The “Headbutt Heard Around Ontario” – Fraser McLaren vs Matt Kassian


It didn’t take too long for tempers to flare in tonight’s last installment of the Battle of Ontario, at least for the regular season.

A fight between Ottawa Senator Matt Kassian and Maple Leaf Frazer McLaren ended in rather controvertial fashion as McLaren appeared to attempt to headbutt Kassian.  Not once, but by my count, 3 times.  You could argue that the first two were a result of McLaren trying to get out of Kassian’s grip, but the third was a blatant, battering-ram type headbutt. (Photo is from the March 30th meeting)

Mar 30, 2013

; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Frazer McLaren (38) and Ottawa Senators left wing Matt Kassian (28) fight in the first period at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

See for yourself:

There was no headbutting call, but from the NHL rulebook:

"Rule 47–Head-butting47.1 Head-butting–The act of head-butting involves a player makingintentional contact, or attempting to make contact, with an opponentby leading with his head and/or helmet.47.2 Double-minor Penalty-A double-minor penalty shall be imposed ona player who attempts to head-butt an opponent.47.3 Major Penalty-A major penalty shall be imposed on a player whohead-butts an opponent (see 47.5).47.4 Match Penalty-A match penalty shall be imposed on a player whoinjures an opponent as a result of a head-butt.47.5 Game Misconduct Penalty–When a major penalty is assessedunder this rule, a game misconduct penalty must be imposed.47.6 Fines and Suspensions-There are no specified fines orsuspensions for head-butting, however, supplementary discipline canbe applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 28)."

There should have been at least a double-minor for the actions, and in my opinion a major and game misconduct should have been assessed to McLaren on the play.