No hearing for Ryan Callahan on Kris Letang hit
The Lightning dodged a bullet Saturday, with wing Ryan Callahan not receiving any supplemental discipline from the league for his boarding penalty on Kris Letang in Friday's Game 1.
There is no hearing scheduled with NHL Department of Player Safety for Callahan, the league said.
Callahan received a five-minute major early in Friday's first period when he hit Letang into the boards in the left corner of the Pittsburgh zone. Letang had his head turned, Callahan driving his neck and head into the boards. Letang left the game temporarily, but would return.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, in a conference call with reporters Saturday, said he had no "thoughts or observations" on the hit or the league's decision. "The NHL is going to do their job and we're going to do ours," Sullivan said. "We're just going to play hockey."
Callahan said after Friday's game he had no malicious intent, circumstances making it "worse than it was."
"I'm trying to ride him in there obviously on the fore-check, and unfortunately, he turns at the last second," Callahan said. "I'm committed, I think, when he turns his head, and his body is pretty low. So I'm trying to pin him, and in that split second, I can't really make a decision. Unfortunately, I think the position he was in made it worse than it was, and it was good to see him come back. Obviously, you don't want to see anybody injured, and that's not what you're trying to do.
You know, that's not the way I play. I've never been fined or suspended. So I take a lot of pride in that, to be an honest player. It was good to see that he came back."
Callahan did not receive a game misconduct. The NHL Department of Player Safety could have viewed the call on the ice - a five minute major - appropriate. Plus it might have helped Callahan that Letang returned to the game, Sullivan saying he's fine.
According to Rule 41, "there is an enormous amount of judgement involved in the application of this rule by referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position, and if so he must avoid or minimize contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediatly prior or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered by the referes when applying this rule.