Cody McLeod suspended five games for hit on Niklas Kronwall

By Brian Stubits |

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Colorado Avalanche winger Cody McLeod has been suspended five games by the NHL for his hit on Detroit's Niklas Kronwall on Thursday night.

This was an interesting case for Brendan Shanahan and the league's discipline office. Kronwall suffered a big injury on the play, having to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. The Red Wings defenseman even admitted that he put himself in a vulnerable position, something Shanahan concedes in the video.

However the problem was that McLeod didn't do anything to minimize the check. In fact, he slightly changed directions when Kronwall attempted to reverse his own direction and this was enough for the NHL to put plenty of the onus of the hit on McLeod, deeming he had enough time to make a better decision. It was clear McLeod altered his path and thus delivered a bad hit. Hard to argue with Shanahan on that point.

McLeod has no history of supplemental discipline before this so it once again demonstrates what seems to be a swifter penal system this season in the NHL, suspensions are getting tougher. It doesn't help that on a few occasions the stretcher has been needed and that's always bad simply from a visual standpoint.

In addition to the suspension, McLeod will be docked $29,487.20 in salary.

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