Roussel suspended two games for ‘proactive, not reactive’ cross check on McQuaid

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Dallas forward Antoine Roussel has been suspended two games for cross-checking Boston’s Adam McQuaid on Tuesday night, the NHL announced.

“Roussel’s cross-check can neither be classified as reflexive nor defensive. The players square off and face each other well in advance of Roussel’s stick striking McQuaid, and Roussel can see that McQuaid has dropped his stick,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained. “What’s more, rather than simply raising his stick to block an anticipated blow from McQuaid, Roussel drives it forward and into McQuaid.

“This action is proactive, not reactive.”

The full video explanation:

As the video shows, Roussel’s history as a repeat offender played a role in this punishment. He was fined by the Department of Player Safety earlier this season for sucker-punching San Jose defenseman Justin Braun.

As a result of the suspension, Roussel will miss Dallas’ next two games — tonight versus Florida, Saturday in Colorado — and eligible to return for a Feb. 17 date in St. Louis against the Blues. He will also forfeit $21,505.38 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.