The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety has elected not to suspend or fine Calgary Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov for a hit he threw on Dallas Stars forward Luke Glendening during Friday’s playoff game at American Airlines Center.
The on-ice officiating crew in Dallas elected not to penalize Zadorov for his hit on Glendening, which came early in the second period of Game 6.
Nikita Zadorov avoids discipline for his hit on Luke Glendening in Game 6.
Thoughts on the decision? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/MsBa6UoEAa
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 14, 2022
Zadorov participated in a telephone hearing with the NHL on Saturday afternoon.
The NHL subsequently determined that Zadorov made “significant head contact” with Glendening but determined the outcome of the hit was “unavoidable.”
(2/2) While there was significant head contact on this play, Zadorov took a proper angle of approach, did not extend outward or upward, and hit through Glendening’s core. Therefore, under Rule 48.1 (i), the head contact was determined to be unavoidable.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 14, 2022
Here’s the full text of NHL Rule 48.1, with clause (i) — crucial in the NHL’s decision on the Zadorov play — bolded:
48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted. In determining whether contact with an opponent’s head was avoidable, the circumstances of the hit including the following shall be considered:
(i) Whether the player attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body and the head was not “picked” as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension of the body upward or outward.
(ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.
(iii) Whether the opponent materially changed the position of his body or head immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit in a way that significantly contributed to the head contact.
Before the NHL announced its ruling on the Zadorov play, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter voiced his disagreement with the league electing to conduct a hearing in response to the play.
#Flames head coach Darryl Sutter on Nikita Zadorov’s hit on Luke Glendening and potential supplemental discipline:
“It was a hockey play. I totally disagree there should be a hearing considering there’s been slew-foots in this series.”
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) May 14, 2022
Zadorov will be eligible to play on Sunday evening when the Flames and Stars take to the ice at Scotiabank Saddledome for the deciding Game 7 of their quarterfinal playoff series.
Looking to up your fantasy hockey game? DailyFaceoff has the tools you need for both daily and season-long fantasy leagues, including a lineup optimizer, daily projections, and a whole lot more. Sign up for the DailyFaceoff tools here.
- Five takeaways from the Calgary Flames’ Game 6 loss to the Dallas Stars
- Heat Playoff Post-Game: Stockton sends Bakersfield packing and advances to the next round
- Will the Flames have Chris Tanev or Nikita Zadorov available for Game 7?