Shea Weber, a defenseman for the Nashville Predators, has been fined $2500 for smashing Detroit Redwing’s Henrick Zetterberg’s face into the glass in Game 1. Shea Weber has not been suspended and is scheduled to play tonight in Game 2.
Shea Weber, during the last seconds of the game, was checked by Zetterberg and responded with a fist to the back of Zetterberg’s helmet. Shea Weber misses, punches the glass and apparently gets so angry that he grabs the back of Zetterberg’s helmet and smashes his face into the glass. Zetterberg immediately crumbles to the ground and afterwards said he felt “a little woozy.”
With recent concerns for the safety of NHL players, this extreme incident doesn’t seem to be being handled properly. A $2500 fine for someone who has a $7.5 million salary probably isn’t enough to keep street-fighting behavior off the ice. Suspending a player from any number of playoff games may, however, make them think twice before giving in to their impulses.
The actions of Shea Weber and his limited punishment are not sitting well with anyone, “In my view, it was pretty bad,” said Zetterberg. “I heard he got fined. I guess the bar is set. I thought it was dirty. I though it was a direct hit to my head. If we look at what happened the last few years with all the head injuries, I think that shouldn’t belong in the game.”
Brendan Shanahan was the disciplinarian for Shea Weber and explained the decision was based on the fact that his actions were reactionary. “This was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg’s head into the glass,” Shanahan said. “As is customary whenever Supplemental Discipline is being considered, we contacted Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.” However, Shanahan also pointed out that this incident would be considered should Shea Weber be involved in any other incidences this season.
Shea Weber was asked if the fine also came with a warning, to which he replied, “I think it’s pretty straightforward: Play to the edge and not over. It’s cut and dry.”