NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland three games for this hit on Chicago forward Marcus Kruger:
“Engelland drives up to deliver a check, launching himself and making Kruger’s head the principal point of contact with his left forearm,” Shanahan explains. “Although Engelland has Kruger lined up for what could potentially be a clean, full-body check, his elevation and launch upon impact — as well as the way Engelland forcefully drives his hands and arms up and into the face area — makes this, in our eyes, a recklessly targeted shot to Kruger’s head.”
Shanahan then went onto say that while Kruger returned to the game, he was eventually pulled and has since been diagnosed with a concussion.
It’s doubtful this ruling will garner much opposition, though it should be noted there wasn’t a penalty on the play. Engelland hasn’t spoken publicly since the hit and the Penguins have remained tight-lipped about the incident. All coach Dan Bylsma would say is the hit was hard and that “it was a full body check by Deryk.”
The suspension will go into effect tomorrow, meaning Engelland won’t be available for Pittsburgh’s game in Winnipeg. He’ll also miss dates against the Hurricanes (Dec. 27) and Flyers (Dec. 29) before being eligible to return for a Dec. 31 game in New Jersey.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Engelland will fork over $9,189.18 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.