Edler Elbows Hall - Suspension Coming?

Thomas Drance
October 01 2011 10:01PM

Alex Edler tagged Taylor Hall with an errant elbow to the head late in the second period of Saturday night's game against the Edmonton Oilers.

It's a bad hit, and absolutely an elbowing minor. With the way the new head-shot rules emphasize the hitter's responsibility, you have to call this and sadly it was Edler's second bad hit of the period (he boarded Hall from behind earlier in the frame).

The issue here is that Edler looks like he's simply bracing for contact. This sort of defensive hit is a play that's pretty familiar to anyone who has watched the likes of Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins or apparently Alex Steen play for any length of time. It wouldn't have been a dangerous hit, but Taylor Hall was leaning forward awkwardly, so when Edler leaned back into him, he made contact with the Edmonton sophmore's cranium. The result is frightening.

For my money, I think it has to be called. But I don't think that Edler should face supplementary discipline as a result. If he does, it will be because Shanahan is looking to send a message to the rest of the league: tuck your damn elbow in.

What do you think, Is Edler's hit suspension worthy?

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Oilertown
October 01 2011, 10:52PM
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And by the "result is frightening" do you mean that Hallsy could have been concussed or do you mean that you guys could lose one of your many dirty players to suspension. Considering the way you fans our I would lean to the former

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#2 Oilertown
October 01 2011, 10:54PM
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And by the "result is frightening" do you mean that Hallsy could have been concussed or do you mean that you guys could lose one of your many dirty players to suspension. Considering the way you fans our I would lean to the former

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#3 Oilertown
October 01 2011, 10:58PM
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What a lame azz site whole 12 comments on a page of what 5 or 6 blogs WOW

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#4 TAE0145
October 01 2011, 11:10PM
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@Oilertown

Yeah I have noticed only Oilers NAtion and Flames Nation really get much fan interaction.

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#5 Bleak Winter
October 02 2011, 12:17AM
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His motion has enough of a pop to it that you can't say he's "bracing" for contact, he's absolutely initiating it. He probably intended to put his shoulder into Hall first, but Edler definitely was looking to surprise Hall and get the better of him on the play, not simply protect himself. The shoulder missed and the elbow followed through to clip him.

Hartikainen does this surprise hit a lot when he's carrying the puck - reverses course with a sudden shoulder to the defender's chest. One day he'll end up putting a shoulder or elbow in someone's face too.

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#7 ChinookArch
October 02 2011, 08:46AM
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This is a tough one, but I have to agree with Bleak Winter he was not simply bracing himself for a hit. I don't believe that it was his intention to target Hall's head, but his elbow came out and for that he should be suspended.

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#8 ChinookArch
October 02 2011, 08:50AM
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@Thomas Drance

Keep the faith. I haven't commented till today, but I like your articles and once the word gets out the traffic will naturally contniue to improve.

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#9 John Andress
October 02 2011, 10:40AM
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Let me comment in support of your site as well. It is one of the more reasoned and articulate sites I read regularly. If the Oiler fan doesn't care for the site he can do no better than making a contibution by going elsewhwere. In respect of the Edler hit, I think that as time passes we are going to see a lot border-line hits or hits with significant mitigating factors, such as Hall's actions immediately preceding the contact, that initiate debate about suspensions. It seems that the NHL are trying to make their policy clear which, in itself, is an improvement over the past. If headshots are to be removed from the game, and I believe that they should be, then many players are going to find themselves on the wrong side of decisions on these marginal hits. Edler may well be one of the first.

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