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No hearing scheduled for Cleary elbow; Hannan, McLellan won’t be suspended or fined

Jan 10, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

Doesn’t appear there will be any repercussions from an incident at the end of San Jose’s 4-1 win over Detroit on Thursday.

Dan Cleary has no hearing scheduled for an elbow to the head of Scott Hannan, an NHL spokesman confirmed. What’s more, neither Hannan nor Sharks head coach Todd McLellan will receive fines/suspensions for an instigator penalty being called in the final five minutes of the game (as per NHL rule 46.22)

Here’s the incident in question:

According to the NHL, the instigator penalty will be on Hannan’s record going forward, but the reason for no fine or suspension is that — after being reviewed by the league — the incident was determined not to have violated the spirit of the instigator rule.

This is in accordance with 46.22, which reads:

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. 

When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.

The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.

No team appeals will be permitted either verbally or in writing regarding the assessment of this automatic suspension as all incidents are reviewed by the Director of Hockey Operations as outlined above.

Hannan, reacting to the Cleary elbow, was given the instigator, a five-minute fighting major and game misconduct with 1:53 remaining. Cleary was given a roughing minor and a fighting major.

  1. muckleflugga - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    amen to that brother

    • upper90cheese - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Brendan Shanahan + Danny Cleary = Detroit Boner City

  2. tunesguy - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Typical East Coast bias.

    • dtownbeatdown - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      The Wings are one year removed from the Western conference… so if they still played in the West would it be West coast bias then?

  3. sharksman - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    wow , cant say im surprised but I guess its ok to throw a elbow now

  4. tdaveniii - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Huge sharks fan here. . . letter of law is that Hannan should have been tagged with the instigator penalty. Quite clearly it was in retaliation for the head shot. The 1 game suspension should be imposed.

    Speaking of the headshot. . . that should be a 3 or 4 game suspension to Cleary. Blatant, inexcusable cheapshot. Identical intent as James Neal’s knee to Marchand’s head, just maybe not quite as dangerous, and that cost Neal 5 games. Neal was not considered a repeat offender there.

    • dewman8810 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:47 AM

      Huge Wings fan here… I wouldn’t exactly say that the intent on that play was identical to James Neal’s hit. Cleary looked to just want to get a little push in on Hannan and was caught reaching and made contact with his head. Do I think Cleary should be suspended… Absolutely! Do I think there was malicious intent to elbow Hannan’s head… no. Intent shouldn’t be the only issue when looking at suspensions. Careless and reckless play should be. But look, Jared Cowen’s elbow on Datsyuk didn’t get a suspension and he was out for a long time… the intent probably wasn’t there though. But it was reckless and should have gotten a suspension. Just like the Winter Classic game where Lupul crosschecked Eaves. I’m sick of the intent debate… if they want to clean this garbage up… they need to suspend reckless plays.

      As far as the instigator rule… The rule is total garbage and should ONLY be called in cases where players are just looking for a fight for no reason. If Hannan would get a suspension for that, then I’m done watching the NHL. A player needs to be able to stand up for himself and his teammates. The instigator rule is half the reason these headshots continue to happen. You can’t step in anymore and fight a guy for a cheap shot because you’ll get an extra penalty.

      • tdaveniii - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Disagree on the instigator rule. You indicate that the instigator rule prevents a player from standing up for himself. However, here, Cleary was penalized for the headshot. So, the fight was not necessary. It did nothing to advance the game, it was pure revenge, and that needs to come out of the game.

        I also don’t think much of your splitting of hairs as to Cleary. You don’t think the elbow was thrown with malicious intent but that he was caught “reaching”. Reaching for what? There seems to be this mentality among many NHLers of intending to hit someone without causing injury and that this should absolve them of blame. When you intend to hit someone, you have to live with the results.

  5. killerpgh - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I’m fine with Hannan not getting suspended. The way that play happened wasn’t what the NHL was trying to stop when they added the 1 game suspension for instigating in the last 5 minute of a game. This wasn’t a coach putting his “goon” out there to send a message. This was a spur of the moment fight that happened because of a cheap shot. I personally think the NHL gives out to many suspensions nowadays. But going off the NHL recent history I’m shocked Cleary didn’t get a phone hearing and at least a fine.

  6. sjsharks66 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    So let me get this straight. They feel Hannen is not in the wrong because the fight was understandable for being elbowed in the head. Yet, the elbow itself that lead to the fight, brings no punishment?

    This is out of control. The NHL says “lets take head shots out of the game.” Then a clear attempt and accomplishment of landing a headshot leads to “well….. i mean…… Uh…..”.

    This is another example that proves ;

    1. The number on either jerseys matters.
    2. Injury is the only thing they care about
    3. Whatever teams logo is on the jersey

    All lead to how punishment will be handled.

  7. shutyourfivehole - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    So they’re gonna throw the Sharks a bone by not penalizing Hannan, but then turn around and bone them by not suspending and/or fining Cleary for an obvious elbow?
    Between scumbag Dustin Brown ruining Hertl and now this, Shanahan, Bettman, et al have proven again what a joke they are.

  8. blackandorangeforlife - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Sorry Mr.Shanahan i didn’t mean to question your credibility but………When the U.S Congress steps in what will the NHL management say…….Cant burn all these tapes can they?

  9. muckleflugga - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:23 PM


    cleary elbowed hannan…two minutes by rule…roughing or elbowing

    hannan flopped as if pole-axed…rising from near death experience to attack cleary…distanced from provocation by time and ice implies element of premeditation…instigator by rule…within five minutes of game’s end…misconduct with ejection a consequence

    subject to league review

    hannan not on the ice to provoke fight but was himself provoked to fight…he and coach absolved of further sanction…spirit of rule prevails…league review correct…rule and supplementary discipline process followed…

    nhl functioning properly

    next outrage…?

    too many men on ice with intent to cause confusion…befuddle game call…two minutes…subject to league review…

    supplementary discipline…?

    a weekend with charlie manson or no mute button on mcguire colour commentary

    i like charlie

  10. paperkid96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Seriously, this proves Shanahan hates the wings!

    We are getting DP’d here.

    1) Hannah clearly was an instigator and deserves the game
    2) We are stuck with Cleary in the line up still.

    Worst punishment ever.

  11. dtownbeatdown - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    The way the “rules” are implemented these days Cleary should of got a game. But as a long time wings fan and hockey fan in general… is anyone else sick of everything warranting a suspension now? I am perfectly fine with Hannan standing up for himself… Elbowing and fighting used to be a simple minor or major penalty and now everything warrants a suspension. Let boys be boys… even though this is one time I wish a winged wheel got a suspension… because Cleary couldnt hit a broad side of a barn let alone an open net if his life depended on it.

  12. sjsharks66 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    So let me ask the wings fans who think elbowing is not a big deal and only want a suspension because Cleary sucks this.

    What did your tune sound like when Datsyuk was elbowed a few weeks ago? The elbow a 2 minute penalty then, or did you want a suspension because elbowing players is cheap?

    • dtownbeatdown - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Datsyuk=Star player, so yes wings fans will be pissed if you take out their top performer, and he was concussed and out for 7 or 8 games. And like I said regardless if Cleary sucks he should of warranted a suspension, because that is how the “new” NHL rules work. Do I like how the new rules work?… absolutely not. Because there is no consistency. Just because Wings fans joke about Cleary being suspended because he sucks was just exactly that, a joke… He should of been suspended because again, that is what the rule states that it is the intent to injure, in which the intent was definitely there. Do I think Hanan should of been suspended for instigating? NO, you get elbowed in the head I would expect a retaliation of some sort. But again that is not what the rules state, he could of very well been suspended too “A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. ”

      Jared Cowen (the player who elbowed Datsyuk) was then suspended 2 weeks later for an illegal hit to the head to Zemgus Girgensons…

      So as a Wing fan that is what I think.

  13. skr213 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Look at the view of Cleary’s elbowing at 1:13 in the video and then tell me it’s not suspension-worthy per precedent this season. C’mon. His arm is a good two feet away from Hannan’s head and Cleary directs his skates toward Hannan and then blatantly throws the elbow at Hannan’s head. If that’s not suspension-worthy in this “no head shots” era, then WTF is??

  14. paperkid96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    I don’t hear too many Wings fans denying it was suspension worthy. I’m not sure what Sharks fans want here. I think Hannan handled it exactly the way it should have been handled and I’m glad the NHL decided not to suspend him (my previous post I was being a smart A$$ because I think Cleary sucks).

    This isn’t a new problem with the inconsistency in punishment. Regardless of what the NHL says the, whether or not a player is injured matters greatly.

    • dtownbeatdown - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      That is a the great thing about Wings fans, we are honest, and most play the game and understand it. Sjsharks66 is a homer and obviously doesn’t understand humor, or that not one wing fan has said that Cleary doesn’t deserve a suspension. Just like most said Cowen deserved a suspension on Datsyuk… regardless if it was accidental or not. A head shot is a head shot and warrants a suspension if that is what the NHL is going to keep preaching to us. Like you said, no consistency from the Czar.

      • paperkid96 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Yeah, go check check out The Malik Report over at Kuklas Korner. Not a single Cleary supporter.

  15. broadstreetsbaddest88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    That’s insane that it’s not a suspension being it’s as clear as they come blatant elbow to the head. I literally can’t figure out what reasoning shanahan had to deem this not suspension worth. It’s insane how biased and inconsistent these suspensions are. It’s even more perplexing that they even took instigation into consideration

    • pens5829 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Not very often I would agree with a Flyer fan, but broadstreetts makes sense. Clear intent to place elbow on the chin yet Shanahan wearing his red and white blinders. Throwing darts as usual.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Red and white blinders? That is laughable, this is the first time something went the wings way. Abdelkader has been suspended, Cowens hit on Datsyuk never received a suspension, or just recently when Lupul cross checked Eaves neck in the winter classic=no suspension, and Shannahan was at that game. So if you are claiming him to be bias, please enlighten me of a incidence where he was favoring the wings. Because you are a Pens fan and have some of the dirtiest players in the league that get away with murder, and the poster child of the NHL that can do whatever he wishes. So please keep your opinions in perspective.

  16. qauzaq - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Thats disappointing. I think Cleary should have got a least a couple of games for that.

  17. muckleflugga - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:12 PM


    i don’t recall datsyuk getting-up seconds later to attack cowen…datsyuk was laid-out and missed what, seven games


    catch a clue for once…you and others herein consistently demonstrate the following:

    you’re dumber than a sack full of hammers

    you’re remarkably obtuse in a forum where dull-witted foul-mouthed juvenile pimple ranchers hold sway in the feeble reaches of their oxygen starved brains

    you clearly have never played hockey, preferring rather to offer opinion served-up fourth hand, the progeny of the equally unimaginative and intellectually inbred

    bring on the clowns…oh wait, they’re already here


    • sjsharks66 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      You played hockey? The career must not have gone very well, as all you do is post the same mundane and “comical” posts on PHT.

      Don’t worry, I am not bothered by your comment. Just curious about your pro stats?

  18. muckleflugga - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:55 AM


    i’m glad you’re not bothered at my commentery…it was intended to make a point…people hurl insults continually in these boards but lack imagination…i rather enjoy some of the insults when they’re creative…mine are exaggerated intentionally so they’re not to be taken seriously…i apologize if you’re offended…my bad

    since you asked, i have no pro stats…i only made junior b…when it meant something…i went on to graduate studies instead…two teammates and several classmates made the nhl when it had six teams…i still play…

    playing hockey at any level wherein you can gain understandings based on common sense and simple understanding of human motion and physics is there for anyone…those same understandings are there for many to miss…

    not a sin necessarily unless the misses are nurtured through repetition

    argument put forth by me in wake of cowen’s elbow on datsyuk was directed at league claim it was accidental…no penalty was given…datsyuk was injured, but the league strayed from protocol penalizing consequence over deed, accidental or not

    a superficial view comparing the cowen elbow with the cleary elbow overlooks fundamental differences at how each occurred, and played out through league review: cowen was not penalized whereas cleary was…datsyuk was not able to rise and attack cowen whereas hannan was and did…datsyuk was concussed and hannan was apparently, not…

    a two minute elbowing call would have sufficed in both instances…league review is in place to advance authority and gravity of discipline not given or permitted by in-game officiating…

    like stick play, players are responsible for the conduct of their bodies and use of elbows knees feet and fists…cowen was inexplicably excused against understanding demonstrating injury to datsyuk…had hannan stayed down and been in need of concussion protocol cleary would not have been excused

    the league erred in permitting cowen to proceed without sanction…it did so contrary to accepted practice penalizing play causing injury…cowen continued in reckless play and was subsequently suspended

    the league was correct in permitting the on-ice call against cleary to stand…it did so following accepted practice…were cleary to elbow another opponent in similar fashion through the balance of this season, he’d likely be suspended

    a two minute penalty for elbowing is standard…blow to neck or head is implicit in an elbowing call…i cannot recall an elbowing call for blow to anything below the neck…aggravated circumstances only play if a personal foul like elbowing results in injury…supplementary discipline usually plays

    cleary likely regrets his foul, even as joffrey lupul regretted his foul on eaves

    it’s there to be seen in body language after each foul

    • dewman8810 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      Agreed. Playing hockey at any level, you gain an understanding of how things work. Doesn’t have to be NHL level, you don’t even need to be that good.

  19. tlndma - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Brendan, you just don’t get it.

  20. hightopandrocket - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    No way does Shanahan have “red and white” blinders, if anything he tries to distance himself. Remember Weber smashing Zetterburgs head into the glass for the whole world to see in the playoffs a couple years ago?

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