NHL fines Weber for blow to Zetterberg's head
By TERESA M. WALKER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The NHL has fined Nashville defenseman Shea Weber $2,500 for slamming Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg's head against the glass at the end of Game 1 and warned the captain to be careful the rest of the playoffs.
Weber was assessed a minor penalty for roughing, and the NHL announced the fine Thursday while the Predators were practicing. The league noted the fine was the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"This was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass," said Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's chief disciplinarian. "As is customary whenever Supplemental Discipline is being considered, we contacted Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2."
But Shanahan said the play and fine will be a factor if Weber is involved in any further incidents in the postseason.
Weber said he talked with Shanahan and thought it was a straightforward conversation to play to the edge but not over.
The incident came at the end of Wednesday night's 3-2 win by the Predators. Nashville had won the faceoff with 5.1 seconds left with the puck going to Weber, who was trying to keep it away from the Red Wings to seal the victory.
"It's a quick game and things happen and it's an emotional game," Weber said. "I'm just thankful he's not hurt, and now we can move forward."
Zetterberg had to look at tape to see what happened and said he thought it looked pretty bad. He said his helmet was cracked and he was a little dizzy at first. Zetterberg did skate Thursday with the Red Wings after passing a baseline test for possible concussion.
But the Red Wings forward didn't hide his feelings over the fine.
"I thought it was dirty," Zetterberg said. "I think it was a direct (blow) to my head and look what happened the last few years with all the head injuries. I think that shouldn't belong in the game."
Weber noted it's the playoffs with everyone excited and "ramped up."
"Everything's amplified and more intense in the playoffs, and maybe that's why things were a little undisciplined."
The Predators couldn't afford to lose their captain who usually plays the most minutes per game, especially with defenseman Hal Gill day to day with a lower body injury.
"Shea's a big part of our team," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "The league does a great job all the time of the reviewing. Nothing gets by them anymore."
Updated April 13, 2012