Buffalo Sabres winger Jason Akeson will not face supplemental discipline for his high hit on Ottawa Senators forward Colin Greening.

Referees Ghislain Hebert and Dave Lewis – the latter of whom had a front-row seat for the hit – did not call a penalty on the play.    After further review, it seems the Department of Player Safety agreed with the non-call:


Rule 48, which covers Illegal Checks to the Head, states:

48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted.
In determining whether contact with an opponent’s head was avoidable, the circumstances of the hit including the following shall be considered:

(i) Whether the player attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body and the head was not “picked” as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension of the
body upward or outward,

(ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.

(iii) Whether the opponent materially changed the position of his body or head immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit in a way that significantly contributed to the head contact.

Based on that, it appears the league felt that Akeson’s hit was otherwise legal, and that Greening placed himself in a position where head contact was unavoidable. 

Of course, while Akeson may have avoided formal punishment, he did encounter some vigilante justice at the hands of Ottawa’s Travis Ewanyk immediately after the hit.