Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings

Refs throw Todd Bertuzzi out of Blackhawks-Red Wings game for elbow on Ryan Johnson


A player getting ejected from a game for throwing an elbow is a borderline news story in today’s NHL, but when that player is notorious Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi, the buzz increases substantially.

Bertuzzi received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct after elbowing Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Johnson in the head. (Click here for video of the hit.)

Will Bertuzzi receive a fine or a suspension on top of the in-game punishment? That’s anyone’s guess. There are a few factors working for and against the infamous once-power forward:

Why he might get suspended:

  • His name is Todd Bertuzzi.
  • It was an elbow to the head and Bertuzzi turned his back to Johnson, which might indicate that there was some frustration involved.
  • Also, his name is Todd Bertuzzi.

Why he might not get suspended:

  • It wasn’t an overly egregious hit, from an admittedly subjective perspective.
  • Johnson left the game briefly, but returned (at least during the first period), so a lack of serious injury – at the moment – might play in Bertuzzi’s favor.
  • Bertuzzi was booted from the game, so some might feel he already had his moment in “time out.”

Overall, it would be surprising if Bertuzzi received more than a game and it’s possible he will leave with a fine or less. But how do you feel he should be treated? Let us know in the comments.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.