If James van Riemsdyk did not play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dion Phaneuf would probably be facing a fine and/or suspension from the NHL. Phaneuf lowered his shoulder and unloaded on the head and neck area of van Riemsdyk on Tuesday night. Phanuef is van Riemsdyk’s teammate.
Obviously, the hit was an accident. Phaneuf had sized up San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau and missed his target by a significant margin. He leveled van Riemsdyk instead, who had been skating after Marleau in pursuit of the puck.
Van Riemsdyk had to leave the ice after the hit but was later able to return. He has 26 goals and 27 assists this season, so Maple Leaf fans would not have been happy if he was knocked out for an extended period of time by his own teammate. Phaneuf should be breathing a sigh of relief.
GIF via SB Nation