No Suspensions Coming for Edler, Sturm

Edler Takes a hit from Josh Green in Saturday Night’s Pre-Season Game Against the Oilers
Photo Credit: Ric Ernst PNG

According to TSN’s Bob Mckenzie – the most reliable name in hockey news – Marco Sturm and Alex Edler will not suffer the wrath of Shanaban for their violations of Rule 48 in Saturday night’s game against Edmonton. Again according to McKenzie, there is insufficient "evidence of "targeting" on either hit," and as a result both Edler and Sturm will be in the Canucks opening night line-up on Thursday.

Here’s Marco Sturm’s hit on Oilers centerman Lennart Petrell:

Apparently the league’s office of player safety has ruled this hit a "full body hit with incidental head contact". I don’t get this one, looks to me like Sturm comes from the blind-side and makes principal contact with his shoulder on Petrell’s head. If it wasn’t intentional (I suspect it was not) it was certainly reckless… I suppose what I’m miffed by, is what exactly is the difference between Sturm’s hit on Petrell, and MacArthur’s on Abdelkadder that did warrant a suspension?

Onto Edler’s hit on Taylor Hall:


This hit on Edler will go unpunished by the office of player safety because Hall "lowered his head just prior/simultaneous" to Alex Edler’s defensive check to initiate contact. This hit was always a bit of a grey-area, Edler was anticipating contact from Hall on this play and didn’t see that Hall had lowered himself to try and make a poke at the puck. Edler’s elbow was out and made contact with Hall’s head – but the contact with Hall’s head, though scary – was pretty clearly accidental.

Clearly, confusion reigns in the early days of the Shanahan era – and hopefully Shanahan clarifies why exactly Marco Sturm’s hit was deemed not to warrant any disciplinary action… What do you think, did Sturm and Edler deserve any supplementary discipline on either of these hits, or was a minor penalty sufficient?

  • In my opinion there was enough question about these hits that I am not too disturbed at there being no further discipline however I agree with something you said in reply to a comment earlier today…that Edler should keep his elbows down. Perhaps the heightened awareness resulting from the scrutiny on head shots will make players more aware of the mechanics of their hits. I also think that in these borderline cases it would be helpful if the NHL gave a commentary (similar to the ones where suspensions are levied) giving their reasons for not imposing sanctions.

  • Yeah I agree with that John. I’m also told there’s another angle on the Sturm hit that shows he clearly made contact with the shoulder first. I’ll definitely amend my post if I see that video – but as is, it still looks like a carbon copy of MacArthur/Abdelkadder to me…

    As for the idea of videos on hits not warranting further disciplinary actions, I agree – they would be most helpful. The best part of the Shanaban web-videos is the increased transparency they bring to the process – so letting us in on the decision making behind rule48 violations that don’t result in supplementary discipline would help clarify things further.

  • As an Oiler fan I wasn’t a fan of either hit. Certainly Edler’s hit on Hall was a combo of Hall going in the way he did, and Edler only glanced his head…could have been much worse, but I agree with no suspension there…Marco Sturm’s hit on Petrell though…that looked like a clear blindside hit…I thought it waranted a couple games at least to keep that behaviour down…just to be consistent.