Leafs’ Ashton suspended two games for ‘extremely dangerous’ boarding


Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton has been suspended two games for boarding Calgary’s Derek Smith on Wednesday, the NHL announced.

“Ashton takes a couple of strides and forcefully shoves [Smith] in the numbers, causing Smith to crash violently into the boards,” explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan. “Although Smith is turning while receiving the pass, at no point during this play does Ashton see anything other than Smith’s back.

“The onus, therefore, is entirely upon Ashton to either avoid contact or, at the very least, minimize it.”

Shanahan also said Ashton hit Smith from an “extremely dangerous” distance from the boards.

Here’s the video:

As per the NHL CBA, Ashton will forfeit $8,615.38 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance fund. He’ll miss Toronto’s next two contests — Saturday in Vancouver, next Friday at home vs. New Jersey — and will be eligible to return on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Boston.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.