Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aaron Rome Suspended Four Game For Late Hit On Nathan Horton

Early in the first period of Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Aaron Rome of the Vancouver Canucks delivered a late hit to Nathan Horton of the Boston Bruins.  Horton was on the ice for several minutes before being taken out on a stretcher and transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was held overnight and released today.  He was diagnosed with a severe concussion and his season was over.  All that was left to find out is what, if any, action the National Hockey League would take against Aaron Rome for his hit.  Now we know.

The NHL suspended Rome four games, thus ending the 2010-11 season for the defender.  If the series does not go the full 7 games, then the suspension will carry over into next year.  The NHL has been widely criticized this year for their failure to get many of the suspension cases right and the inconsistency with which they ruled.  This is one of the cases where they made the right call.  An illegal hit ended the season of Nathan Horton and now Aaron Rome’s season is done as well.  

The NHL cited both the lateness of the hit and severity of the outcome in the decision.
"Two factors were considered in reaching this decision," said NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy. "The hit by Rome was clearly beyond what is acceptable in terms of how late it was delivered after Horton had released the puck and it caused a significant injury."
Some will question whether factoring in the severity of the injury is the right move for the NHL to make.