Kris Letang Won’t Be Suspended For One Of The Dirtiest, Most Intentional Slashes You’ll Ever See

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Did it cost the Rangers the game? No. And I understand how the refs can miss something that, in the moment, might look unintentional hit. But for the league office to slow the video down, review it multiple times, and come away with a determination that that was ANYTHING but intentional is an absolute joke.


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Yahoo Sports  —  In the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game 3 win at the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, defenseman Kris Letang was checked in the corner by Dominic Moore. As he tried to escape, he raised his stick and slashed Viktor Stalberg of the Rangers across the neck. It was at 7:12 of the third period. Letang wasn’t penalized.

This would seem … what’s the word … unsafe? You know, the kind of thing the NHL Department of Player Safety might penalize retroactively for being so unsafe. And yet Letang will not have a hearing with the NHL for the slash, according to Renaud Lavoie. How is this possible? Here’s what we’ve gathered from NHL sources, regarding Player Safety’s decision on Letang:

1. Letang is off-balance due to the hit. Check his skates – they’re both off the ice as his stick is raised to Stalberg’s head.
2. Now check the left arm of Letang on the slow-motion replay. As he absorbs the Moore hit, his left arm slams against the glass, and as it does his stick – which he’s carrying dangerously high already – snaps into the neck of Stalberg. The NHL believes his left glove or the end of his stick catches a stanchion on the glass. The hit by Moore causes him to twist and makes the stick go forward into Stalberg’s neck.
3. Therefore, the NHL sees this as an accident and not intentional. 

So from a certain point of view, there’s a series of circumstances on the Moore hit that only make it appear that Letang lost his mind and tried to turn Stalberg into Ned Stark. (Oh, yeah, spoilers.)



Come on guys, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t intentional. These guys are going so fast out there, I think this was just an accident. Everyone knows that the natural reaction to getting hit on the hip is to stand up straight and twist your torso into punching position. I’m sure his stick getting caught in the stanchion is what caused him to blatantly jab his elbow forward. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that his stick connected right with the face of the guy he was very clearly looking at, right?

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Get the absolute fuck out of my face NHL.

There is no possible way you can tell me this isn’t intentional. “He got caught on the stanchion?” Are you fucking kidding me? Nothing about Letang’s movement – from the maneuvering of the torso to the blatant jab of the elbow – suggests his stick or glove got caught in the stanchion. The entire right side of his body is jabbing forward before anything on the left side of his body could get caught on the glass. He jabs right into the face of Stalberg. Like, directly into his face. And while I get that things are moving fast, and that even the most elite athletes will make spastic movements to stay balanced on the ice, there is no possible way you can tell me that was anything other than intentional.

Did it cost the Rangers the game? No. And I understand how the refs can miss something that, in the moment, might look unintentional hit. But for the league office to slow the video down, review it multiple times, and come away with a determination that that was ANYTHING but intentional is an absolute joke.


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