Has the suspension of Boston forward Brad Marchand for five games for 'clipping' Sami Salo of Vancouver put the NHL firmly on the path to full Euro style, 'no hit' hockey?
Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent. (see the full rule below)
Many Boston fans see the Marchand hit not as a clip, but as a clean hip check. For example, they say:
Johnny Bucyk was a master of the hip check, and also a two-time Lady Bing winner, but if his hip checks were judged by this standard he'd be considered a goon.Brendon Shanahan explains in the following NHL video why Marchand was suspended for five games because of the hit.
Marchand Suspended 5 Games: Did the NHL Hurt Itself With This Decision? --
This week started off in rough fashion for the Bruins as disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan announced that Marchand’s hit on Sami Salo during Saturday's game warranted a five-game suspension for the young winger. Shanahan reasoned that because the shot was a dangerous, avoidable, predatory, from a repeat offender, and, at the end of the day, clipping. While others claim Marchand deserves the punishment and that the ruling is just, the call is still gutless. Beyond that, this ruling is the setup for horrible precedent. And as we all know, the league's actions going forward are to be performed in a manner that is set by the precedent it has made with prior cases...
This precedent leads us to two saddening conclusions:
1. We're seeing the transition of the NHL game from a North American style of hockey to a European style of hockey. No longer will hitting, fighting or being hard-nosed describe the sport; they are to be replaced by working the referees, finesse games and the really thin guy from the original Nintendo Ice Hockey game...
Suspended Brad Marchand responds to Alain Vigneault’s ‘threatening’ comments, Kevin Bieksa --
As for the rule that the hit was “clipping” — which is the act of taking a player out across or below the knees — Marchand still disagrees with both the officials and Shanahan, who called it such in the video explaining the situation.
“We brought it up,” Marchand said of letting the disciplinarian know his stance on the hit. “Clipping is what I believe it says when you hit the guy at the knee point, around the knee. We felt it was very clear in the video I got him right on the buttocks and it seemed very clear on the video that was the case. Maybe he viewed it differently and at the end of the day he makes the call.”
Brad Marchand frustrated by sentence --
What was frustrating for Marchand was that he felt he had clearance to do what he did, not just because there were numerous other instances of similar hits in previous seasons that were not penalized, but because he made a point of asking NHL director of safety Brendan Shanahan about those type of instances when Shanahan was in town last month.
“I’m a small guy, I play low to the ice and that’s a way that I’ve protected myself in the past and I just felt it was better safe than sorry,” Marchand said. “I brought it up to him and when I walked away from the conversation, he told me protecting yourself is OK in that situation. When that situation arose, I felt I was protecting myself and I was allowed to do it. That’s why I did it.” ...
Rule 44 - Clipping --
44.1 Clipping - Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent.
A player may not deliver a check in a “clipping” manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees.
An illegal “low hit” is a check that is delivered by a player or goalkeeper who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees. A player may not lower his body position to deliver a check to an opponent’s knees.
44.2 Minor Penalty - A player who commits these fouls will be assessed a minor penalty for “clipping.”
44.3 Major Penalty - If an injury occurs as a result of this “clipping” check, the player must be assessed a major penalty (see 44.5).
44.4 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 clipping.
44.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - A game misconduct penalty must be assessed anytime a major penalty is applied for injuring an opponent by clipping.
44.6 Fines and Suspensions – There are no specified fines or suspensions for clipping, however, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 28).