Should Alex Edler be suspended for this hit on Tomas Hertl?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Canucks defenseman Edler wasn't penalized, but could face league discipline, for a hit to the head of Tomas Hertl in the second period of tonight's game.

Well that didn't take long. Four games into his NHL career, Tomas Hertl has officially reached the level of league-wide status where other teams are taking runs at him. Late in the second period of tonight's game, Canucks defenseman Alex Edler administered this headshot on the 19-year-old during a puck battle by the Vancouver bench. From friend of the blog Thomas Drance of The Score comes this handy GIF of the incident:

Cropped_edlerhertl

While his elbow doesn't come up, Edler also doesn't even attempt to make a play on the puck and, to quote from Rule 48 of the NHL Rulebook, the principal point of contact is clearly Hertl's head. You can make the argument that Hertl changes the angle of his body just prior to the hit but given the height difference between the players it's unlikely that would have made a difference. Edler is a repeat offender, having been suspended two games last season for charging Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. He was also dealt a four-game suspension by the IIHF for a knee-on-knee hit on Eric Staal at the 2013 World Championships. Thankfully, Hertl returned to the game in the third period and appears to be fine but should Edler receive a Shanaban for this play?

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