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

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:19 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

Watching the game on tv, it was hard to see the hit due to the boards being in the way.  The video above shows that Letang is already engaged in the act of checking Burmistrov when Burmistrov turned into the boards.  Letang could have absolutely buried him into the boards, but seemed to let up at the end.  I didn't have a problem with a 2-minute call, because it did look like a dangerous play (and could have been worse if Burmistrov put his head down or if Letang didn't ease up a bit).  But there's really no reason for a fine or suspension.  Then again, as Anabolic pointed out, this is the new NHL, and players are purposefully putting their backs to oncoming checkers to draw calls, and with the suspensions that have been handed out lately, I wouldn't be surprised to see something come of this.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:29 pm

Pens' Letang has NHL hearing for boarding call

So a 2 minute boarding call is going to result in a possible suspension?All i know is that watching these games players are becoming "hip" to turning their backs when retrieving pucks from the boards knowing that any sort of contact from behind will most likely result in a Powerplay for their squad.Some guys are missing hits to avoid the Zebra's scrutiny all together.I certainly don't think Letang made this check with any intent to injure Burmistrov.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or