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Kesler Avoids Discipline for Clipping Clutterbuck

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Puck Daddy is reporting that Ryan Kesler will not face any supplemental discipline for his clip of Cal Clutterbuck in last night's game. We aren't surprised, but find their justification disingenuous. Which, of course, is also completely unsurprising.

From Greg Wyshynski:

The NHL Department of Player Safety, however, has chosen not to punish Kesler beyond the minor. Their take: Not every illegal hit is a suspension, and that the Kesler clip on Clutterbuck was "not overly vicious" but a play they'll remember down the line if Kesler does it again.

As was predicted in our post early this morning, the league refuses to take the hit for what it is. There was no injury on the play, so it isn't "overly vicious." This leads to a question... is there a chart of levels of viciousness hanging in the war room in Toronto? One with happy faces to sad, like when they ask you how much pain you are in at the ER?

This type of justification is the standard from the Department of Player Safety Jokes. Find any way possible to justify not suspending a player's actions, rather than the result of those actions, and put some sort of ridiculous wording to it so that you don't accidentally set a precedent. Sergei Gonchar was just "playing with passion," after all.

Kesler gets to skate against the Hawks, and the Safety Dance goes on. Nothing to see here, folks. Rest assured, they'll "remember down the line if Kesler does it again." That makes it all better.

Oh... and make the jump for a video of a hit that Shanahan deemed worthy of a suspension.

Here is that video:

At the time, Shanahan had this to say:

"As the video shows, Marchard skates toward Salo along the boards,'' Shanahan said on "Rather than deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, Marchand drops down dangerously low into Salo's knee area, propelling Salo up and over and causing an injury.''

Shanahan cited Marchand's hit was in violation of NHL rule No. 44, Clipping, which states, ``Clipping is the act of throwing the body from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent. A player may not deliver a check in a `clipping' manner or lower his own body position to deliver on or below an opponent's knees.''

Let's use this as a checklist.

"Marchand skates toward Salo along the boards" - Kesler skates toward Clutterbuck along the boards.

"Rather than deliver a shoulder-to shoulder check, Marchand drops down dangerously low into Salo's knee area" - Rather than deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, Kesler drops down dongerously low into Clutterbuck's knee area.

"propelling Salo up and over and causing an injury." - propelling Clutterbuck up and over and causing... oops. No injury. And there you have it. If there would have been an injury, this would have been a suspension. Since there wasn't one, the act is forgiven.