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Video: Rangers’ Nash ‘did not target’ Kopecky’s head

Mar 22, 2013, 11:46 PM EDT

After an outcry from fans and media toward the National Hockey League for not suspending New York Rangers forward Rick Nash for a controversial hit on Tomas Kopecky, the league’s Department of Player Safety responded.

The league released a video explanation for why Nash was not suspended for a high hit on the Florida Panthers’ forward on Thursday.

It was stated during the video explanation that: “Although we do not think this was a legal hit, we also believe it does not rise to the level of supplemental discipline.”

It was also stated that Kopecky turned his back “just prior to Nash making contact, which contributes to the impact of the hit.”

The department deemed that Nash did not target Kopecky’s head and that it was not the principal point of contact.

Earlier in the day, the league’s disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, called the Nash hit “rotten” but that it was not enough for a suspension.

On Friday, the league suspended Canucks defenseman Alex Edler two games for colliding with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith behind the Phoenix net in the second period of Thursday’s game.

The Canucks released a statement Friday evening, saying the club did not agree with the league’s decision, but would not comment further.



  1. sjsharks66 - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    It doesn’t hit his head, you’re right. He just jumps and slams his arms into his neck.

    • tbcrow - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      As ridiculous as this sounds, I’d rather take a shot to the head than to the neck. Your head is designed to protect your vitals, your neck is so much more vulnerable.

  2. rekingcrew - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    What we’re saying is, its a legal play, giver hell boys!!

  3. gmenfan1982 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Even as a big time Rangers fan and a big fan of Nash, I think that deserved at least one game. Totally unnecessary and right to the neck.

  4. tatdue - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    This is bloody hilarious! The video says that Kopecky turned his back “just prior to Nash making contact” – I guess in this case “just prior” refers to “over a full second before” and although in this video, and in super slow motion, it appears that Nash first makes contact with the top of Kopecky’s shoulders, his elbow still comes up and into the back of Kopecky’s head hard enough to knock his helmet clear off and send Kopecky himself into a complete flip! Also did anybody happen to notice that they never mentioned a bloody thing about the fact that Nash launched himself into this maneuver to begin with? This is just an attempt at damage control and nothing else….and a sad attempt at that! Decisions like this (by the NHL) are damaging the integrity of the league and they must stop….this season is starting to look like it’s being choreographed….

  5. nflfan4now - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Why don’t they just come out and say it –

    The Rangers are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt, the NHL needs them in there, we won’t do anything to jeopardize their chances……

    Kaleta didn’t target Ricards head either but he deserved his suspension, Nash did too.

    • nicknyhc - Mar 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Kaleta boarded Richards. Kopecky obviously did NOT get boarded on this play.

      Boarding is one of the most dangerous plays in hockey, honestly.

  6. jpat2424 - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    I remember when he played for the hawks, he was always getting hit in the face and head and never any calls from refs. Poor dude

  7. kgun80 - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    “..the lady doth protest to much”.. Seriously? Are they going to really continue to defend this? Bettman isn’t even smart enough to know how this should work! When defending a lie you don’t keep producing statements and evidence… You don’t address it, you don’t say a word! He must have been the worst attorney ever.

  8. jb8383 - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Total bs. Should have been a suspension.

  9. President Charles Logan - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    how exactly does the nhl “need” the rangers in the playoffs?……. they arent even in the top 5 in the usa for tv ratings whether its ny or not

    • kitshky - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      You might be President … but you’re clearly no Business Major.

      • President Charles Logan - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        yeah like im sure they get higher ratings then the flyers, pens, bruins, redwings & blackhawks lol

  10. voltron217 - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Nicky your a retard! The bottom line is if its kaleta on kopecky its a suspension. If its anyone on the rangers it’s not. The league is biased and shanahan is a joke. You should be proud that your team has fringe benefits from the league and still sucks.

  11. kgun80 - Mar 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    @President whatever … It’s not about ratings it’s about the possibilities. The size of the media market. There is a much larger opportunity for financial success of the league if the Rangers win… If the NY market had a consistently good team that won titles and was always winning it would have a much larger financial impact than Florida or Tampa or Buffalo etc… That is why the NHL favors certain teams and players. Not because they like them but because of the bottom line. This happens in all 4 major American sports. The NHLs issue is they do it and are blatant about it.
    I wouldn’t want to see a player make the kind of hit that Nash did … But I would love to see the leagues reaction if and when it did happen. And how they would treat the player if he is just joe schmoo and plays for one of the smaller market teams. Bottom line is its baloney and in the long run it just makes Bettman and Shannaban look like the jerks they are.

  12. wilbur8848 - Mar 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Put em in a skirt

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