Ashton hit Smith from behind near the middle of the rink, and sent him into the boards. A hit that the NHL defines as a “no-no”. Ashton served a two minute minor on the play for boarding. Flames defenseman Shane O’Brien came to Smith’s defense and fought Ashton after the hit. The problem here was the momentum Ashton picked up before making contact with Smith, on top of the boarding. It’s quite simple actually, if you see the numbers, don’t touch them.
The dirty hits in the NHL aren’t stopping, and the Department of Player Safety needs to figure something out because the disciplines they’re handing out right now aren’t getting the job done. Ashton will be the tenth player suspended this season.
Derek Smith was fine after the hit, and continued playing the rest of the game with no issues. Injury or no injury, these hits have to go, and what the NHL has done so far to get rid of these kinds of hits hasn’t worked. Brendan Shanahan and company need to sit down and have a good long chat about this, because it’s beginning to become a problem. There’s no reason we should have this many suspensions only a month into the season.
Here’s a video of the hit on Smith: