Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba will be the latest to go before the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The Jets defenseman is scheduled for a hearing on Monday for a hit to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone.
Trouba’s headshot came with 13:18 to play in Sunday night’s game. As Stone carried the puck over the blueline, Trouba stepped up to deliver a check. The defenseman threw out his elbow, catching Stone in the head.
Trouba was given a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head by referees Brian Pochmara and Francis Charron.
There’s no major penalty provision for an illegal headshot. It’s either a minor or a match penalty.
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.
48.2 Minor Penalty – For violation of this rule, a minor penalty shall be assessed.
48.5 Match Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.
Ottawa coach Guy Boucher was incredulous at the call.
“It’s a clear hit to the head with the shoulder,” said Boucher. “It’s one of the best players in the league and I think everybody saw the same thing.”
Stone did not return to the game.
The Senators, already down a forward with Bobby Ryan out with a broken finger, also saw Mike Hoffman and Tommy Wingels leave the game due to injuries.
“Right now, we could be losing quite a few guys,” said Boucher. “It looks like a disaster. We’ll see tomorrow and maybe the disaster is not as bad as we think, but you’ve got to be ready for anything.”
Trouba’s hearing is set for Monday afternoon.