Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott has been suspended seven games for his illegal check to the head of Boston’s Loui Eriksson, the NHL has announced.
Scott, 31, was suspended indefinitely pending his in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, a meeting that took place today. As such, he’s already served three of his seven games and will miss a fourth tonight as the Sabres take on the Rangers in New York.
“Scott cuts across Eriksson and delivers and delivers a shoulder to Eriksson’s head, making it the main point of contact and causing a serious injury,” NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan explained. “Although Eriksson is eligible to be checked on this play, he is not eligible to be checked in this fashion.”
Shanahan also said it was “important” to note the onus of the hit — and subsequent injury — landed solely on Scott, as Eriksson made no late movements or shifts to play into the contact.
Here’s the video:
Also worth noting that Shanahan threw out the “headshot because he’s tall defense,” on the grounds that Scott has recorded over 200 hits in his NHL career, and hasn’t faced supplemental discipline for any of them.
Translation: Despite being 6-foot-8, Scott knows how to hit people legally.
Scott will forfeit $26,923.05 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. He is eligible to return to action on Friday, Nov. 8 when the Sabres play in Anaheim against the Ducks.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.