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Dec 3, 2012 12:30am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some
memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.
Cam Newton Black Jersey .ca! Hey Kerry, I
enjoy your CMon Ref pieces.  I have to ask, what is the thought process behind
essentially no supplementary discipline to Shea Weber for his MMA cage match
style head thump on Zetterberg?  I look at what Shanahan doled out to
James Wisniewski in the pre-season, a punishment that cost him over $500,000,
and can do nothing but shake my head at the pat on the back (you cant even call
it a slap on the wrists) that Shanahan gave to Weber.  The inconsistencies
coming out of Shanahans office are more puzzling every day.  Whats your
take? Joe FriedlMason, OH —— Dear Mr. Fraser, This may be a bit out of the
area of officiating, but I am very confused (and frustrated) regarding the
penalty and fine assessed to Shea Weber for his hit on Henrik Zetterberg after
the conclusion of Game 1 of the Nashville/Detroit Series.  Weber pushed
Zetterbergs head into the glass hard enough to break his helmet.  He received a
2 minute minor assessed at the 20:00 mark of the third period, of which he
served zero.  Brendan Shanahan fined him $2500.  After a season of enforcing
hits to the head, it seems to me that the NHL is sending the message that it is
acceptable because it occurred after the buzzer, because it is the playoffs, or
because there was no injury.  How would you have handled as an on-ice official? 
What about off-ice (Mr. Shanahans position)? Thanks, and keep up the great work
you do in your column. Scott FurtawSaginaw, Michigan —— Kerry, Since Im sure
many people have asked you about this, Ill keep it short and simple: HOW ON
EARTH WAS SHEA WEBER NOT SUSPENDED FOR TWO-HANDED SLAMMING ANOTHER PLAYERS FACE
INTO THE GLASS? What kind of precedent does that send after an entire season
full of suspensions and detailed video explanations as to why each punishment
was or was not handed out? Especially when the purpose of the strict enforcement
was to prevent cheap shots to the head? Eric Joe, Scott and Eric: There were
several decisions that I made on the ice during my 30 year NHL officiating
career that, upon reflection I wish I had handled differently. The decision not
to suspend Shea Weber for the next game in the playoffs versus imposing the
maximum allowable fine of $2,500 under the NHL-NHLPA agreement is one that
perhaps both Brendan Shanahan and I would like to reverse.  As I said many times
when I clicked on the microphone at ice level, “Upon Further Review…” Whenever
I judged an illegal act on the ice I attempted to properly quantify the severity
of force exerted on an opponent and the resulting effect. Based on the varying
degree of violence of the act and my perception of the players intent I could
impose a minor, major (plus game misconduct where injury resulted) or a match
penalty for a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent. When major infractions
and particularly match penalties were assessed there was often a gap in time
from an initial confrontation between two players that could be deemed a reflex
or continuation of a battle as opposed to the calculated delivery of a severe
blow that took the infraction to the highest level on my penalty meter. High on
the penalty meter were dangerous and reckless decisions made by a player where
sufficient space/distance and time occurred prior to contact on an opponent that
was vulnerable. A few examples I might suggest that crossed the threshold for me
would be Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook in last years playoffs; from this
season Tyler Myers hit from behind on Scott Gomez; Shane Doan elbow to the head
of Jamie Benn; Duncan Keiths deliberate attempt to injure Daniel Sedin (all
receiving a suspension from Shanny) and even the Milan Lucic open ice body check
on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. Many more specific plays could be cited but I hope
you get the general picture as you attempt to apply your personal penalty meter.
My initial take on the Shea Weber incident did not cross the threshold due to
the force that was exerted.  I concurred with the initial assessment on the ice
and the maximum fine levied by Brendan Shanahan. As I reflect on my initial lack
of sound judgment on the play I must agree that Shea Weber went beyond a typical
hockey response after being slashed in the knee and then bumped from behind by
Henrik Zetterberg which caused Webers head to contact the glass. His immediate
hard glove punch that fortunately missed the mark and glanced off the top of
Zetterbergs helmet causing Henrik to place his glove in front of his face to act
as a cushion was a hockey response; albeit an illegal one. The continuation of
Webers hostility toward Zetterberg cannot be construed as a hockey play once
Shea cerebrally departed the ice and entered the ring by using an open palm on
the back of Henriks helmet to push the Detroit players head, now cushioned by
his hockey glove, into the glass. In this unprecedented turnbuckle reflex
maneuver on the ice, Shea Weber did pull up on the force he could have exerted
against his defenseless opponent. Putting force or lack thereof aside, what
Shea Weber did was optically horrible and potentially dangerous. “Upon further
review” I stand corrected. While Brendan Shanahan and his Player Safety
Committee have made many excellent decisions (some popular – some not) in an
effort to rid deliberate contact to the head and dangerous hits from the game
the lack of suspension in this incident sends the wrong message. Like a missed
call that many of us wish we had a “do over” in hindsight, I hope that you will
cut Brendan Shanahan and his group some slack on this decision. Understand this
is a work in progress. Not all calls are going to perfect. I attempted to learn
something from everyone that I missed; no differently than this one! Scott you
asked me how I would handle situations such as this on the ice and from
Brendan Shanahans chair.  Moving forward, if a player was to push an opponents
head into the glass or onto the ice with force such as this I would assess a
match penalty for deliberate attempt to injury. This would result in an
automatic suspension of the player until a full review and hearing was
convened.  Given the current standard that has been established this season for
supplementary discipline and dependent upon on the degree of violence and force
exerted (in general terms) I would impose a minimum one game to a maximum five
game suspension.  (I say “general terms” because in extreme cases an open-ended
suspension could be imposed). Shea Weber would have received a one-game
suspension in addition to the maximum allowable fine for his inappropriate
reaction and potentially dangerous response to a hit by Henrik Zetterberg. Some
might suggest one playoff game would not be enough of a suspension in this case.
Next season you just might be right. For now, however, I ask you to use the
two-game suspension that Byron Bitz received for his lengthy run and illegal hit
to Kyle Cliffords head as a comparable. While even hindsight isnt always 20-20,
I think we can agree that a better message needs to be sent on this one. Get
ready for more great games this Friday the 13th.  Im sitting in the TSN studio
and watching every one of them as they are being played. Cmon Ref!! For a
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referee Kerry Fraser, visit The Book Keeper website. For a regular copy of Final
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