
The good news? It’s only $2,000 dollars, and the money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. A story by the Boston Globe highlighted how this fund was able to help players in need, including Chris Nilan who used the fund ($1,000 per month over eight months) while recovering from a pain killer addiction.
“It wasn’t a lot of dough,” Nilan told the Boston Globe. “But it was much-needed at the time. It really helped me out a lot the first few months.”
So while it’s nice that this can help former players, many Canucks fans will wonder why something like Jannik Hansen diving was so heavily scrutinized by the NHL, while Brayden McNabb’s elbow on Henrik Sedin was largely ignored.
Tim Peel awarding penalties like Steve Harvey https://t.co/RGIRmodbXq
— ZoSo (@ZoSoNuck) December 29, 2015
That is, of course, the hit in question. Henrik Sedin himself stated after the game “I thought it was a flying elbow to the head. The only point of contact was my face.”
The NHL allows for leeway in calling a penalty (or further discipline) under rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) if a player moves and puts himself in a position of danger. We all remember Markus Naslund reaching forward and taking that shot from Steve Moore.
With the Henrik hit, though, it’s hard to argue Henrik did anything except skate backwards and make a pass:
For a league that has stated its desire to protect players from unnecessary head shots, it feels like this play should have been looked at closer. Would the league have checked into it more if Henrik hadn’t gotten back up? Fighting through head shots and continuing to play shouldn’t stop the league from making a disciplinary call. It shouldn’t take Henrik Sedin being unable to get to his feet for a suspension or fine to take place.
The NHL didn’t even call a penalty on that play, remember, as they deemed it a clean hit. And that in itself is fine. It’s a fast game, and the elbow could be hard to see from certain angles.
The problem is that’s where the league can step in after the game to at least get it on the player’s record that he delivered a hit they frown upon, either through a fine or suspension. Before McNabb even made the NHL he was famous for delivering a pretty brutal elbow, after all.
It would be nice to track him if this was starting to become his go-to finishing move.
It’s almost amusing when you read the NHL’s reasoning for assigning fines for diving.
“NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below…”
It’s designed to bring attention to something they want to stop. Unnecessary shots to the head is also something they should be trying to stop.