The NHL has come down on Anaheim forward Nate Thompson for his headshot on Carolina d-man Justin Faulk — on Monday, the league suspended Thompson for the next three games.
“Rather that hitting squarely through his opponent’s body, Thompson extends his body unnecessarily, and makes Faulk’s head the main point of contact,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “While Faulk is low to the ice as he steps up, he does not materially change the position of his head just prior to, or simultaneous with contact.”
The hit, which happened early in the first period of Carolina’s 5-1 win on Friday, earned Thompson a five-minute elbowing major and game misconduct.
Faulk was briefly shaken up but uninjured, and went on to finish the game with 26:22 TOI.
In explaining its ruling, the DoPS noted it has a history with Thompson. In 2013, while playing for Tampa Bay, he was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of then-Devils forward Matt D’Agostini.
Thompson will now sit out the first three games of Anaheim’s upcoming road trip — Thursday in Buffalo, Saturday in New Jersey and Monday in Brooklyn. He’s eligible to return on Dec. 22, when the Ducks take on the Rangers at MSG.
Thompson will also forfeit $25,806.45 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.