The hate between the United States and Canada runs deep, even in meaningless exhibition games during the warmup to the World Cup of Hockey.
Ryan Kesler proudly wears the red, white and blue for Team USA. He shows that these colors do not run … but they do get ejected.
In the second period of the first World Cup exhibition game for both squads, Team Canada defenseman Shea Weber goes back to retrieve the puck along the end boards. He doesn’t appear to touch the puck before Kesler comes barreling in and flattens the much larger (and angrier) Weber against the boards.
Jonathan Toews does Kesler a solid by throwing down with him right away. Let’s be honest, if Weber got to Kesler first, we’d be talking about Kesler’s decapitation instead of his penalty.
Anyway, Kesler was assessed a five minute major penalty for boarding and a 10 minute misconduct that sent him to the showers. As for Weber, he appeared to be fine. He and Toews were handed roughing penalties for post-hit shenanigans.
In the video of the hit, Kesler appears to make contact with the upper back of Weber as the defenseman’s shoulders are square to the boards. In the NHL, that might result in a suspension during the regular season. As everyone recalls, those decisions are handed down by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Per the the NHL, there is a three person panel that will oversee player safety at the World Cup of Hockey. This panel includes current Vice President of Player Safety Stephane Quintal along with a member of the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department and a representative from the IIHF.