Inquiring Minds: Should Donald Brashear Be Suspended For This Hit On Blair Betts?

Here’s the setup: With a little over ten minutes to go in the first period of game 6 between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers Donald Brashear lays a brain-scrambling hit on the Rangers’ Blair Betts. Betts would get tended to on the ice, and after sorting out just what arena he was in would groggily make his way to the locker room. He did not return to the game. Have a look:


So is this a punishable offense? Should Brashear be forced to sit a game or two while surrendering a few thousand greenbacks, or is this simply a case of one player getting a little too zealous while making the most of his minuscule amount of playing time?

Personally, I’m of the opinion that the Washington Capitals should be without Brashear’s services for the next game at the very least. Intentional or not – elbow or not – he clearly made contact with Betts’ head, and if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times: If the league is serious about cracking down on cracking skulls then there should be no room for interpretation.

Oh, and stay tuned at the end of the clip for some pre-game Brashear shenanigans. A precursor to the eventual hit on Betts? You be the judge.


According to TSN Donald Brashear is scheduled to go before the league today at 1:00 to answer for his orbital bone-breaking hit on Blair Betts as well as his pre-game goofiness with the Rangers’ Colton Orr. Apparently Betts is done for the playoffs.


According to Donald Brashear was suspended a total of six games for the above hit on Blair Betts as well as his pre-game smack-talk with Colton Orr.

Brashear received a one-game suspension for the incident with Orr and five games for, as put it, “a blind-side hit on New York forward Blair Betts at 9:54 of the first period.”

Said Colin Campbell, Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations for the NHL:

“Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player. It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury.”

Brashear’s suspension will begin tomorrow night when Washington takes on the Rangers in game 7 of their series and will continue through the next five playoff games if they continue. If Washington somehow doesn’t go on to round two then Brashear’s suspension will resume at the beginning of the 2009-2010 regular season.

And so it goes.

  • Matt Leighton

    Well, there you have it:

    Brashear was suspended one game for initiating contact with Rangers forward Colton Orr during the pre-game warm-up. Brashear was suspended for five additional games for a blind-side hit on New York forward Blair Betts at 9:54 of the first period.

    On the one hand, we’re going to miss his grit and intimidation for the next six games, but on the other hand, he gets 3 minutes of ice time a night (if that).

    Here’s to hoping the Caps do the right thing and call-up Keith Aucoin.

  • Johnnyblaze

    Im A Rangers Fan And I Say He Crossed The Line In Warmups The Hit Was Late By Far Elbow Or Not It Was Late. Like Everyone Else Said if Avery Threw That Elbow Into Green Or Ovechkin He Would Be Gone For The Playoffs All You Ppl Hate Every But He Talks SMACK Doesnt Cheap Shot Like That Goon Brashear He Needs To Be Gone From The NHL He Has No Talent And For You CAP FANS You Guys Wouldnt Survive The 2nd Round If You Win.

  • Trevor

    Sorry, but Matt’s first post is dead on. Brash was a SPLIT second late to Betts, and didn’t check illegally. Just because the guy gets hurt doesn’t mean that it’s an actionable offense. If Brash gets a suspension for this, Avery needs to be thrown out of the NHL. Heck, there were _4_ refs looking right at it when it happened and Brash didn’t even get a penalty for the hit.

    Oh, and to the Rags homers here, it’s been fun beating your goalie. Have fun in the off-season.

  • Ken

    Brashear should have been thrown out when he crossed the red line to make contact with Colton Orr in warmups. That is supposed to be a zero-tolerance play. The hit on Betts was an elbow – not a shoulder. It was an intentional, dirty play from a goon who has a long history of similar incidents. He should be out for the playoffs. And the bite on Dubinsky – how low-class is that? The thing to ask the league is, if either of those infractions had been against Ovechkin or Crosby, would they have been ignored? I think we all know the answer to that…

  • Nick

    Brashear is a goon with no actual hockey skill. Everyone knows he is sent out on the ice to be a physical presence. That being said, with his size, he can’t be allowed to hit people that late because he can seriously injure somebody. Whether it was an elbow or not, it was definitely a late and unnecessary cheap shot that took Betts out for the game. Worked for the Capitals as they scored a couple PP goals. That being said he should be punished the next game by sitting because he did injure somebody with a dirty hit. If Avery did it, he’d be suspended. You might say he does late hits all the time, but the difference is he is much smaller and therefore his hits are generally harmless. If somebody got hurt though, you know they wouldn’t think twice about suspending him.

  • Matt Leighton

    Good question. After looking at it again, I still don’t believe that you can conclusively say Brashear elbowed or hit Betts in the head, but at the same time, cheap shots like this have no place in the game. I would not be surprised if Brashear was suspended, but late hits happen all the time and this one caught Betts off-guard and sent him flying. Brash’s track record could be all Colin Campbell needs to issue a suspension.

  • Paul Benvin

    Hey Matt, would you be saying the same thing if Brashear played for the Rangers?

  • MC

    He should be suspended, Betts didn’t have the puck anywhere near him, and Brashear blatantly used his f”n eblow. I understand playing good hard hockey; playoff hockey is the best hockey to watch, so much intensity, so much speed. The hit to me appeared to be an intent to injure & from the looks of it, that looks like what he did. Suspend Him. And oh yea one more thing….Let’s Go Rangers!

  • Greg Caggiano

    It was an intentional elbow to the head away from the play. Should be a one game suspension.

  • k-roc

    There was no elbow involved. The impact was created with a shoulder, then a forearm pushed him the rest of the way to the ice. The shoulder crushed his chest, not his head.

  • Karl Selvig

    This is a tough one to call. The way Brashear followed through with the forearm coming up… it looks bad. It was questionably late on top of it. Just not sure if it’s suspension worthy… Definatly thought it should have been a penalty on the ice, wouldn’t be too surprised if Brashear is forced out for game 7. Probably should be suspended.

  • Matt Leighton

    No head shot + no intent to injure = no suspension.