October 11 2013 01:43PM
Three-game suspension for VAN's Allex Edler.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 11, 2013
On Thursday night the Vancouver Canucks lost not only the game (in a convincing fashion, to boot), but also defenseman Alexander Edler, who has been suspended for 3 games by the NHL for his check to the head of Tomas Hertl.
Read on past the jump for some analysis on the suspension, and what this means going forward.
Here's a mesmerizing GIF of the play:
Here's Brendan Shanahan's video explaining how he came to the term of the suspension.
The main points from said video.
I'm really having trouble understanding why Edler got dinged for 3 games here, quite frankly. After it happened I figured that he'd probably get away without any sort of supplemental discipline, but if he did get punished, it would be in the form of a fine.
As you can see from the play, Edler is already committed to the hit, tucks his shoulder/elbow, and it's really only Hertl's low stance as he reaches for the puck that makes this play a thing we're even discussing at all. In addition to that, Edler didn't receive a penalty on the play, and Hertl wasn't injured.
Shanahan cites Edler as a repeat offender, which is only true because he butchered his ruling on a play involving Edler and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith from last March. I thought that two wrongs didn't make a right?
If he serves his 3 games without appealing, Edler will be eligible to return the lineup on October 19th in Pittsburgh. It's a huge loss for the Canucks, no doubt, as the talented Swedish defenseman was averaging over 2 minutes per game more than anyone else on the team.
Judging from my Twitter timeline, and posts by Yahoo's Greg Wyshynski and CBS Sports' Chris Peters, I'm not the only one that is in a state of disbelief regarding this ruling. For what it's worth, I was perfectly okay with Zack Kassian's suspension in the preseason, and actually thought that Dale Weise should've been punished more harshly. I sincerely believe that me being close to the team has not clouded my judgement here.
Sticking with the Sharks, defenseman Brad Stuart recently also got 3 games for what I thought was a much more flagrant play, in which he knocked superstar Rick Nash out of the lineup for at least a week with a concussion. I generally try not to get worked up about these things, but in suspending Alex Edler for 3 games, the league was way off.