The Department of Player Safety has been busy lately, no? And if all goes as expected, they’ll have another hearing on the horizon, this time with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman, Simon Despres.
On Friday evening, Calgary defenseman Ladislav Smid chased the puck behind the Penguins’ net and chipped it to his right. Sliding to a stop on the edge of his skates, Smid is at an angle. That’s when his head meets Despres arm. Despres follows through and lifts off his skates as he makes contact with Smid.
Take a look:
Despres was not called for anything on the play. The only penalties that resulted from the hit were for other players going at it. Smid immediately went to the locker room, and did not return to the game due to an ‘uower-body injury’.
DoPS references often the ‘principle point of contact’ when explaining why a hit is suspendable (or not). Despres makes it pretty clear for them. Smid is already in a vulnerable position. Despres does not attempt to pull up, instead he follows through with a check targeted at the head of Smid.
Should Despres face a hearing, it will be his first. He’s currently appeared in 26 games this season for Pittsburgh, and has 1 goal and 4 assists with 46 PIMs.
(As always, s/t to Steph for the GIFs)