Jannik Hansen Cross Checks Referee

Jannik Hansen Cross-Checks Ref

One of Monday night’s west coast games featuring the Vancouver Canucks visiting the San Jose Sharks included some unexpected controversy. What makes it even more interesting, is that this all took place before the puck even dropped on the first face off.

It all began with Logan Couture and Alex Burrows, who squared up for the opening puck drop. Couture appears to not like how far over the circle Burrows was leaning, and gives his head a light shove back. Burrows quickly responds with a hit back on Couture.

From there, Ryane Clowe and Jannik Hansen enter the picture behind the referee. For what appears to be no reason at all, Hansen places his stick in the lower part of referee Dave Jackson’s back and gives him a nice shove.

Ryane Clowe and Alex Burrows were each given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but Hansen was subjected to no penalties on the play. It seems everyone just blatantly missed or ignored his cross-check, including Jackson. 

Despite lack of action during the game, surely the NHL would have something to say about one of its referees being on the receiving end of a cross check, right? The NHL has a responsibility to protect its assets, such as refs, and should take action. However, Brendan Shanahan and the rest of the league’s disciplinarians failed to take the proper course of action after this play. Instead, Hansen goes unpunished and the result is that plays like this are deemed okay by the league.

“I have seen no referee’s report referencing the incident,” John Dellapina, NHL Vice President of Communications, told CBS Sports. While a play like this would result in a fine or suspension in the NBA, NFL, or MLB, the NHL will take no action because a referee’s report has not been filed.

Take a look at the video below from the start of the Canucks game against the Sharks and let us know your thoughts in the comments. Do you think Hansen should be suspended? Or was the league right to overlook what he did?


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