Skip to content

Report: No hearing scheduled for Neal after cross check vs. Detroit

Mar 21, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT

Pittsburgh’s James Neal doesn’t have a supplemental disciplinary hearing scheduled for his high cross check on Detroit’s Luke Glendening during Thursday’s 5-4 OT loss, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The incident occurred early in the second period, with Neal picking up a two-minute minor for the infraction:


Glendening wasn’t hurt on the play and finished with nearly 19 minutes of ice time on the night.

Neal, 26, was playing against Detroit after missing the Pens’ last two games with a concussion. He has a fairly length history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety during his six-year career, drawing three suspensions — which includes a five-gamer from this past December for kneeing Boston’s Brad Marchand in the head.

  1. ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    it’s official, James Neal is untouchable by the league.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      Accept for that 5 game suspension. And that 1 game suspension in the playoffs. Come to think of it he seems to have been touched a few times.

      Don’t get me wrong – this deserved a look, and at least a phone interview. I’m just saying saying he’s untouchable is hyperbolic.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        ya, hyperbole is the correct way to describe this. i didn’t mean it quite so literally.

    • mgp1219 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      just another reason to hate that team

  2. isphet71 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Dirty but borderline disciplinary at best, just like Legwand butt-ending Malkin. At least the NHL is being consistent and not futher disciplining either guy after the game. Either they should both be disciplined, or neither should be.

    I actually want to say “good no call” in this case. Suspensions probably aren’t happening because neither Detroit nor the Penguins can afford any more guys out of their lineups right now.

  3. hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    He got the penalty, as did Legwand, good with it. This was actually retaliatory, but was another stupid play. Not everything he does needs a suspension any more than anyone else.

    But for the love of all that is good and holy, STOP IT, Neal.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I’d say the last sentence of your first paragraph contradicts the sentence after it. If Neal keeps doing stupid things that are dangerous, illegal and can result in serious injury he should be suspended because of his past history.

      We’ve certainly seen other players with past suspensions get the book thrown at them even for marginal plays, so why not Neal? For the Legwand example, I understand the leniency as he doesn’t have a history but Neal certainly does with his obvious and retaliatory hit on Marchand.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        If I slash you on the back of the leg or the hand – it’s illegal, but most likely isn’t going to get you a suspension. While a risky shot in the head will get you suspended, please observe how rattled the player was, how hurt, etc…this wasn’t a hard shot to the head, it was a love tap done in retaliation for the guy running malkin into the boards, which could have injured him (I actually don’t think it was his fault).

        A face washing is, technically, a blow to the head. Suspended for it? No. Why? Because it’s not hard contact. Not even penalized. This was no face washing, but wasn’t a shot intended to hurt the guy. So penalize it, and let everyone else cry that it should have been more. It just wasn’t serious enough. That’s my argument.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Also – I 100% disagree that a player should be suspended based on past injury. In your example you even say it “dangerous, illegal and can result in serious injury” but you let Legwand skate because he wasn’t suspended before? That makes zero sense….the only people being suspended by your rule book are those that were suspended before. Prior history should ONLY be a factor in how long a player is suspended…the act should be judged on it’s own.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        Depends on how you slash the back of the leg or the hand. If it’s a two-hander (both hands at the top of the stick) then it’s going to get more attention than a softer slash. If you do a softer slash that’s aimed at the head? You can bet it’ll get some attention. I’d hesitate to call this a love tap either.

        Injury plays a factor, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing to consider. You have to consider severity of the act just as much (a face wash is not comparable to a punch, let alone a crosscheck to the head). Not being in control of his stick earned Kassian 3 preseason and 5 regular season games when he injured Gagner, yet he clearly didn’t intend to slash Gagner in the face. It was his lazy play and bad luck that it rode up the stick and broke the jaw of Gagner.

        A player can and will have a suspension based on previous offences. If the play in question doesn’t warrant a suspension, then fine, but there’s a valid argument that this should at least be considered as a possibility. Adding in from that Neal’s history as a repeat offender and you can see he’s not learning his lesson.

  4. joey4id - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Hi, my name is Joey and I approve this non suspension, and with flugga.

    Glendening was dinged in the face by Neal’s glove, and the cross check was on the shoulder pad. No suspension is the right call. Fortunately the Dept. of Player Safety is more objective than the Neal hating fans.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      ya but what’s he even trying to do there? if we’ve seen suspensions for guys making hits against the boards in dangerous spots, but not necessarily a dirty hit, why would it not be a suspension to a repeat headshot artist that makes a dangerously high crosscheck and DOES end up making head contact again. “principal point of contact” doesn’t mean the first spot he hit, it means the spot he hit the most significantly…. the head.

      • dmarado - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        I don’t think you can suspend a guy based on intent. It may look like he was trying to hurt Glendening but he didn’t actually hurt him. I don’t want a sport that disciplines on what could have happened.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        whether he hit him with the stick or the glove it was clearly predatory on a guy with his head turned in a “vulnerable” position. he was going after a guy he saw in a moment of weakness, which is typically when guys get hurt. he is lucky as hell. by the way if his stick is on the ice and he makes a play for the puck there he could have chipped it up past 2 wings to a waiting teammate. its just a dumb play all around but i guess the league cant suspend guys for being stupid.

      • cofran2004 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        This is in response to dmarado, not you Ibieniid.

        You can 100% suspend a guy based on intent. You can attempt to murder someone, fail, and still end up in jail. And it’s not even like Neal’s attempt to injure missed. He hit the poor guy square in the face. Just because he didn’t get everything he had into the hit doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be disciplined in some extra way.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        “I don’t think you can suspend a guy based on intent.” you mean, “intent to injure?”

      • joey4id - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        I can see why it’s difficult to understand some of the NHL’s decisions. Proving intent is very difficult. Back in 2011 the GM’s refused to pass a blanket rule on head shots. This is no directive given to the Dept. of Player hand out supplemental discipline for every head shot. If they were, then it could be argued that Neal should have gotten a suspension.

        There is however a directive to eliminate head hits which come from shoulders, elbows, or knees. Neal’s glove to the face was during play, and didn’t cause any injuries. And you know that the Dept. of Player Safety hands out suspensions based on the seriousness of injuries incurred.

        NHL GMs Refuse Ban on Headshots
        “NHL general managers have decided against recommending a ban on head shots to curb concussions. Instead, they will propose tighter enforcement of rules on charging and boarding.”

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        alright, i get what you’re laying down. we can talk current rules all we want, but there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about the league’s lack of desire to stop dangerous head shots. this is just another example of “if they want to stop these plays, they need to make a statement.” I don’t know if there’s many players more deserving to be made a statement of than Neal.

      • shoobiedoobin - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        You can’t suspend on intent? The hell with that, how is that logical in any way? You’re innocent because you failed at your intentions? If I intend to stab you in the eye with a fork am I innocent because I’m bad with utensil aim? Why does attempted murder even exist? Because logically intent is what spawns the action. Eliminate the intent and eliminate the problem at the root.

      • joey4id - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        ibieiind, I don’t want to re open the debat about whether or not fighting should be banned. However, if the NHL were to institute a blanket rule on head shots and permit suspensions for Neal’s shot on Glenbening, then where would that leave them with respect to head shots during a fight?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        I can’t even reply to that without reopening the debate. i’ll pass.

  5. macgrubie - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Always to the head. What is it with this guy?

  6. Shanahammer - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Yeah lets just wait till he seriously injures another player before the NHL takes action.
    Being reactive is always the way to go…

    • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Who did he seriously hurt before, though?

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

        Nevermind – misread. I don’t think this was an attempt to injure.

  7. alicesrightfootesq - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I wish we still had legit enforcers throughout the league.

  8. sjsharks66 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Yeah, James Neal is untouchable. I believe he has a 5 game suspension this season. You’re right though, he’s untouchable.

    This is the right call by the NHL. I think he should have been fined at least. It is just annoying how Legwand gets a 5 for a spear and no one gives two s**ts. When Neal catches someone in the chin with a wild cross check, all the PHT users come out from under their rocks to just write idiotic comments. Like “oh if Crosby was seriously injured…Neal would learn his lesson.” Or “Crosby is a crybaby.” When it is clearly about Neal not keep a calm head. Seems like PHT is 90% troll and 10% hockey fan.
    Neal has been out of control lately. He caught a break here with not even receiving a slap on the wrist. Hopefully he knocks this crap off.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      ya, this is like the 4th time he shoulda been suspended this year.

      i honestly don’t even know where to go from there with your comment. “This is the right call by the NHL. I think he should have been fined at least.” what the f*** does that even mean?

  9. illashell - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I’m a Pens fan and this actually kinda pisses me off. I’m sick of his crap; he makes the rest of the team look bad.

  10. imgoingtowichita - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Whatever voice made the dramatic impact on Matt Cooke should be speaking with Neal.

  11. sjsharks66 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Just read that. I phrased that wrong. I meant to say something along the lines of “the NHL made the right decision. I think he could have gotten a fine though” mainly because we have seen players get fined for nasty cross checks and slashes. It seems like the NHL would rather not hand out a punishment or give a suspension. We rarely see players getting fined.

    If the spear from legwand was worth a 5 then at least fine him. Neal accidentally caught the head with his cross check. I don’t think his intention was to injure but he should still have to pay up for being careless with his stick.

    The rest of my previous post stands. Hope that clears up what I meant to write. It’s early, cut me some slack. 😛

  12. mshantz22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I just hope the league doesn’t forget about this the next time Neal throws a check to somebody’s head.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      they’ve proved that they will.

  13. muckleflugga - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    two minute minors and five minute majors are there for the express purpose of penalizing fouls in the moment …

    games are won and lost on power plays night after night

    supplemental discipline is warranted when product of a foul involves injury that impacts a player’s ability to continue in the game at issue or beyond

    minor or major do not implicitly warrant review for supplementary discipline … as often as not the offending play has to be brought to the attention of the league office by a referee’s game notes or by the injured player’s team

    glendening is hard as nails and unlike malkin, would not shame himself his team or the game itself with a theatrical display attempting to pull a call

    neal’s undisciplined and without benefit of a severe peepee whacking from bylsma, will harm his team with a stupid penalty when it matters …

    game four first round triple overtime already trailing toronto by three games … say bye bye

    bye bye

  14. 2qswing - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    If Glendenning lays on the ice motionless for a few minutes and is helped to the bench, misses a few shifts or the rest of the game, Neal gets suspended. That’s the new criteria apparently. If the guy plays on, you’re off the hook regardless.

    • joey4id - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      You’re right about Neal getting suspended. New criteria? Not sure what you mean by that. There are provisions in the CBA that give the NHL the power to use the seriousness of an injury to determine the length of the suspension. Players and owners accepted these terms when the CBA was signed last year. So, I wouldn’t consider this process as new.

      • 2qswing - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        The seriousness of the injury is PART of the criteria for supplemental discipline and not even the primary criteria. It just seems to me there have been many examples in the second half of this season where a seemingly obvious suspension situation is shrugged off because the player returns to action. That does not change the fact that it was a dirty and illegal hit.
        Based on your prior comments we probably disagree in this case, I believe this hit was a training video for referees on suspension-worthy targeting the head. My point was that had this resulted in serious injury, Neal would be talking to the league as we speak. Others disagree and I’m ok with that. If you walk out your front door and fire a gun in the air but no one is killed or injured, you have still done a dangerous and illegal thing. If caught you will be charged and pay a penalty.
        Enjoy the games this weekend. I’ll be at Rangers/Jackets tonight.

  15. bruinsfan1953 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Why should there be , Pittsburg runs the league

    • shoobiedoobin - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      It should’ve stopped at their gifted 09 championship. That was enough cheating for one lifetime. Yet it continues.

    • shwatson - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      I guess that’s why the Bruins made the finals last season… Because Pittsburgh runs the league right? Sounds stupid when you read it again ehh? From all the 👍👍 I see people approve your stupidity.

    • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      These comments crack me up. How many head shots has Chara gotten away with, both injuring players, without so much as a review? How about Lucic?

      How about how refs refuse to call Boychuks constant illegal punches to the head, EVERY game?

  16. ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    i love the people that just figure out what team you’re a fan of, and throw thumbs around based on that… not even reading what you said. children man, children.

  17. alliceishome - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    ‘League Disciplinary Decision Baffles’

    That’s not even really a news headline anymore, is it? It’s become so commonplace now that you should just expect it.

  18. elvispocomo - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Didn’t read all the comments, but no idea how this doesn’t get a look by the league after Neal’s earlier suspension(s). You can clearly see he’s watching Glendening the whole time (or at least has him nearly center in his field of view) and Glendening doesn’t duck to make that a legal play that would have otherwise hit him in the arm.

    I mean, crosschecking is still illegal right? It happens all the time in games, in the back or side of a player, but any time you’re crosschecking a guy that high – even if it hits the shoulder pad and rides up, but especially if that player isn’t seeing it coming – that’s got to be called as at least a penalty. I could see the 2 minute minor standing but when you look at Neal’s history I think you have to at least consider adding something on.

  19. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Flyers are irrelevant… Pathetic how their fans think they have title hopes

  20. shwatson - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Neal and Legwand both fined 5,000.00 by the NHL.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      And there you go. Both fined, but I still feel more could be warranted with Neal’s history. I’d be ok with it if others didn’t seem to be given longer suspensions just because of repeat offender status in similar situations.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1670)
  2. P. Kane (1302)
  3. S. Matthias (1160)
  4. D. Carcillo (1060)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (1033)