Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski was booted early in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres because of his late and questionable hit to Brian Gionta. The Buffalo Sabres forward spun 180 degrees in midair and nearly landed head-first onto the ice.
Sabres forward Marcus Foligno promptly fought Bartkowski in defense of his teammate, but Foligno suffered an upper-body injury in the process. Gionta was also out for the remainder of the game, although the Sabres haven’t revealed if he sustained a concussion.
There were immediately questions as to whether or not Bartkowski would face additional discipline for his actions, but the NHL has no plans to schedule a hearing, per CSN New England’s league source. The shoulder was reportedly determined to be the principal point of contact and Bartkowski’s clean record might also have been a factor.
You can see the hit for yourself and the sparring match below:
If there is indeed no hearing, Buffalo News writer Mike Harrington would have strong reservations about that decision: