Should Marian Hossa be suspended for his hit on Dan Hamhuis?

CHICAGO - APRIL 24: Marian Hossa #81 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against the Nashville Predators in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Predators 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Not lost in the shuffle of the Predators' heartbreaking, gutwrenching, nauseating loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 is the debate over Marian Hossa's boarding of Dan Hamhuis. The hit was eerily similar to Alex Ovechkin's on Chicago's Brian Campbell, which resulted in a two game suspension. 

After the jump, video of both hits and some quick points to consider.

Ovechkin on Campbell

Hossa on Hamhuis

Similarities

  • Brian Campbell and Dan Hamhuis are both in the process of playing the puck, which means its not a late hit.
  • Each hit was a push from behind. 
  • Both times, the player hits the boards with force and crumples up, if you will. 
  • In both hits the offender should've backed off in order to avoid a possible injury. 
  • Campbell and Hamhuis were both injured. Hamhuis missed the remainder of the game.

Differences

  • Hamhuis was skating hard towards the boards, making himself more vulnerable and less able to deal with any sort of hit. 
  • Hossa was not assessed a game misconduct (more on this in a minute). 
  • Hamhuis did not appear to trip due to any bad ice conditions like Campbell may have, his crash was solely the result of a push. 
  • Granted, Ovechkin appeared to shove significantly harder than Hossa.

The Rule

NHL rule 42.5:

 When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed.

Obviously, the ref imposed a major penalty. Hamhuis was on the ice for an extended period and didn't play the rest of the game. Under those circumstances, Hossa should've been removed from the game. Who knows how the rest of the game plays out if he's not there to score the winning goal?

Quotes

From John Glennon:

Barry Trotz:

"What’s the difference between that and the Campbell hit with Ovechkin? I don’t know the difference looking at the two.’’

Steve Sullivan on whether or not Hossa should've been tossed:

Yeah, I do. I’m sure the league will look at it, but I’m not a referee or the league.

Hossa himself:

I’m not that kind of player and they know that. I just tried to finish the check but the guy at the last moment turned his back and I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t try to hurt anybody.

Joel Quenneville:

You could argue that as far as a two or five. (Hamhuis) has the puck and the hit is sideways, not from behind. You could argue that.

Conclusion

The question we're looking at is this- based on the precedent set by the Ovechkin suspension, is this a suspendable offense? I say yes- all the similarities are there, and the fact that Hamhuis had less time to react than Campbell makes this an even worse hit. Hossa had the option to pull up, but did not. Since he's not a repeat offender, and Ovechkin was, I'd be satisfied with a one game suspension

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