Tanner Glass hits Vladislav Namestnikov (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
Rangers winger Tanner Glass could be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety after delivering a late hit on Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov. Glass was handed a major and game misconduct for interference on the play, but Namestnikov was able to return to the game.
New York Rangers winger Tanner Glass has made his living in the NHL by throwing his weight around, dropping the gloves and getting in opponents’ faces, but he’s done well to stay on the right side of the law.
Glass, 32, has only met with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety once in his career, incurring a fine late in the 2014-15 season for a butt-end thrown on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. Since then, though, the veteran tough guy hasn’t been in trouble with the league. That may change as soon as Wednesday.
In the final minutes of the first period Tuesday night, Glass lined up and rocked Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov well after the 23-year-old had moved the puck. The hit sent Namestnikov to the ice, and got Glass thrown out of the game:
Glass’ hit earned him a major for interference and a game misconduct, while Namestnikov remained down on the ice for a few moments before heading to the Lightning dressing room. Thankfully for the Lightning, who are dealing with an unfortunate rash of injuries, Namestnikov was able to return to the contest in the second frame.
As for the hit itself, the angles available of Glass’ check make it difficult to tell where exactly the initial contact is made. However, from what can be seen on the MSG feeds, it appears as though Glass hits Namestnikov shoulder to shoulder, with the Lightning center’s left shoulder taking the brunt of the impact. It’s also worth noting that the call on the ice was a major for interference, not for a check to the head.
The decision the DOPS will have to make will be regarding the lateness of the hit, and whether or not the violent nature of the check combined with Glass’ approach angle — Namestnikov didn’t see him coming — makes the hit worthy of supplemental discipline. There’s precedent for an interference play to earn a suspension, and there’s a chance Glass becomes the fifth player this season suspended for interference. It’s entirely possible, though, that the DOPS decides the major penalty and misconduct are sufficient punishment for the hit.
If the league does decide to suspend, Namestnikov’s health and Glass’ history will be taken into account. Both of those should fall in favor of Glass, who has no suspension history, as Namestnikov returned and remained in the contest.