Malkin's action on the play consists of touching the puck and turning slightly to the left. Simmonds' consists of flying headlong into Malkin with his head down.
To avoid the hit, Malkin would have needed to stop dead in his tracks and give Simmonds the puck.
Watch the video again. Malkin cleary initiates the contact. If Simmonds somehow magically skated his head into Malkin you think there would be that same impact??? Hell no it wouldn't even be talked about right now. Unnecessary?? Yes. Suspension worthy?? Hell no
Simmonds ran his head into Malkin's elbow. Not the other way around.
If Wayne skates with his head up, nothing happens. The puck had just left Simmonds a fraction of a second earlier.
Maybe it's just homer talk, but I don't really see Malkin's fault here. There was nothing he could have done, unless he wanted to stop, turn, and skate the other way, hence giving Simmonds a skating lane and a shot at the puck.
Lets call a spade a spade here. It looks like he goes right at his head rather than the taking the puck. Simmonds didn't just run into him like a doofus.
Is it an elbow? No. Is it a headshot? Yes. And if they're serious about taking headshots out of the game, he'll be suspended. If they're all talk and no muscle, he'll continue doing the same thing.
I think this was more of a headhunt than other clean headshots but i don't think it is quite suspendible, it is a fringe hit just because of the circumstances and malkin's clear intent to at least bowl into simmonds
Its not even that bad of an incident to warrant a suspension.
The Doug Weight hit was similar. Malkin did try to hit him but to all the haters, it's ice hockey not figure skating. Sure it was at the end of a decided game but guys give shots to players like Simmonds all the time when they do ridiculous stuff like the slash/spear on Cooke.