Blog Entry

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:30 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 12:18 pm

By Brian Stubits

It seems like it has been a while, but Brendan Shanahan is going to get another visit to his office.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Kris Letang has been summoned to a hearing for his boarding call against Alex Burmistrov of the Winnipeg Jets in Monday's 2-1 Winnipeg win.

With the Penguins trailing by one the entire third period, the game began to get very chippy and intense. Letang's hit didn't help settle the matters. The hit in question took place at the 13:08 mark of the third period and Letang did receive a penalty for boarding on the play.

Now a show of hands: Who thought Letang would be the first Penguins player to get a hearing this season? That's what I thought. Everybody has been waiting for Matt Cooke to slip up and revert to his old ways, but he has so far remained true to his promise to be a changed man.

If Letang is suspended, it will be the first for a hit to the head or boarding penalty, the two areas of focus this preseason, since the regular season began. But this one won't be easy.

As the rule states, the onus is on the player not to make a bad check, but the circumstances are considered. Among them is if the player being hit simultaneously or immediately prior to the hit altered his position. In this case Letang would have an argument that Burmistrov did, take a slight turn directly toward the boards just before Letang hits him, but not before Letang had already committed to the check.

Even with that considered, though, I'll guess Letang will receive some form of punishment, likely small. Shanahan will err on the side of too much punishment for the time being, I believe, to really make sure the message gets across.

Video: H/t to @JoeYerdonPHT

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Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:00 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call


Are you still drunk and hallucinating or fantasizing after the first win of the season?  So far there are no complaints or whining from Pens fans.  What are you talking about?  If you want whining just read the posts about Asham knocking out Beagle last week.

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:00 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Shanahan's buddy Ryan Smith throws a blatant and intentional elbow to the head last week and gets nothing.  Letang get two games for this.

It's pretty clear where Shanahan is going with his suspensions.  I guess the suspensions will become fair and consistent once all of Shanahan's cohorts are retired from the NHL ... so I guess we just have to wait about 5-10 years.  And people thought we'd see some integrity once Colin Campbell was gone.  Nope.  Same old, same old. 

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:46 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

I don't understand his use of the term *predictable move* when the player is heading out of his own zone stops and turns back towards his own net.


Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:33 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Unfortunately with any new rule enforcement protocol, there is a "feeling out" process for the officials and the players.  Nobody changes overnight (although one could argue that Cooke did).

The hit does not look bad to me, but a suspension would send a message to the players that they better make every effort to avoid this type of contact or they will be suspended.

I like hits, but do not want to see my team torn up by injuries on hits that are questionable.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:26 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

I'm actually not really that upset with a two-game suspension.  Shanahan is doing whatever he can to try to get these kind of hits out of the game, and has given out similar punishments for similar hits.  I don't know if this hit would have gotten a suspension under Colin Campbell.  But under Shanahan's reign, this fits the bill.  I also think that Burmistrov not getting hurt on the play kept it at 2 games.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:04 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Watch the video.  He arches his back when he extends his arms.  Sure he gave him a shove (which is why he got the penalty) and extended his arms.  But he could have absolutely buried him by putting his shoulder into the middle of Burmistrov's back and smashing him into the boards.  Like I said, it looked bad, and could have been a lot worse given a few variables.  Letang isn't exactly known as a dirty player, and has virtually no history of going out of his way to put a dirty hit on a player.  It looks like he got caught up in the moment and made a mistake.  So yeah I agree it was a dirty hit, but it was made worse by Burmistrov turning his back to Letang as Letang was engaged in the hit, and it definitely could have turned out to be a great deal worse. 

As for the jagoff talking about Sid and Geno, you think that it is too much to ask for the league to protect its star players?  With all of the emphasis being placed on trying to get fighting out of the game, the players are losing their ability to police themselves on the ice.  Therefore, it's up to the league to try to do what it can to protect its most valuable assets.  Go figure one of the elite players in the game is knocked out for a significant period of time...oh wait. 

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:50 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

2 games, good suspension imo.  

Since: Feb 22, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:33 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Regardless if the hit was suspendable or not, i just want to say that player reputation should have no factor in suspension decisions.  If a goon dishes out this hit he gets suspended 10 games, end of story.  Enough with the double standards.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:59 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

LOL at all the Penguin fans whining and saying that this doesn't deserve a suspension.  He (Letang) clearly drives the Jet player into the boards from behind.  This could have been a very serious nedk or spine injury.  Can you imagine the outroar if that had been Crosby or Malkin on the receiving end of that hit?  Penguins fans would be demanding blood and a lynching.

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:58 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

 He didn't "let up at the end."  As you can see, he extends his arms and drives him into the boards.  He's lucky he didn't get 5 for that one.

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