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11-18-2011, 05:37 PM
Tao Jones
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Devils coach Pete DeBoer said he was “not surprised” that the NHL did not fine or suspend Myers and – utilizing his background as a lawyer – gave a measured explanation.

“I think the rule is still being defined weekly by the office and every time there’s a decision it’s an education,” DeBoer said.

So what lesson can we learn from Shanahan’s ruling on Myers’ hit?

“For me, it’s that you can make head contact and if the guy is leaning for a puck or the intent isn’t to hit the head, then it’s going to be OK,” DeBoer said. “They’re just words on a piece of paper until they’re practically applied and that’s what we’re getting on these hits. It’s a better understanding for me on what’s allowed and what isn’t.”

DeBoer wasn’t sure if that standard is a good one.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Thankfully we don’t have a serious injury on the play. I think if Zubrus wasn’t as big a guy and had been concussed, which could easily have happened, I probably would be a little more fired up about this.”

And, if Zubrus had been seriously injured, Myers might have been suspended. In borderline cases, the offending player’s track record (Myers has no prior suspensions) and whether the player who was hit was injured can be factors in the ruling.

“That’s the question. I don’t know,” DeBoer said of whether Myers would have been suspended if Zubrus had bad been injured. “I don’t believe that was part of the decision from what I read, but you wonder.”

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