The hearing process Sunday morning gave Ottawa forward Kyle Turris
the ability to tell his side of the story regarding his boarding infraction on Boston defenseman Joe Corvo
during Saturday's game. The NHL's Department of Player Safety was satisfied with his comments, which is why Turris is playing Sunday night against the New York Islanders
To Brendan Shanahan
, the League's Senior V.P. of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, that's exactly how the system is supposed to work.
Center - OTT
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 15
SOG: 84 | +/-: 6
"The hearing is an exercise in getting more specific information," Shanahan told NHL.com on Sunday after the decision was rendered not to issue any supplemental discipline to Turris. "We know and understand the perspective of the player is to get himself out of any supplemental discipline. No player lies down and says give me something. But, on the closer calls like this one, it's important for us to hear from the players' perspective on the play and it has an influence on our decision. It shows that at 10, 11, or midnight we don't just make up our minds and it's final.
"We also feel we owe it to the player that has gotten the hit to the head," he continued. "Even if he doesn't like the end result, I think it's important that they know the thoroughness involved, that we put a halt to our day and we're not sweeping it under the rug. We're trying to be as thorough as possible with each and every case."
Turris is the fourth player this season that has not been suspended, fined or even warned after going through the hearing process with the Department of Player Safety. There have been 45 hearings in total and 37 suspensions.
Shanahan said no matter what is said in a hearing there is still a judgment call to be made on the side of the Department of Player Safety, but the on-ice perspective of the player involved is important because it gives the League a more educated view of the entire play.
"We understand what the goal of the player in the hearing is going to be," Shanahan said. "Sometimes we just don't agree, sometimes we don't find it believable. But, sometimes we do agree and sometimes we hear some things that are new that we couldn't have known from simply watching or without having spoken to the player."
"We know and understand the perspective of the player is to get himself out of any supplemental discipline. No player lies down and says give me something. But, on the closer calls like this one, it's important for us to hear from the players' perspective on the play and it has an influence on our decision." -- Senior V.P. of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan
Shanahan said Turris told the Department of Player Safety that he slowed down prior to hitting Corvo in order to avoid hitting him in the numbers.
"We thought that was a good decision," Shanahan said. "He tried to wait until he felt it was going to be a shoulder-to-shoulder check."
Shanahan said the contact to Corvo's head was made after the Bruins' defenseman opened his left shoulder following his pass. However, Shanahan said the Department of Player Safety did not deem it to be intentional or reckless. He said that Turris' feet were on the ice as he made the hit, but they come off as he's following through on the hit, "almost like he's falling into the boards himself."
"Like some of the suspensions we have had, it wasn't a case of him launching up high into the head," Shanahan added. "All players to a certain degree come off their feet when they drive through a check. That wasn't prior to the hit and he wasn't launching up."
However, due to the fact that the Department of Player Safety felt it was a borderline play and the Senators had a 5 p.m. ET game Sunday, Shanahan said it was important to conduct a hearing immediately.
"We were satisfied with his answers," Shanahan said of Turris. "His history as a player and the fact that Corvo was able to play on the ensuing power play contributed, but mostly he was making every effort to turn a bad hit into a good hit. As Corvo opened up his left shoulder, there was enough contact to the head that got our attention.
"Something is elevated if we call a hearing."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl