There’s no disciplinary hearing scheduled for Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader following his big check on Florida’s Aleksander Barkov last night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.
The incident, which occurred early in the second period, left Barkov woozy and forced him from the game entirely. Abdelkader wasn’t penalized on the play — that, along with the hit itself, infuriated the Panthers and head coach Gerard Gallant.
“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald.
“I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way,” Gallant added, noting that Abdelkader “left his feet a little and got [Barkov] in the jaw.”
Abdelkader has run afoul of the Department of Player Safety before. He was suspended two games during the ’13 playoffs for a hit on then-Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman.
The Panthers are back in action tonight, as they take on the Sabres in Buffalo.
Detroit doesn’t play again until Wednesday, when it hosts the Sens at Joe Louis.