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Bruins requested Chara’s penalty be rescinded

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli formally submitted a request in order to have Zdeno Chara’s instigator penalty rescinded, so that the Bruins’s captain would avoid suspension for Game 6.

Chara was not involved in any in-game incident prior to his retaliation which under Rule 47.22 provides the criteria for Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, to lift the automatic suspension which coincides with this penalty.

This isn’t without precedent in the NHL, as the league rescinded an instigator penalty to Evgeni Malkin in last year’s playoffs as well.

Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News asks if the league would have made the same decision had a lesser player been penalized, such as Patrick Kaleta or Cody McCormick. What if Shawn Thornton for the Bruins was the one with the instigator?

As always in decisions like these, the NHL weighs in a player’s prior performance, reputation and the severity of the incident. The problem is that cameras failed, somehow, to catch the start of the scrum so it’s tough for me to say if this incident was severe enough to question the NHL’s decision. The on ice officials, with nine players involved, somehow felt that Chara deserved to be singled out and has to at least be a bit significant.