Paul Bissonnette’s 10-game suspension is reportedly about to get a lot shorter.
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star reported his ban for leaving the bench to fight L.A. Kings forward Jordan Nolan during a preseason game last week was to be cut in half or more. John Shannon of Sportsnet confirmed the report saying the suspension will go from 10 games to just three.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reports the reduction in games comes as a negotiated deal between Bissonnette and the NHL.
With the lack of video of how things played out and everyone having to go by word of mouth to figure things out, this doesn’t come as too big of a surprise. The fact he’ll still have three games to serve, however, is a bit of a head-scratcher.
If he had left the bench on a legal line change and fought, the only punishment he would’ve received would be five minutes in the box.
Then again, without there being much, if any, evidence as to what happened neither side can really prove their case. Bissonnette getting seven games back was probably the best he could hope for.
When it comes to appealing a suspension, this is as close to a “win” as a player can get.
UPDATE (6:58 p.m. ET): It’s official from the NHL – his suspension is reduced to three games. The league cites the lack of video evidence as the main reason for the reduction. Bissonnette will be eligible to return to action on October 10. He’ll give up $11,346.15 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund because of the suspension.