Blackhawks Rookie Ben Smith Knocked Out in Preseason Game

Early in the third period of Wednesday night’s preseason game, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith was knocked out by a cheap shot to the head by Red Wings prospect Brendan Smith.

Detroit’s Smith received a major penalty for the hit, and was escorted from the ice. He was the Wings’ first round pick (27th overall) in 2007, and scored 32 points with 124 penalty minutes in 63 games with Grand Rapids of the AHL last year.

This is exactly the type of hit the NHL is trying to eliminate. Chicago’s Smith had tied the game earlier in the period, and the hit displayed intent to make contact with a skater’s head.

What makes the hit most disgusting is that Detroit’s┬áSmith will likely be sent back to the AHL in a matter of hours, and won’t be heard from again this year. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks were expecting their Smith to be an important part of their bottom-six rotation this year after an impressive postseason.

If the league wants NHL regulars to skate during the preseason, idiot kids that don’t belong on the ice can’t take runs at them like Brendan Smith did on Wednesday night.

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13 Responses to Blackhawks Rookie Ben Smith Knocked Out in Preseason Game

  1. Geoff says:

    Cue the bullshit comments that it’s Ben Smith’s own fault for ‘not keeping his head up.’

  2. Concerned. says:

    That’s just dirty.

  3. Really though says:

    There’s no place for that in the NHL.

  4. Mabe someone with Rockford will connect with Brendan Smith down the road…

  5. Brill says:

    Did you not see the replay? His head was up the whole time.

  6. Melissa Scheele says:

    Wish Carcillo would have been playing or Scott.

  7. wendall says:

    Please, Smith made the cut inside and got clipped. Happens. To say it was a dirty hit is shoert sided. if you watch the replay he does make slight contact with the shoulder before the hit to his head. No suspension required but may get two games. Smith put himself in that position. Both rookies learned a lesson.

  8. Aaron says:

    @ Wendall, how the hell do you think that isn’t an intentional ? Watch the clip replay in slow motion and look at Brendan Smith’s body and how he’s lined up. He was playing the angle to make the big hit, he was leading with his shoulder, two hands on his stick and no intention to play the puck. And as far as Ben Smith putting himself in that position, well your absolutely right on that, how dare he make an attempt to avoid the hit and put himself in better scoring position. Clearly thats a textbook rookie mistake. Then again, that just might be me being “shoert sided”.

  9. Tim says:

    @Aaron, you’ve probably never played hockey in your life. As someone with 17 years experience I can tell you the first thing a defensmen is taught, NEVER PLAY THE PUCK! The first rule is ALWAYS PLAY THE BODY. The hit in question may have looked bad but you have to remember he is supposed to line him up and take him out of the play. Second, he led with his shoulder (not his elbow!) which is the legal way to throw a check and because Ben Smith tried to avoid the hit by pulling up, thats what led to him getting hit in the head, peroid. If he did not pull up the hit would have most likely been shoulder to shoulder. Things unfold out there extremely fast and these type of hits happen all the time. You can’t blame a defenceman for doing his job. The end contact may go against the NEW SOFTER NHL’s rules but not long ago that hit would have been praised by many as a text book defensive play. Just happened to be incedental contact to the head, nothing intentional or dirty about it at all. It was just a good hard hit. Not from behind, didn’t throw an illegal elbow or but end. I took many similar hits when I played. You get up, shake off the cob webs, take a number, and pay him back with a good legal hard hit of your own. Thats how the game is played between men.

  10. Tab Bamford says:

    He led w/ his shoulder and finished high, through the head of the offensive player. He will be suspended, there’s no other way to look at it Tim.

    Furthermore, your statement embodies exactly what is wrong w/ the game today. You’re that the first rule a defenseman is taught is PLAY THE BODY… but last night the defenseman played the HEAD. Offensive players are absolutely expected to see their surroundings and keep their eyes up; when Willie Mitchell hammered Toews a couple years ago, 19 wasn’t looking at anything but the ice. But NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING gives a player the right to try to decapitate another player. There is NO excuse for what Smith did last night, or what Wisniewski did to Clutterbuck. You can achieve the same separation of player-from-puck by hitting a guy in the torso without knocking him out as Smith did trying to drive Smith’s jaw thru the back of his helmet.

    The idea that offensive players are responsible for cheap shots is ridiculous. Headhunting players is dirty and the reason guys like Marc Savard and Sidney Crosby have question marks over their heads for the rest of their lives.

  11. Joe says:

    F*ck the Red Wings

  12. Detroit is a shithole says:

    Let’s hope this piece of shit gets dealt with if he ever makes it to the big leagues. From what I just read, he’s a shitty scrub that won’t even make the team

  13. Aaron says:

    @ Tim…… First of all, I appreciate the experience you have, I’ve played for just over 20 years so we have the time on the ice. Second, I never mentioned anything in my previous post about lifting his elbow or even leading with it. You’re right, Defenseman are taught to play the body but they’re taught to play the angle to the shooter and knock him off the puck, not go for the haymaker hit and risk taking themselves out of position. The NHL is trying to eliminate hits to the head, and you think that is going to soften the game up ? Did they soften the game up in 1979 when they mandated that all players have to wear helmets ? Or better still, did the NFL soften their game when they adopted the In the Grasp rule to protect quaterbacks ? The old days of the NHL are gone. It’s a different type of game now and the league has to adjust accordingly. I’m not saying that the players aren’t as tough, but the game has gotten a lot faster and the equipment is lighter so what are they supposed to do ?

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