The Ontario Hockey League announced today that Niagara IceDogs forward Tom Kuhnhackl has been suspended 20 games for his hit on Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy.
The play in question occurred Friday after Murphy, 18, went back to retrieve the puck behind the Kitchener goal and didn’t see Kuhnhackl, 19, charging towards him.
The 20-game suspension was handed out with the following rationale:
—-Contact with head
—-Vulnerable unsuspecting player
—-Speed and considerable distance traveled
—-Kitchener player injured on the play
Murphy, who suffered a concussion on the play, was selected 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2011 draft. In an ironic twist, the ‘Canes sent him back to junior partly because they felt he wasn’t physically ready to play against bigger, stronger NHL players.
Video: Marc Staal was no match for Alex Ovechkin on this goal
After being held without a point in his first two games of the season, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has now scored a goal in three consecutive games.
That includes his goal on Saturday night in the first period against the New York Rangers.
It’s one that will probably make the personal highlight reel for Ovechkin, but it certainly won’t make the highlight reel for Rangers defenseman Marc Staal.
To say that this head-to-head matchup turned out to be a mismatch would be … well … a bit of an understatement.
As Ovechkin crossed the blue line into the Rangers zone he started to toe-drag around Staal, only to stop midway through and just rip it from outside the circle, using Staal as a screen and beating Henrik Lundqvist for the goal.
It is probably not a good sign when the defenseman has his back to the shooter when the puck is released.
When the Dallas Stars take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday evening one of their top forwards will be making his 2016-17 debut.
The team announced on Saturday afternoon that forward Ales Hemsky will be activated from injured reserve after missing the first four games of the season due to a groin injury at the World Cup of hockey.
Now 33 years old, Hemsky isn’t quite as dynamic as he was during his prime years in Edmonton, but he is still an extremely skilled playmaker that is a solid fit in Dallas’ system. He is entering his third year with the Stars and has 71 points (24 goals, 47 assists) in 151 games with the team.
With Hemsky now activated and back in the lineup, the Stars also announced on Saturday that veteran forward Jiri Hudler has been placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 15 due to illness.