The NHL suspended big Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal two games for charging Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry:
Brian Leetch explains that Hanzal, 26, traveled quite a distance “with considerable speed” before “launching” into Petry’s head, driving it into the glass. Another factor was that Leetch believes Hanzal’s skate left the ice prior to making “significant contact” with Petry’s head.
Petry, 25, appeared to not be injured, which factored into the length of the suspension. On the other hand, Hanzal’s history as a repeat offender – he sat one game in the 2012 playoffs – hurt the Coyotes center’s cause.
Hanzal’s known for his tough, two-way play, yet he’s been on fire offensively lately. He has an impressive 11 points in 12 games with 33 shots on goal and one game-winning tally. Hanzal’s career high for points is just 35 back in 2007-08, so that mark is in his sights … even with this suspension.
Hanzal loses out on a hearty $75,609.76 in salary.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.