Another day, another suspension outrage. Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins sat down with the NHL's discipline heads on Thursday morning, but he won't be suspended for his hit on Jeff Halpern in Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens.
Halpern was skating in the corner behind the play during the third period of the tie game, and Ference clearly slowed up a bit and stuck his shoulder out just slightly. It clipped the head of Halpern, who clearly looked dazed as he got back to his skates.
He needed a hand getting back to the bench, but Halpern returned to the game after about seven minutes of play (he returned to the bench about a minute after going back to locker room, so much for the "quiet room"), and there was no penalty on the call.
Ference will be in the lineup, barring a freak injury in practice or something of course, for Game 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Right call?
Ference likely was fined for the play during the call, but that stuff doesn't always become public knowledge. To the hit, though, is there any doubt that Ference didn't know he was in Halpern's way? You can see him slow up a bit as Halpern nears him, and it just has that feel like its so subtly dirty.
In any event, it was behind the play and the officials on the ice never saw it, and since Halpern likely went back to the room and said "screw you, it's Game 7, I'm playing" to the trainer, the Habs lineup wasn't impacted by the play.
What say you? Are you fine without a suspension on this play?