In retrospect, Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal realizes that kneeing Brad Marchand in the head wasn’t too bright.
What compounds it though, and what might have contributed to his suspension being five games, is the fact that this isn’t Neal’s first run-in with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Prior to this incident, he had previously been suspended twice before.
That’s a cause for concern for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“There needs to be some education there,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There needs to be some learning in how he needs to play the game and how he can play the game.”
Bylsma has already talked to Neal at length about the incident and it seems likely the subject will be brought up again.
For his part, Neal acknowledges that in addition to it not being his “smartest decision,” he hurt the Penguins with his actions by removing himself from the lineup.
“He’s a 40-goal scorer and has to be able to play that way without crossing that line,” Bylsma said.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.