No suspension for Weber after head shove
Despite breaking Henrik Zetterberg's helmet in three places, Nashville defenseman Shea Weber will get to play in Game 2 of the first-round series between the Red Wings and Predators.
At the end of Game 1, Zetterberg and Weber were battling for the puck and Weber shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass twice.
The NHL announced Thursday afternoon that Weber has been fined $2,500, the maximum allowed under the league's collective bargaining agreement.
"We felt this was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass," NHL senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said on NHL.com. "We reached out to Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.
"This play and the fine that addressed it will be significant factors in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs."
Zetterberg, who fortunately was not injured in the incident, did not speak after Game 1 but talked about the incident with reporters after the Wings practiced Thursday afternoon in Nashville.
"I thought it was dirty," Zetterberg told MLive.com. "I think it was directed toward my head and if you look at what’s happened over the last few years with all of the head injuries I don't think that should belong in the game."
Zetterberg passed baseline concussion tests following the game.
"I was a little woozy right away when I went down. But I came back pretty quick," he said.
Zetterberg was asked whether he believed Weber deserved a suspension rather than just a fine.
"Well, it’s not up to me, that’s why Shanny, it’s his job now and the league is reviewing that and I’m pretty sure they did, and probably made a few calls today and they came up with a fine," Zetterberg said. "I thought it looked bad, but I guess it wasn’t bad enough."
Zetterberg's teammates, however, did not feel that a fine was much of a deterrent.
"The rules are the rules," Johan Franzen said. "Try to keep that stuff out of the game. (A)$2,500 fine won't do that, I don't think."
For his part, Weber kept his comments about the incident short.
"Just glad he wasn’t hurt, now we can focus on Game 2," Weber told reporters after the Predators practiced.
Weber, who had a phone conversation with Shanahan Thursday morning, was asked what led up to the hit.
"You know, it’s a fast game, things happen really quick, obviously it’s a desperation play at the end and we’re just happy to get the win," Weber said.
Predators coach Barry Trotz, who defended Weber after Game 1 by saying Zetterberg hit Weber first, was of course happy he did not lose his best player to a suspension.
"Shea is a big part of our team," Trotz said. "The league does a great job all the time reviewing. Nothing gets by them anymore. They handled it and they handled it in a very thorough way."
Reports out of Predators practice said that Andrei Kostitsyn playfully pretended to shove Weber's head into the boards.
The Wings were trying to put the incident behind them and focus on Game 2.
"I worked out with the strength coach, then I ran and burned off any kind of ill feeling I could possibly have. I moved on," coach Mike Babcock said.
The players did not expect any form of retaliation against Weber in Game 2.
"We have a team that rises above that," Jimmy Howard said. "You don’t really see us doing all the retaliatory stuff. It’s the playoffs. There’s no reason to go out and run around with your head cut off trying to avenge anything because more times than not it will hurt you."