Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers was all over the highlight reels Thursday evening. After laying in what many deemed a nasty hit on Joel Armia in a one-sided affair where the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Canucks, most were sure Myers would be suspended. The consensus was that this was a direct hit to the head in what many called an unnecessary play.
The Department of Player Safety for the NHL did not agree. Myers hit will going to go unpunished, at least in terms of supplementary discipline and all the defenseman will get was was the 10 minute misconduct penalty for this hit during the game.
In the video explaining their ruling, NHL Player Safety has concluded it did not violate the illegal check to the head rule. Saying the head was not the main point of contact and that head contact was unavoidable, the DOPS presented their ruling by slowing down the video from multiple angles to explain their decision. While presenting all their evidence, the committee deemed that this was not like other hits to the head that have been suspendable offenses in the past.
What Is The Department of Player Safety Thinking?
This is not going to sit well with a lot of fans or fellow players who saw the hit and deemed it dirty almost immediately. With the score out of reach for Vancouver, Myers lays in what seems to be a predatory hit. Perhaps the argument that primary contact to the upper chest is valid, but it seems evident Myers elevated himself to land a blindside hit.
So too, fans will argue that other hits this season, which resulted in players being suspended, weren’t as dangerous as this one. Samuel Blais got two games for a hit on Devon Toews earlier this year.
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