After some deliberation and a hearing, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan decided not to hand out any supplemental discipline to Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty for his hit on the Rangers' Ryan McDonagh on Saturday night.
Pacioretty had a hearing on Sunday afternoon and after Shanahan had a chance to review the play and talk to Pacioretty and the Canadiens, the call was no more penalties. The two minutes that he received in the game were enough.
From Ren Lavoie of RDS in Canada:
No suspension or fine for Max Pacioretty. Hearing that Marc Bergevin did a great job to protect his player.— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) February 24, 2013
Safe to say this news won't go over very well in the Rangers room.
After the game, the always-ornery coach John Tortorella began his media scrum in a rather unorthodox way by asking the gathered media how high Pacioretty jumped on the hit. He didn't get an answer from any of the reporters but Shanahan apparently thinks not high at all.
The Department of Player Safety examined boarding and/or charging infractions as the basis for potential Supplemental Discipline during the hearing.
Pacioretty was interviewed at length and the Department of Player Safety decided that Supplemental Discipline was not appropriate.
I am a bit surprise at no suspension for Pacioretty and that has nothing to do with the actual merits of the hit. The fact that Pacioretty had a hearing, McDonagh was injured and didn't return to the game plus the fact that Pacioretty had a previous record, he had a lot working against him. It was close enough that I assumed things would work against him.
In a way, it's nice to see that a player was able to get out of any more discipline with a hearing. They had gotten to the point that it seemed like a formality, a player being handed a token chance at a defense. It's rare that a hearing results in nothing.
I wonder if the fact that it was apparently in retaliation for McDonagh's earlier hit on Pacioretty that he was given a little more credit.