In a somewhat surprising move, the NHL decided to suspend Pierre-Marc Bouchard two games for high-sticking Matt Calvert, according to Nick Kypreos. The Minnesota Wild were adamant that it was an unfortunate accident, while the Columbus Blue Jackets thought there was a clear intent to injure.
This suspension will keep Bouchard out of two Wild road games: at the New York Islanders (Oct. 10) and against the Ottawa Senators (Oct. 11). The NHL reveals that Bouchard will forfeit $44,108.10 for the missed time.
Minor quibbles aside, Brendan Shanahan is bringing some sense of order to the NHL’s discipline system. They can’t all be gold records, though, so consider this Shanny’s “Dirty Work.”
Honestly, I thought that the referees handled the situation properly by calling it a double-minor. That mistake put his team in an immediate bind and was a pretty severe in-game penalty for Bouchard. In many cases, suspension-worthy incidents don’t hurt the offending team in the moment, yet Bouchard’s was one of those exceptions. A minor fine would have been OK with me just to reinforce the need to be careful with one’s stick, but a two-game Shanaban seems a little excessive.
Michael Russo captures Bouchard’s argument, which apparently fell on deaf ears. How do you feel about the decision? Here’s the best video I’ve seen of the incident so far; we’ll provide Shanahan’s video explanation (likely with clearer footage) whenever it becomes available.