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.