During his five year career in the NHL, Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders has never been viewed as a dirty player nor has he been suspended for any hits he has thrown during his career. He’s been a clean player who is known for his skating ability and work ethic, but that changed a little bit over the weekend.
Saturday night, the Islanders played host to the Carolina Hurricanes at Nassau Coliseum. At approximately 6:42 of the first period, Grabner collided with Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe in the left wing faceoff circle, sending Gerbe to the ice. There was no penalty called on the play and Gerbe took his regular shifts throughout the game.
The results of what happened between the two has led to Grabner having a phone hearing today with the Department of Player Safety and Brendan Shanahan. Now the reason for this is because the hit Grabenr made against Gerbe falls under the ruling of an illegal check to the head. In the video, if anybody saw it, it looks like Grabner’s elbow comes into contact with Gerbe’s head. Thankfully, nobody was hurt on the play and no penalty was called.
Now I’m not saying that what Grabner did was right, because it’s not. The hit does seem like something that is a suspendable offense. Sure it looked like Gerbe lowered his head into the hit, but still Grabner made contact with his head which is what they will suspend people over. I’m not supporting what Grabner did because it wasn’t a safe hockey play.
With all that being said, I just feel that the suspension won’t be more than one game. Grabner isn’t a repeat offender, and Gerbe wasn’t hurt on the play. It makes sense that a one-game suspension is possible.
What do you think?