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Video: Daniel Cleary elbows Scott Hannan in the head, sparks fight

Jan 10, 2014, 1:54 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 10.45.53 PM

Detroit Red Wings veteran center Daniel Cleary could be facing supplemental discipline for an elbow to the head of San Jose Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan late in the third period of Thursday’s game.

The incident occurred with 1:53 left in the period, with the Sharks up by three goals. Cleary, trying to track down a puck in the slot in the San Jose end, threw out his right elbow, catching Hannan in the head, sending him to the ice.

Hannan got up and skated right for Cleary, dropping the gloves and pushing Cleary up against the glass.

Cleary was given a minor penalty for high sticking, minor for roughing and a fighting major on the play. Hannan was assessed a fighting major, an instigator and a game misconduct.

The end of the game featured some bad blood between the two teams, with Red Wings’ forward Todd Bertuzzi reportedly throwing his helmet at Sharks’ center Tommy Wingels following a scrum.

  1. defenseman13 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    I’m a Sharks fan, and I think I speak for the rest of the fans. All of them.

    Year after year, new silly sh–y rules are implemented. The crapagon behind the net… the pad size… the depth of the goal… how they call hooking… delay of game over the glass… AL OF THESE RULES have absolutely nothing to do with the game and all seem to be some craptastic marketing play that says that the more goals scored, the more people will watch hockey.

    The big one apparently is hitting and fighting. And I HATE to mention these the in the same sentence. FIGHTS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. Yes, there are staged fights, and we all remember the enforcer era of the 90s.

    But fighting happens for a reason. The league needs to police itself. My point is this. The worst rule of them all is the enforcer rule. I’m not calling out Cleary, but he made a bad decision to elbow Hannan in the head. This is a dangerous (not necessarily dirty) play. So Hanna goes after the guy, and now stands to get suspended a game and get fined $10,000. Yet there was no call on Cleary.

    I don’t care who you are a fan of, you have seen shoddy referee work OVER, and OVER and OVER again. The refs are confused about calls as I am, as they usually make phantom calls on the wrong offenses 6/10 (last 5 game I’ve seen). This means yet another Stanley Cup upset.

    SO tell me, wtf can be done? Bettman needs to go, and take Shanny with him… but what??? At least with McSorley, you knew this wouldn’t happen to Gretzky. Where is the line? This league is in BIG trouble.

    • defenseman13 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:30 AM

      ^forgot to add the importance of avoiding head injuries and preventions of concussions. Which apparently is looked over and miscalled, for every team.

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:46 AM

      Definitely an attempt at a cheap shot from Cleary (I guess anyone can get pissed enough to throw a dirty elbow now and then?), really didn’t look like he connected much at all though. Glad to see they settled the score right then and there and that Hannan wasn’t actually injured.

    • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      defenseman13, First and foremost the NHL is a business that requires owners to invest a lot of money to be competitive. Whether we like it or not the owners want a return on their investment. The big three sports are all about fan entertainment to increase viewership and profits.

      There is a flip side to the instigator rule which has to due with protecting those players who feel they don’t have to fight. There are a lot of things about the game that a hockey player must accept. Is fighting one of them? I think not. The flip side of what happened last night was on LA last night. Clifford landed a legal check on Krejci. McQuaid went after Clifford, and Clifford had to defend his clean hit with his fists. Why? It was a clean hit.

      There was a time in the NHL when players would fight in the last five minutes of the game because they were frustrated, and the game was out of reach.

      Hence the instigator rule.

      Referees have been criticized since the inception of the NHL nearly 100 years ago. Same thing in any other support. So, get over it. It’s not an easy job and they can never make everyone happy. Losers are always more critical and emotional, which is apparent by your post.

      Hockey has never generated as much revenue as currently. To ask for the departure of Betman & Shanahan is completely preposterous. Clearly you don’t understand the business side of a professional sport and how the NHL operates. To state that the NHL is in BIG trouble is utterly ridiculous.

    • killerpgh - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hannan NOT get suspended here. The whole point of the instigator getting suspended for starting a fight less than 5 minutes to go in a game is to stop players from trying “send a message” for the next game. And this wasn’t one of those time. This was a guy standing up for himself.

    • stevemac213 - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Please don’t speak for me…the league is in big trouble? Please…

  2. sjsharks66 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:34 AM

    Cheap shot from a player I never expected to pull something like that.
    Intent was there but since there was no injury, probably will dodge a suspension.

    • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Agreed! It wasn’t an accidental elbow. Bad decision by Cleary, and I wish he would get suspended or at least a fine for a shot to the head regardless of injury or not. I too doubt it will happen.

  3. flyerspsu - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    The intent was so obvious that it has to get a suspension, Cleary as blatantly as you possibly can extended and threw out his elbow to specifically make contact with Hannan’s head, absolute suspension for me

  4. muckleflugga - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:29 AM


    nooooo…be comfortable in the knowledge you do not speak for the rest of the fans…any of them

    that privilege is reserved for the few among penguins supporters who, by abstract association with sidney crosby, know everything there is to know about hockey…we bow in reverence…kiss the ring [ singular]…let’s move on…

    cleary’s elbow, blatant, is covered under the rules of the game and would typically warrant two minutes if no blood or teeth or anyone doing the ororor orp orpppp pik ik ik were apparent…get down and worm ladies get down…yeah…boogie-on…yeah

    the referee saw cleary’s elbow…he gave two for roughing…the referee saw hannan sell it hard following sharks bred-in-the-bone propensity for diving…the referee saw hannan go after cleary…he gave two for instigating

    had hannan simply threw down on cleary’s contact…free of theatre…there would have been no instigator call…properly due when a player has had time to compose himself then act regardless

    it’s not hannan’s privilege to police the game, sorry…the best way to offend a referee is presume to take his job…then make work for him when writing-up post-game reports

    while frustration at refereeing is understandable, though unwarranted in this instance, concussion hysteria does not preclude application of rules as they exist…that’s why there are rules measured for in-game fouls

    if enforcement of rules is questionable as it occasionally can be, introduction of subjective perception of intent or damage while pondering the crisis of the day would derail all structure…

    charade would become farce

    oh wait…

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:51 AM

      Well said, well said. Slow clap…

    • titansrbeast - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:12 AM

      Is all that you have to say about it? Can’t you elaborate please?

      You filth, nobody wants to hear your hysteric rants! You think you know everything? Hmm? You Don’t. You don’t even watch the sport. You don’t know what hockey is. You are nothing.


    • hockey412 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      Whenever they legalize whatever you are on, I’m going to go back and read all of your posts and see if I can finally figure out wtf you are rambling about.

    • stevemac213 - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM


    • gandallk - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM


  5. sjtorpitt - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Do you have a life outside of PHT? It sure doesn’t seem that way.

  6. saintsredwings - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    As a Wings fan. I think a year long suspension for Cleary would be fine.

    • paperkid96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      Life time ban….. I am so sad he didnt end up in Philly.

  7. benrob99 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Did I read that right? The guy that GOT elbowed in the head got a game misconduct? I know it is late in the game, but still that seems odd.

    And listen to PFTs resident board troll… it’s not Hannan’s job to police the game… it’s Shawn Thornton’s.

    • hockeydon10 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Well, of course he did. He instigated a fight with under five minutes left in the game. It’s an “automatic” call. He’ll get a hearing too I believe. Because he got a game misconduct his play will be reviewed by the league, too.

      Here’s the relevant text:

      46.12 Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 46.22.

      Getting that fly-by elbow by Cleary doesn’t nullify the rule book. Hannan is certainly allowed to do what he wants and go after Cleary and start a fight. He’s also going to face the consequences for doing so. In this instance, the consequences are two, five and ten.

      (Before you mention it, IMO Cleary should get a hearing too. He doesn’t have a history of being a dirty player, but that was a blatant elbow.)

    • michiganhockey11 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      You want Cleary’s head on a platter for this, fine. But throwing Thorton’s name out there after he slewfoots a guy…..that’s classless. That has no part in the game.

  8. 13datsyuk13 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    It was an obvious cheap shot from Cleary. The league needs to give him a few games off. That kind of crap has no place in hockey!

  9. michiganhockey11 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Was it dirty, yes. Will he get a suspension, probably. Did Hannan sell it based on the replay? Sure did. If it did a lot of damage he wouldn’t have popped right up like he did. Replay showed Hannan moving away from it as it was coming.

    • stevemac213 - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Dude, let me throw an elbow in your face like that and we’ll see how well you “sell it”. Hannan popped up right away because he is a tough SOB. Cleary will get fined and possibly suspended…and rightfully so.

  10. sjsharks66 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Michigan, yes it was not much contact. The bottom line should be the intent to injure Hannan. The league likes to play this game where you can clearly try and injure someone, fail at the attempt and get away clean. It should be the intent that deserves the initial punishment. Injury should just add extra games to the suspension.

    • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      There you go again throwing out your favorite three words; “intent to injure”. Intent to injure involves a conscious decision on the part of one party. If you can prove that Clearly told someone he would elbow Hannan as soon as he had a chance prior to the act, then you have intent. If you don’t have that then you don’t have intent.

      • 7mantel - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Clearly knew the consequences of throwing his elbow to the head of Hannan so there is his intent ! He did not have to tell another player before he did it , that would be premeditated .

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Intent to throw an elbow…. Yes! Intent to injure? Prove it! If that was intent then what about fights. According to your logic everytime a player throws a punch to someone’s head it should be intent to injure, therefore suspend-able. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. A lot of things happen during the course of active play that cannot be considered intent because things happen quickly.

      • 7mantel - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        I was answering to your claim that he had to tell another player before, in order for it to be “intent”

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        I get it. But! How do you prove intent?

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        mickey, when the puck is dropped players are moving based on patterns they have practiced and are very focused on what’s happening at a very fast pace on the ice. They don’t here the crowd or those idiots you see pounding on the glass when players battle for the puck. You level of awareness solely focused on the task at hand. So, when an elbow goes up like that it’s not necessarily intent to injure. Do you seriously believe that Bertuzzi’s intent was to fracture three of Moore’s neck vertebraes, give him facial cuts and a concussion? C’mon!

      • 7mantel - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Watching the video his elbow comes up not as hockey play but to strike Hannan .Players know the results of their actions, Matt Cooke is an example of player changing his game, don’t think its by accident .

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Did I say it was a hockey play? When you’re playing between whistles all stuff happens, and there are a lot of moving parts. Most of the times you have react to something, and only that player can explain it. I’m not saying swinging a stick to someone’s head. Ex: Dupuis swing his stick and hit and broke Kelly’s leg. Was that intent? No! Or maybe it was. Only Dupuis can tell you for sure.

        Here’s an example. Say a player checks an opposing player and the opposing player’s teammate goes after the player who inflicted the check to revenge his buddy and he’s dropped his gloves. The player doesn’t want to fight and hits the other player in the face with his stick causing a cut and blood. Where there is blood there is a penalty. This player is asked to speak with Shanny so he can assess what the player’s frame of mind was when his stick made contact with the instigator. The player explains to Shanny that his history shows he’s not a fighter and he had no desire to fight, and explained he raised his arms and stick to protect himself from the player coming after him with what he thought was clearly intent because the other player had dropped his gloves. He said he perceived danger as soon as the gloves were dropped because in the NHL when gloves drop it means a fight will ensue. At this point Shanny as no reason to think there was intent from the player who wanted to protect himself. However, the player who dropped his gloved clearly had intent to inflict injury and pain to this opponent, but he probably won’t get suspended because there is no rule in the book to suspend him for intent. The player who was challenged to a fight but didn’t may get suspended, but, it will be less games because the injury happened in the context of protecting himself as opposed to wanting to injure the other player.

        There is a lot more to consider than what we know when it’s time to hand out a suspension, which is why so many criticize Shanny. Unless you played the game at a very competitive level there are things we cannot and may never understand.

      • 7mantel - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        The NHL has their criteria for instances like that, we as fans will have our own opinions .

  11. sharksman - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    look it was a dirty elbow. Hannan gets a game misconduct because of the rules. fine im ok with that. Shanny will look at both and decide who gets suspended. What I don’t get is people saying he dived or was acting. The man got a elbow to the face , got knocked down and jumped right back up. If he was going to act/dive he would have stayed on the ice holding his head for 5 min. Has any one of you people that said he dived walked into a door or a low branch etc etc, what happened ? you fall on your ass and go “ow” then while everyone that saw you is laughing you get up and say “ouch” now imagine that, except the branch is now a elbow and what do you get ?
    yeah tired of all the sharks are divers bs”
    that is all

    • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      No, just Couture. And Wingels. And of course Thornton. Well, anyway, at least Hannan didn’t really dive.

  12. fusionix7 - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    It was a blatant elbow by Cleary. Last week we saw a blatant cross check to Patrick Eaves head. Lupul got a $10,000 fine. Next week we’ll see something similar.

    The only thing the NHL is good at is inconsistency when it comes to it’s rulings. Based on that Cleary will get anywhere from no fine or suspension to 10 games because the fan, and more importantly the NHL has no idea what the ruling will be on a case by case basis.

  13. kfraser91 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    As a wings fan, Im hoping Cleary gets a game. The guy is awful. Him and Samuelsson shouldnt even have a stall in the locker room.

  14. jhaegs - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Winner winner, chicken wing dinner!

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