NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Henrik Zetterberg had to use a new helmet Thursday, as his old one cracked in two pieces when Shea Weber pounded Zetterberg’s head into the glass in Game 1.

Cost to the Red Wings: About $90. Cost to Weber: $2,500.

The fact that Zetterberg is fine, that he’ll play tonight in Game 2 at Bridgestone Arena when the Wings hope to even their first-round series with the Predators, played a role in the NHL’s department of player safety’s decision to let Weber off with no more than a fine — one that pales compared to his $7.5-million salary — for the antics that closed Wednesday’s game.

That didn’t sit particularly well with the Wings, starting with Zetterberg. “In my view, it was pretty bad,” he said. “I heard he got fined. I guess the bar is set. I thought it was dirty. I thought it was a direct hit to my head. If we look at what happened the last few years with all the head injuries, I think that shouldn’t belong in the game.”

In the last seconds of the 3-2 game, the Predators won a face-off and Weber got the puck. Zetterberg went to get it, checking Weber into the boards. Weber responded by grabbing Zetterberg’s head and slamming him facefirst into the glass so hard Zetterberg crumpled. He was slow to get up; in the locker room, he underwent a base-line test to rule out a concussion. Zetterberg said he felt “a little woozy.”

To his teammates, the fine — the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement — seemed to not match up with the NHL’s season-long message that it is deeply concerned about players’ safety, especially in the area of head shots.

Johan Franzen smiled as he said, “it’s got to be a tough one,” for Weber to handle the fine. Asked if what Weber did isn’t something the NHL supposedly wants to get rid of, Franzen cut in, “shoving the head into the boards? Yeah, I heard something about that. The rules are the rules but, just try to keep that stuff out of the game. A $2,500 fine probably won’t do it, I don’t think.”

Tomas Holmstrom said, “you take a guy and hit him from behind, that doesn’t belong to the game, for sure. I was a little surprised, yeah.”

Nicklas Lidstrom, who normally is very reserved in his comments, said he was “somewhat surprised. … You don’t want to see anything like that happen, especially when he could have gotten hurt, it could have been a lot worse than what happened. It’s always scary when something like that happens.”

Coach Mike Babcock said he went for a run before his news conference specifically to clear his mind of the topic. When asked if the Wings needed to not let thoughts of retribution be a factor for Game 2, he said: “Well, we don’t have the personnel to get back at Weber. So we might as well get on with that. This is the way our team is built, and it’s been built like this for a while. To me, it doesn’t matter what anybody does — when you win the game, that’s what it’s all about. So let’s get past any of that.”

In a statement, disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said one of the factors that went into the decision to limit punishment to a fine was that Weber’s action was reactionary. Asked if the fine came with a warning, Weber replied, “I think it’s pretty straightforward: Play to the edge and not over. It’s cut and dry.”

Weber said he was glad Zetterberg wasn’t hurt. Ryan Suter, Weber’s partner, said he saw the incident on TV and “I didn’t think he’d be in that much trouble — I didn’t think it was that bad.”

Contact Helene St. James: 313-222-2295 or Follow her on Twitter @freepwings.

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Source : Red Wings weigh in on Shea Weber’s fine, ‘dirty play’ – Detroit Free Press