Sunday March 31st, 2013

By Allan Muir

If the NHL's Department of Player Safety updates their instructional videos over the summer, Nate Thompson might want to request a copy for posterity. There's a better than zero chance the Tampa Bay forward will have a starring role.

Thompson was dinged Saturday afternoon for two games after delivering a textbook head shot on New Jersey's Matt D'Agostini on Friday night.

Hard to believe he was able to mount much of a defense. The case was a clear violation of Rule 48. As Sheriff Shanny noted, Thompson "recklessly target[ed] D'Agostini's head by extending up and making it the principle point of contact."

The evidence was pretty damning -- I mean, Thompson was eyeing his target all the way and clearly had the chance to use the body instead of throwing a brutally obvious elbow -- but D'Agostini wasn't hurt on the play. And since that element clearly weighs heavily in all DPS deliberations, there wasn't going to be a book thrown today. Not sure a message has been sent here, but it was far from the dirtiest hit of the year. Since five of the previous 12 suspensions this season have gone for a pair of games, this call is probably just about right.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.