The Florida Panthers have not been having a good season, but one of their better players recently has been Jesse Winchester. Winchester, however, has been called for a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety after his blatant elbow to Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly on Thursday night.
Winchester's hearing is not scheduled to be in person, so the ban cannot exceed five games.
This should be a fairly easy call for Brendan Shanahan and company, though. Everything seems to be there. Winchester is clearly going out of his way to make contact with Kelly's head as he actually leaps up and throws a chicken wing out, connecting squarely with Kelly's head.
Due to the blatant nature of the hit, it should at the very least be three games. It's an unnatural play and incredibly dangerous. Somehow, there was no penalty called on the ice.
Kelly did go to the dressing room after the hit, but returned to play. That should help Winchester's cause, but only slightly.
This is the kind of stuff that shouldn't be happening anymore. It's an incredibly dirty play by a veteran player who should know better.