NHL Player Safety and supplementary discipline is suddenly back in the news again following last night's devastating hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans courtesy of Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele.
In case you missed it, Evans was stretchered off of the ice after Scheifele absolutely OBLITERATED him with a hit that many feel was way, way, waaaay over the line.
Here's the hit in question:
Scheifele was assessed a five minute major penalty for charging and he was given a game misconduct penalty. He's also facing a potential suspension after NHL Player Safety scheduled a hearing with him set for later this afternoon. But... what does that hearing look like? Who is present? What sort of factors go into the decisions that Department of Player Safety (DPS) head George Parros makes? NHL player agent Allan Walsh pulls the curtain back a bit.
Check it out:
Since there’s so much disinformation on NHL supplementary discipline hearings, here’s the process.
If telephone hearing, the following people are on the call. NHL DPS, the GM of player subject to hearing, the player, the players agent and/or legal counsel and NHLPA counsel.
NHL DPS begins by explaining everyone’s role on the call. The incident is recounted using video, then the player is given an opportunity to describe in detail, in his words and from his perspective what happened on the play. The GM is then given an opportunity to add anything.
The players agent/legal counsel is given an opportunity to speak in defense of the player subject to discipline. The NHLPA’s role is to ensure the hearing is conducted in accordance with the CBA. Their counsel usually speaks last and comments are for the most part procedural.
So, in effect, the player, his GM, his agent rep plead their case in front of Parros. The NHLPA is there to ensure that both players are represented fairly. To be honest, that's kind of fascinating to me. I would have assumed that the GM or agent of the "victim", so to speak, would have some bearing on things, as well. Interestingly enough though, Walsh responds to that question saying that in a court of law, there's no one present to "represent the victim in a criminal trial." Fair point... I hadn't thought of that. In effect, Parros himself acts as a representative of the victim.