According to the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks' official Twitter accounts, Canucks defenseman Alex Edler has been slapped with a three-game suspension following an illegal check on San Jose Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl:
Edler's check was deemed illegal due to the the manner in which he delivered it. NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan explained his ruling in the NHL.com video embedded into the Sharks' tweet.
Shanahan claims Edler does not hit Hertl squarely and makes Hertl's head the main point of contact. “If Edler wants to makes this check, he must take a better angle and route toward Hertl and hit him squarely through the body,” he said.
Should Edler have been suspended?
According to Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk, Edler will forfeit $182,926.83 in salary, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund per the stipulation in the CBA.
Luckily for the Sharks, Hertl did not sustain an injury due to the illegal hit. The 19-year-old rookie scored four goals on Tuesday against the New York Rangers.
Hertl caused some controversy on his fourth and final goal of the night, as he went between the legs for a top-shelf shot. Here's a video:
Edler has been suspended before for a check on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith and is thus considered a repeat offender by the NHL. Here's a look at the hit from March 2013:
While Hertl might have caused some controversy due to his flashy fourth goal against the Rangers, this isn't one of those "he had it coming" situations. He is a 19-year-old playing hockey in the National Hockey League—retaliation from another team's defenseman isn't necessary.
The Canucks and Sharks meet again on November 7 in San Jose.