The NHL is looking into, and will be ruling on last night’s Michael Cammalleri/Nino Niederreiter incident in Quebec City.  Logically, there will be a Cammalleri suspension involved, the question is the extent which might be determined by mitigating circumstances.

Cammalleri swung his stick in the vicinity of Niederreiter’s head as part of a retaliation for what has been termed by Canadiens coach Jacques Martin as a “blind side hit”. Cause and effect.  But, Cammalleri’s slate is not exactly clean when it comes to this sort of thing.  (See Below-Cammalleri/Havlat

First, the initial hit. The video is only five seconds long so you’ll have to watch it a couple of times.

In my opinion, there’s no question of the “blindside” nature of the check.  The NHL put some teeth in the rules in this regard during the off-season.  Niederreiter may face some scrutiny for that.  Still, it’s impossible to justify the retaliation.   

Cammalleri is hardly a serial offender but he has the ugly black mark of the Martin Havlat incident during the 2009 Chicago/Calgary playoff series in his background. His previously clean slate allowed him to escape suspension on that occasion but it may come back to haunt him now.  Here it is.