As the above video explains, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan handed down his second suspension of the regular season — two games to Pens blueliner Kris Letang for boarding Winnipeg’s Alex Burmistrov.
I was actually watching the Pens-Jets game when the hit occurred. Looked like a nasty piece of business in real-time, so it was surprising when referee Dean Morton (who signaled a penalty immediately) only tagged Letang with a two-minute minor.
Of course, the on-ice ruling didn’t seem to lessen Letang’s punishment. That’s probably because he was classified as a repeat offender — Shanahan made mention that Letang was fined for a similar hit back in April — and the check was delivered “with force” while hitting Burmistrov between the numbers.
Letang will miss games tonight at Minnesota and Thursday, Oct. 20, vs. Montreal. He will be eligible to return Saturday, Oct. 22, vs. New Jersey. Not great news for the Penguins, who are already without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Brooks Orpik and Dustin Jeffrey. Letang is second amongst all NHL defencemen in points and eighth among all players in time on ice per game, averaging 26:01 a night.