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No discipline for Clarkson’s undisciplined play on Dubinsky

Feb 28, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

David Clarkson Getty Images

Last night’s 2-0 Rangers win over the Devils was spiced up a bit thanks to New Jersey’s David Clarkson.

Late in the second period, Clarkson took a run at New York’s Brandon Dubinsky by charging him. Clarkson appeared to leave his feet and lead his hit with an elbow aimed at the head of Dubinsky. While he connected with the body, he missed with his elbow and the two threw the gloves off to fight. The thought was that Clarkson might see a suspension coming from the hit.

Not so much. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice finds out that Clarkson won’t be suspended for the play. Gulitti says two factors played into the decision in that Clarkson didn’t make contact with Dubinsky’s head and there was no injury on the play.

You can check out how the whole scene unfolds at HockeyFights.

Seeing Clarkson leave his feet and leading with his elbow would seem to be the exact kind of hit the league and Brendan Shanahan wants to see eliminated from the game. The fact that contact to the head wasn’t made and Dubinsky wasn’t hurt shouldn’t play into Shanahan’s decision. The intent to do harm was there.

  1. jamawl - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    “The fact that contact to the head wasn’t made and Dubinsky wasn’t hurt shouldn’t play into Shanahan’s decision. The intent to do harm was there.”

    i agree. injuries should play no role in how long a player is suspended for. going by how large of a factor it is now, if a player dies from an illegal hit will the player that delivered the hit be banned from the league? intent is all that should matter.

    • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      The problem with this is that you can argue intent all day long with nearly every hit.

  2. rpiotr01 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    The NHL: “We won’t do anything about the problem until it’s too late!”

  3. hawknuts - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    this is exactly why you cannot ban fighting. the players have to have a means to work it out on the ice, if not the stick work will become unbearable as well as the dirty hits (head shots, from behind, intent to injure)

  4. hanktheking - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    WHAT A JOKE! Captain Inconsistency Brendan Shanahan at it again…this was the exact same play that Alex Ovechkin was suspended for, leaving his feet and leading with an elbow, the only difference was Clarkson is so awful at life he couldn’t connect. Intent is everything and if you look at the way the dummy Clarkson was operating the entire game you knew what his intention was..did he not get 19 PIM’s in the second period alone???

  5. pens919209 - Feb 28, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    In the real world, if I punch someone, I risk going to jail even if that person wasn’t injured by my actions.

    In the NHL, if I headhunt and leave my skates to clobber someone, as long as the guy isn’t hurt, I get a stern look and maybe a warning.

    Doesn’t really make much sense, does it?

  6. brian32556 - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Can’t say much more than those who came before me — he left his feet and led with his elbow — if that doesn’t say INTEND TO HARM what does?

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