Tonight in the first period of the New York Rangers versus New York Islanders game Ryan Callahan one of the toughest and most honest players in the league made a play completely out of character for him. 12:42 into the first period Ryan Callahan on a back check went to hit Frans Nielsen and it would end up with his right elbow colliding with Nielsen's head. I do not believe that the play was intentional, but that does not fully matter in terms of the punishment that should have been assessed on the play, but might with the league. Callahan should have been assessed a five minute major for the hit and I believe the hit is the kind the league is trying to get rid of with it's new focus on hits to the head as to me it was from the side against a defenseless player. With his history of clean hard play I would not expect a big suspension if one is given at all. We will obviously see what the league does about the play over the next few days.
Video is of the hit and the ensuing fight.