Highlight of the video: always the professional, Ken Daniels sneaks in the Belle Tire sponsorship mention. Oh, and some guy named Niklas Kronwall makes an appearance too. Kronwall’s latest victim is the completely unsuspecting Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers.
While, it looks ugly at first glance, this is a legal hit. Kronwall didn’t leave his feet (which is better than a lot of his other hits) and isn’t targeting Voracek’s head, though it does get popped in the process. Voracek has his head down, which is a bad idea in any sport, let alone the NHL. As such, Kronwall won’t be suspended for the hit, which is the right move by the league.
One thing that surprised me about this situation is the lack of uproar from Philadelphia fans over this incident. Maybe I don’t keep in contact with the stupid ones (either that, or they’re still mad at Andy Reid), but everything I’ve read from them and the national media has been pretty level-headed so far. A prime example comes from SB Nation Philadelphia’s David Strehle, who points the blame at the NHL for a lack of clear-cut ruling on hits to the head.
There is a multitude of grey areas associated with the laws surrounding “illegal checks to the head”, and it seems a rare situation where any player will not have been deemed to have placed himself in a vulnerable position when injured. The Letang and Voracek hits are proof-positive of that fact.
The entire piece is worth a read, so click on over. Just keep your head up in the meantime.