When you play a game on national television, plenty are watching – including the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
They’ll want to take a second look at this hit from Philadelphia’s Brandon Manning on Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.
Guentzel never played the puck. He was skating along teammate Sidney Crosby, who had possession of the puck just prior to the hit.
From Rule 56 – Interference:
A “pick” is the action of a player who checks an opponent who is not in possession of the puck and is unaware of the impending check/hit. A player who is aware of an impending hit, not deemed to be a legal “battle for the puck,” may not be interfered with by a player or goalkeeper delivering a “pick.” A player delivering a “pick” is one who moves into an opponent’s path without initially having body position, thereby taking him out of the play. When this is done, an interference penalty shall be assessed.
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of interfering with an opponent.
Further, the primary point of contact appeared to be Guentzel’s head. With no change in body position by the Pens winger, the onus was on Manning to deliver a clean hit on the play. Instead, he delivered a hit to the head, extending his elbow through the hit. Additionally, Guentzel was not eligible to be checked on this play.
Guentzel was not injured and remained in the game.
We’ll await further details from Player Safety on whether this hit is deemed suspension-worthy.
UPDATE: Hearing set for Monday.
Philadelphia’s Brandon Manning will have a hearing tomorrow morning for interference on Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 26, 2017