Brendan Shanahan has been a busy man tonight. Fresh off issuing a four-game suspension to Kevin Porter, the league announced that Ville Leino will receive a one-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Philadelphia’s Matt Read on Wednesday night. More importantly for Leino, the elbow will cost him just over $24,000 in money that he could have used for Christmas gifts.
Shanahan explains in the league issued video that Leino was in the process of stealing the puck from Read with his feet as his elbow came up and hit him in the shoulder and head. The league viewed the contact as an accidental elbow, they also viewed it as a “reckless” hit “without intent” to injure from Leino. Additionally, Shanahan took into account that Read was not injured on the play and Leino has no history of dirty play in the NHL.
Leino should consider himself a lucky man, because the play looked like it would warrant more than just a single game suspension.
Maybe Leino can take the one game mandatory vacation to find his game that he left in Philadelphia last season. Despite making $6 million this season, he’s only managed three goals in 27 games over the first two months of the season.
Three goals, one suspension, and a lot of criticism over the first two months of his 6-year stint in Buffalo. It could have started a little better.