A little less than six minutes into the second period of Tuesday's Dallas Stars game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Shane Doan decided to channel his inner chicken wing and take out Jamie Benn with an elbow to the head.
The Coyotes captain stuck his right elbow right into Benn's chin, knocking Benn to the ice and leaving him holding his face.
The play then devolved into a scrum as the remaining Stars tried to get at Doan. Here's video of the elbow:
The box score fun, elbowing rules and why this will probably get Doan suspended after the jump.
First of all, for those who are interested in how the referees broke things down, here's the penalty-minute summary from the 5:54 mark of the second period.
05:54 PHX Shane Doan : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
05:54 DAL Brenden Morrow : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
05:54 DAL Steve Ott : Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min
05:54 PHX Raffi Torres : Roughing - 2 min
05:54 DAL Trevor Daley : Roughing - 2 min
05:54 PHX Rostislav Klesla : Roughing - 2 min
05:54 PHX Shane Doan served by Gilbert Brule : Elbowing - 2 min
05:54 PHX Raffi Torres : Charging - 2 min
05:54 PHX Raffi Torres : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min
05:54 PHX Rostislav Klesla : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min
05:54 DAL Steve Ott : Roughing - 2 min
05:54 DAL Steve Ott : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min
05:54 DAL Trevor Daley : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min
And here are the relevant rules in the elbowing entry of the rulebook.
45.1 Elbowing - Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.
45.2 Minor Penalty - The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of elbowing an opponent.
45.3 Major Penalty - A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to foul an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent (see 45.5).
45.4 Match Penalty - The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by elbowing.
As blatant as this elbow is, I would have probably given it a major, but I'm biased. Heck, you could have probably nailed Doan for illegal hit to the head, since Benn's head is the primary point of contact and you don't stick an elbow out like that if you're not trying to target the head.
Doan is also considered a repeat offender in the eyes of the NHL. A little less than 18 months ago, on Oct. 26, 2010, Doan was one of the first players suspended under the new rule 48 crackdown for this blind-side shot on Dan Sexton. Brendan Shanahan has made it clear that players with a history of head-hunting penalties are dealt with more harshly, and Doan does fall in that category.
Thankfully for the Stars, Benn did return to the game by the end of the period. But given the blatant nature of the chicken wing and Doan's history, he should probably be suspended for a few games.