The first suspension of the NHL season came down Wednesday to a member of the San Jose Sharks as defenseman Brad Stuart will sit three games for an illegal check to the head of Rangers’ forward Rick Nash during Tuesday night’s game.
Here’s video of the hit, which took place early in the first period:
Stuart initially received a two-minute minor for the penalty which entually led to a Rangers power play goal. Nash did look a little woozy skating back to his bench immediately following the hit but looked fine at first and played a few shifts. However, once the teams went into the locker rooms for the first intermission, the Rangers’ forward did not return to the game.
After the game Nash said to reporters, “I have a headache. It got worse. It was a head shot. I’m concerned about the way it feels…You’re concerned any time there’s a head shot.”
Stuart, however, believes his hit was legal and not to the head of Nash.
“I just stepped up and hit the guy. I saw the replay. I didn’t leave my feet, I didn’t target the head. It depends on how they look at it, I guess. Apparently he has a concussion, so we’ll see,” Stuart told Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. “I got an elbowing penalty, and you can clearly see my elbow is down. In the videos it appears as though I hit his shoulder, and that was the main point of contact.”