It might take a season (or more) to tell if the NHL’s revamped disciplinary procedures actually deter dirty hits, but if nothing else, the league is being more vigilant in the preseason. Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz is the latest player to receive a suspension while we await word regarding what will happen to Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski, who was part of an incident in the same game.
The NHL suspended Staubitz for the remainder of the preseason as well as three regular season games for his hit from behind on Cody Bass on Sept. 23. The incident took place at the 4:24 mark of the third period of that game. Staubitz will lose $9,324.33 because of the games he will miss.
Staubitz already missed a Sept. 24 exhibition against the Pittsburgh Penguins as the league mulled over his punishment. He’ll sit out three other preseason games: Tuesday’s home game against St. Louis, another game against Columbus on Thursday and their final meaningless contest against Edmonton on Friday. Most importantly, he’ll miss the Wild’s season opener on Oct. 8 against (you guessed it) Columbus, an Oct. 10 match against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum and an away game against Ottawa on Oct. 11.
Staubitz won’t be eligible to return to NHL action until the Wild host the Oilers on Oct. 13. Here’s head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s explanation for the Staubitz suspension.