Nashville Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a high hit on Carolina’s Brock McGinn.

The hit came with 6:16 remaining in the second period of Tuesday night’s game in Raleigh.

McGinn headed into the offensive zone to retrieve a dump-in.  As he collected the puck along the boards, Fabbro came in with a high, hard hit, raising his elbow and making contact with McGinn’s head.

After a brief discussion between the officials, the Nashville blueliner was given a minor penalty for elbowing on the play by referees Tom Chmielewski and Pierre Lambert.

45.1 Elbowing – Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.

45.2 Minor Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of elbowing an opponent.

45.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to foul an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent. When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct penalty shall also be imposed.

45.4 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 by elbowing.

Note that the officials did not call this an illegal check to the head, which is defined as “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.”  Certainly, both factors appear to be true in this case.

Under Rules 20.6 and 21.5, officials now have the ability to review major or match penalties.  The caveat is that the review can only take place when a major or match penalty is called on the ice. There’s no provision to call a minor penalty and upgrade it via review.

Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major [or Match] Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice.

Such reviews will be conducted exclusively by the Referee(s) on the ice in consultation with other On-Ice Official(s), as appropriate, using the technology (for example, a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) specified in and provided pursuant to Rule 38.5. Communication between the Situation Room and the On-Ice Officials shall be limited to contact between the appropriate Game Logger in the Situation Room and the Referee to ensure the Referee is receiving any and all video they might request, as well as the appropriate replay angles they may need to review the penalty call. There shall be no other contact or consultation between the On-Ice Official(s) and the NHL Situation Room, or with any other non-game participant.

The Referee shall only have the following options following video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major [or Match] Penalty call; or (ii) reducing his original Major [or Match] Penalty call to a lesser penalty for the same infraction.

McGinn left the ice for evaluation but did return for the third period.

Fabbro has no disciplinary history in the National Hockey League; he has not previously been fined or suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety.