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Gudbranson won’t be suspended for big hit on Fehr

Dec 14, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT

Gudbranson hit 2

Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson was ejected from last night’s 3-2 shootout victory after delivering a crushing blow to Washington’s Eric Fehr in the second period.

Forward Troy Brouwer immediately fought Gudbranson over the incident and once that scrap was over, the 21-year-old blueliner was handed a match penalty. It looks like he won’t face any further discipline though, reports Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

There were questions raised as to whether or not Gudbranson should be suspended, given that he appeared to hit Fehr’s head, but Panthers coach Peter Horachek strongly disagrees with that assessment.

“It was directly his shoulder that hit [Fehr] in the chest first and the follow through might hit him on the chin as it’s going through, but it’s straight on,” Horachek said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

As for Fehr, he temporarily left the game, but returned for the third period.

“I don’t know what his intent was exactly, I haven’t seen the replay so I’m not going to comment on that. It didn’t feel good,” Fehr told the Washington Post. “That was a close call, definitely. It definitely stung me. I think I dodged a bullet there.”

If you want to view the hit for yourself and the fight that followed, you can do so below:

  1. hosewater2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Kudos to the refs on the ice, they penalized the hit harshly, maybe appropriately. And as a bonus Brouwer got the instigator for “sticking up for a teammate” in getting pummeled by Gudbrandson.

  2. Moop - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Absolutely no reason why this hit shouldn’t earn Gudbranson a suspension. He targeted the head and left his feet. This is the kind of hit people want out of the game, yet not giving out a suspension here tells me that the NHL doesn’t really care. They’re more concerned with whether or not a player was injured on a dirty play, rather than being concerned with the dirty play itself.

    • flyerspsu - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      the NHL takes into consideration whether the guy got hurt way too much, i think if fehr got hurt, like if downie got hurt on the hit by emelin, both would have led to suspensions

  3. sporkov - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    This should be a suspension and the instigator rule is stupid in this case. They need to revise it. Instigating should not apply in response to penalties or something similar. Give the guy who came over his 5 for fighting and let’s move on.

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