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Stewart suspended three games for Kronwall hit

Nov 16, 2011, 4:42 PM EDT

NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart three games for his hit on Detroit’s Nicklas Kronwall last night. The incident occurred at 11:14 of the first period of St. Louis’ 2-1 win:

The decision to suspend Stewart didn’t surprise many. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said afterward that “it’s one of those plays at the beginning of the year they told us they’re going to be sticklers on,” while Dan Cleary added “it’s a dangerous play that far from the boards.”

Even Stewart’s teammate, David Backes, had a hard time claiming the hit shouldn’t be suspended.

“I don’t know. You look at the criteria put forth. [Stewart] has never been suspended before, never had a hearing before. Kronwall looks injured on the play, but he comes back,” he told Dan O’Neil of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Is it an ugly hit? Yeah, it’s not pretty.”

In a statement on the team website, St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong said “we respect the decision by Brendan and the National Hockey League as they continue to enforce the safety of all players during our games.”

When discussing the hit with Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch, Armstrong added, “It’s a situation that we accept and we move on with. But I just want to be 100 percent crystal clear that our support for the type of player Stewart is hasn’t wavered. He’s a very honest, hard player. This is a hockey play that went awry.”

Stewart will miss games Nov. 17 vs. Florida, Nov. 19 at Minnesota and Nov. 22 vs. Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return Nov. 23 at Pittsburgh.

  1. angleofdarkness - Nov 16, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Well it’s a good thing Stewart doesn’t play for the Bruins or he’d have gotten a stern talking-to instead.

    • bruinsfan28 - Nov 16, 2011 at 8:53 PM

      Come on can’t people be happy for once that the person in this case didn’t get hurt? I’m going to tell you the same thing I told a fellow Bruins fan who gloats that we won the cup in everyone’s face! LAY OFF! I do believe Marchand got suspended or McQuaid? Someone got suspended last season for a rough hit. Shannahan has done an outstanding job. Is the Lucic decision questionable? No Dought. But our complaints cannot change what has happened so lets all move on have a few beers and enjoy some hockey.

      • danphipps01 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:19 AM

        Thank you, bruinsfan. We have like thirty fucking threads about the Lucic hit and in every matter even tangentially involving the Bruins, some idiot launches into a Colin Campbell conspiracy theory. We get it everywhere, all the time, and we can do without it. I’m with you. Let’s just watch some damn games.

  2. polegojim - Nov 16, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Just and deserved. That play can quickly end a career.

  3. urallstupid - Nov 16, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    hate how they suspend based on severity of the injury suffered and not the actual act.
    had kronwall suffered a career ending injury, you can bet your ass that stewart would have been suspended for much more than 3 games.

  4. urallstupid - Nov 16, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    i think he should have gotten somewhere close to the 8 games that James Wisniewski got for his preseason hit, both have no place in the game of hockey so why not come down hard so idiots will be too scared to ever even think about doing something like that?

  5. danphipps01 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    urallstupid’s got a point. Kronwall had time to turn to the side as he went in. A little closer and he probably would have connected with the boards either straight-on with the top of his head or at a shallow angle – in both cases it would be entirely possible if not indeed likely for him to break his neck. That kind of hit can outright kill a man in the worst-case scenario and in many, many others would severely injure him. I think Stewart didn’t shove him as hard as he could have, again because Kronwall had time to turn a bit, but even so – there was a very real chance he would have gone headfirst in at high speed. Neck trauma potential there was huge. VERY dangerous hit. And because he got up and came back? Three games. Not the kind of message you want to send. That hit CANNOT happen regularly. It WILL end someone’s career if players are willing to throw it out, and as long as they expect five or less games off, there are some who will chance it.

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