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No suspension for Canucks' Burrows, Hamhuis

DH Vancouver Staff Apr 20, 2015 12:33 pm

It looks like both Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis will both escape suspension and be eligible to play in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Burrows was given an instigator penalty after his fight with Flames defenceman Kris Russell. The instigator penalty was assessed in the last 5 minutes of the game, which carries with it an automatic one game suspension unless the NHL decides to rescind the penalty or, apparently, decides to not enforce it.

The NHL rescinded the instigator penalty to the Flames’ Deryk Engelland in Game 2. Burrows’ penalty was not rescinded, but it won’t be enforced all the same.

Confused? I don’t blame you.

Not enforcing the automatic suspension for an instigator penalty in the last 5 minutes of the game isn’t unusual in the NHL; in fact it’s the norm. And if you think that having the term “automatic suspension” when it almost always isn’t automatic is a bit silly, you are not alone.

The Burrows instigator penalty is one that is often not called by NHL referees, given that Russell approached him after a penalized hit. Kevin Bieksa’s fight with Michael Ferland minutes later was a more obvious instigator penalty, but went undetected. Perhaps the refs watch a little too much Coach’s Corner?

Dan Hamhuis was given a penalty for a check to the head of Sam Bennett, which sometimes is accompanied with a suspension. Hamhuis’ shoulder made contact with Bennett’s head, though the he glanced off of Bennett’s arm first.

There was enough grey area with this hit, and no injury to Bennett, which is likely the reason for no suspension.

The Canucks will face the Flames in Game 4 tomorrow night.

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DH Vancouver Staff
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