Dallas forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended two games for kneeing Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, the NHL announced on Thursday.
The incident occurred midway during the third period of Dallas’ 3-2 win on Tuesday night. Garbutt was whistled for a two-minute tripping penalty; Hall wasn’t injured and remained in the game:
Following the game, Garbutt’s coach — Lindy Ruff — expressed displeasure with the hit. From the Dallas Morning-News:
The Stars led 3-2 in the third period when Garbutt took what Ruff called a “reckless” penalty. The Stars survived what ended as an 11-second power play, but that did not lessen Ruff’s discontent.
“It’s something he has a tough time with,” Ruff said Wednesday. “We had a tough time with it last year, but I thought we were making some headway. I feel like I’m losing a bit of ground again.”
As Ruff alluded to, Garbutt does have history with disciplinary issues. He was fined for a spear on Ducks’ forward Corey Perry last postseason and, during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, was suspended five games for a hit on Dustin Penner.
What’s more, knee-on-knee hits were a topic of conversation at last week’s GM Meetings, as NHL disciplinary czar Stephane Quintal addressed a noticeable spike in incidents through the first month of the season.
Garbutt will miss Dallas’ next two games — Friday versus Minnesota, Saturday in Colorado — and will be eligible to return when the Stars play in Toronto next Tuesday.