Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit

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Rangers defenseman John Moore has been suspended five games for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota’s Erik Haula during Monday’s game in New York, the NHL has announced.

“The main point of contact on this hit is Haula’s head,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained (video below). “It is important to note that Haula is eligible to be checked on this play, and Moore’s hit is not late — nor did Moore deliver the hit with his elbow, which flares up following contact.

“However, if Moore is to attempt this extremely difficult hit, his timing and angle of approach must ensure that he hits squarely through the body and that Haula’s head is not the main point of contact.”

Moore, who had a previous disciplinary record from hitting and injuring Montreal’s Dale Weise in last year’s playoffs, received a major penalty and game misconduct for Monday’s illegal check. Haula, meanwhile, left the game and didn’t return; while he wasn’t diagnosed with a concussion, he did miss Tuesday’s game against Boston for precautionary measures.

Both Haula’s injury and Moore’s history as a repeat offender played a part in the suspension.

Moore will now miss the Rangers’ next five games — against Winnipeg, St. Louis, Detroit, Toronto and Edmonton — and is eligible to return to the lineup on Tuesday, Nov. 11 against the Penguins.

Update: Here’s a little more from Bob McKenzie: