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Shanahan calling: Red Wings’ Brendan Smith ejected after elbowing Chicago’s Ben Smith in head

Sep 28, 2011, 10:44 PM EDT

Brendan Smith Getty Images

And you thought Brendan Shanahan might have a quiet day tomorrow, didn’t you?

In the third period of tonight’s preseason game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, Wings defenseman Brendan Smith caught Hawks forward Ben Smith in the head with an elbow, putting him out on the ice. Detroit’s Smith was kicked out of the game with a game misconduct and assessed a match penalty. Chicago’s Smith was helped off the ice with an expected head injury.

While it appeared that Smith didn’t connect with the elbow on purpose, catching a player in the head like that is going to get the attention of Shanahan. The NHL’s new player safety disciplinarian has already handed out seven suspensions during the preseason and Brendan Smith will likely be the eighth.

Brendan Smith was likely headed back to the AHL so his suspension in the NHL would have to be put on hold. As far as we understand it, the AHL can uphold any suspension but no matter what, Smith would have to serve whatever he’s given in the NHL regardless. Expect his preseason to be over with after this hit.

Here’s video of the hit courtesy of CSNChicago.com:

  1. polegojim - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    TOTAL overreaction. Ben got hit in the head because he tried to juke Brandon’s check. PERIOD.

    That’s the type of situation that should NOTwarrant any further discipline. He shouldn’t even have been ejected. How can the defender possibily anticipate that? There was no intend to injure or go for the head, Brandon was lowering his shoulder to provide a perfectly legal hit.

    Mr. Shanahan, here’s where we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      Ehh. The problem was that Ben head was down. The new ruling has it that it’s Brendan’s responsibility to make no contact with the head. Is it fair to the checker? Nope. But this is what the NHL is trying to enforce and other hockey bodies (i.e. USA Hockey) are following suit. This is all thanks to Crosby getting hurt. Now all of a sudden the NHL cares about ‘shots to the head.’ This time last year, this was a cliff-note of an issue.

      • hystoracle - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        The only way to stop the reckless hits is to put the blame where it lies – in the hitter’s hands. The hitter has control over where he hits the opponent and whether he hits him or not. Aim for the torso not the head. Video clearly shows he aimed for his head and made contact with only his head. Plus it is the lateral hit that was a penalty last year too.. This was a clear rule 48 infraction.

        If you put the onus on the player getting hit, then you are punishing the wrong person. It is akin to blaming the Rape victim for how she dressed or the fact she went to dinner with the guy. She should have known better isn’t an acceptable excuse for committing the crime.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Yea, I agree with you to a certain point. I do think that players do need to held accountable when it comes to keeping their heads up when to puck is on and/or around their sticks. Kids are now thinking they can just skate with their heads down. It’s not right.

      • polegojim - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        @hystoracle – you’re not watching the same video I am. He started at the shoulder, even lower his to make sure, the Ben tried to duck him.

        I understand the responsibility, but let’s not forget the speed of the game. They’re both flying up ice, Smith starts a legal check, Smith2 ducks/lowers his head.

        The situation is ‘unfortunate’, but not Brendan Smiths deal either.

        All that said, he may still get nailed due to the Crosby factoring. I have full trust in Shanahan, even if I may disagree with him on this one.

    • chobes68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      Brendan was still aiming high. That stuff happens when you attempt to check that high up on the body. He deserves what he gets.

    • nottheimpostergrizzlygriz - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      He did not move out of the way at all, you friggin’ moron! Straight for the head.

  2. amwood98 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    polegojim – Sep 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Thank god for the internet or we would not get to hear from geniuses like you. I would ask you to spell/grammar check, but that really would not matter here. Your intelligence level is crystal clear regardless of your English.

    Is it possible you get “cleanly” checked in the head too many times in pond hockey?

  3. amwood98 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    polegojim – Sep 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Thank god for the internet or we would not get to hear from geniuses like you. I would ask you to spell/grammar check, but that really would not matter here. Your intelligence level is crystal clear regardless of your English.

    Is it possible you got “cleanly” checked in the head too many times in pond hockey?

    • polegojim - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      @armwood98 – you’re welcome and very glad to help. Call on me anytime your experience or knowledge fall short of the topic at hand. I’ll be waiting.

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