SAN JOSE — The Sharks said today that the NHL has rescinded an instigator penalty late in Thursday night's 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings that could have led to a suspension for Scott Hannan and a fine for coach Todd McLellan.
Hannan was given the penalty, along with five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct, at 18:07 of the third period after being elbowed in the head by Detroit forward Dan Cleary. Hannan immediately got up and made a beeline for Cleary against the boards, throwing punches when he got there.
"I didn't like it too much," Hannan said Friday morning. "I didn't see it until the replay until this morning, but it looked pretty dirty. He swung his elbow out and it caught me on the jaw. I kind of lost it there for a bit."
Added Hannan: "He takes a cheap shot like that, he's got to expect it's coming."
Hannan, who did follow NHL protocol for any hit to the head and was examined by the training staff, said his neck was still a little stiff, but he felt OK otherwise.
McLellan said he was told after the game the instigator penalty was rescinded after a closer look at the play leading up to the fight.
The Sharks coach declined to characterize the hit, noting that it's in the hands of the league's department of public safety at this point.
"If the league feels that it crossed the line, they'll react to it," McLellan said. "They look at every one now. There isn't a hit that goes unlooked at and it was a blow to the head. We'll see what they do with it."
With the Sharks holding a three-goal lead, there were other chippy incidents in the third period.
At 15:55, Tommy Wingels and Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi were each sent off for roughing, with Bertuzzi drawing an extra two minutes for throwing his helmet at Wingels as the linesmen separated them.
Wingels said that was a first for him, but he didn't seem too upset.
"I don't know what he was thinking. Frustration? Who knows?," he said. "I don't think of it as a big deal. No harm, no foul."