Marchand faces disciplinary hearing for hit on Umberger

BOSTON MA - JANUARY 26: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins wraps around the net to score a goal in the first period against Florida Panthers on January 26 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Brad Marchand will meet with the NHL league office on Thursday for a disciplinary hearing after a blindside hit on R.J. Umberger during Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (see video below):

To me, this is a clear violation of Rule 48 and a suspendable offense. If you look at Rule 48 in NHL rulebook, it pretty much describes this hit by Brad Marchand.

48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.

"Lateral or Blindside"✓

"Head is targeted and/OR the principal point of contact" ✓

I see a distinct difference between this hit and the Zdeno Chara hit everyone in Montreal has their panties in a wad about. The Chara hit was neither from a blind side nor was the head the principal point of contact. While the result of the Chara hit was far worse, the NHL needs to base its disciplinary decisions on the action and not the result. In my opinion the action here is a head shot and if the NHL wants to send the right message about dangerous hits to the head, they will suspend and/or fine Brad Marchand.

Watching the game last night, I did not think much of the hit. Part of that might have been that I was watching the NESN broadcast. Jack and Brick did not fully review the hit and brushed it off saying it "wasn't much of a hit really" (see video below).

After the game, I stumbled upon a super slow-motion replay of the hit created by a Puck Daddy reader and posted by Greg Wyshynski on Twitter. In this clip, you can clearly see that Marchand made contact with Umberger's head with his elbow and came at him from a blind angle.

I think Mike Murphy is going to hit Brad Marchand with at least a game or two suspension. The fact that Marchand has to go before a disciplinary hearing for a hit that was not called a penalty on the ice does not bode well for him. This is not a case where a disciplinary hearing was mandatory due to the call on the ice. This is an instance where the league (or the Columbus Blue Jackets) has requested that the incident be examined further for the purpose of potential supplementary discipline. When the principal calls you to his office on his own, you don't leave without at least getting a detention.

I would be surprised if Marchand is not suspended and even more shocked if the Columbus Police Department received one emergency call about a play in a hockey game.

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