Feb 19, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) lays on the ice after being injured by Vancouver Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen (not pictured) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in the shootout. The Blackhawks tied an NHL record for scoring at least one point in 16 consecutive games to open a season. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Suspends Vancouver Canucks Forward Jannik Hansen

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen has been suspended one game by the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety for his hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa.

“Hansen is behind Hossa in the neutral zone when the puck is chipped into the air towards them. While it might be true Hansen initially reaches up to play the puck in the air, he changes the position of his arm and delivers a sharp, careless forearm to the back of Hossa’s head,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in the video explanattion of the suspension.

“Although it’s true both players initially had their hands open as the puck approaches, Hossa maintains an open palm throughout. Hansen on the other hand, has closed his hand and has a closed fist. He also does not extend his hand until after Hossa has made contact to the puck.

“We feel that the carelessness, the force with which the blow was delivered elevate this incident a level of supplemental discipline.”

One word describes the reaction to the suspension: outrage. Outrage in Canuckland that Hansen was even suspended and outrage outside of Canuckland that it was only a one-game suspension.

We respectfully disagree with our sister site, Blackhawk Up, that the Duncan Keith hit on Daniel Sedin was a comparable and Hansen should have been suspended for five games. The two hits are similar in that the puck was in the air on both plays, but Keith did not make a play for the puck on the Sedin hit. Hansen did make a play for the puck and in the eyes of the NHL, he made a kneejerk reaction to strike Hossa in the back of the head.

After the game on Tuesday, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault defended the actions of Hansen (as you would expect any coach to do). On Wednesday, Vigneault was livid that there was even a hearing for the hit.

Obviously Vigneault saw the hit differently than the NHL. He saw it as being pure incidental contact, while the NHL saw Hansen’s hit to Hossa’s head as “reckless” hence the suspension.

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