New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Carolina’s Nathan Gerbe on Saturday night, the NHL has announced.
Grabner, 26, hit Gerbe in the first period and wasn’t penalized on the play.
“This is not a full bodycheck,” NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan explained. “The head is the main point of contact, and such contact is avoidable.”
Here’s the video:
The relatively light punishment — two games — was partly due to the fact Gerbe wasn’t hurt on the play (he remained in the game following the hit, finishing with an assist and over 18 minutes played).
The league also took into account Grabner’s lack of previous offenses.
Under terms of the CBA, Grabner will forfeit $30,769.24 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. He’ll sit out games against Vancouver on Tuesday and Pittsburgh on Thursday, eligible for return for Saturday’s home date against Philadelphia.