We'll be debating this one for a while, me thinks. Buffalo Sabres prospect and Team Canada star Zack Kassian absolutely leveled Czech forward Petr Senkerik in the second period of a World Junior Championship game between the two nations on Tuesday evening at Buffalo's HSBC Arena.
Kassian was given a game misconduct and a five minute major penalty for the hit, which comes with an automatic one-game suspension. Canada, in all their dominance, scored a shorthanded goal on the ensuing five-minute power play.
Senkerik was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher. There's no update on his status, but he did show movement in his fingers while still on the ice.
Most Canadian fans were outraged at the ejection of Kassian, as evidenced by online reaction and the chants of the partisan crowd just over the U.S.-Canada border. Pierre McGuire is adamant about there being no contact to the head of Senkerik, but take a look at this still image after the jump.
Via @loosepucks, does this change your opinion at all if you initially thought it was a clean hit?
At full speed it certainly looks like a clean hit, but in slow motion and when captured still? It's awfully close. Then, there's the issue of whether or not it's a late hit. We'll see if the IIHF decides to take further disciplinary action. That decision will be up to former NHL official Dan Marouelli.