NHL suspends Nurse three games, says he ‘intentionally targeted Polak in retaliation’

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Oilers blueliner Darnell Nurse has been suspended three games for jumping San Jose blueliner Roman Polak during Tuesday’s game in Edmonton, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced.

“It is important to note that at no point during this altercation does Polak drop his gloves, throw a punch, or do anything other than to attempt to defend himself from the attack,” the DoPS explained in its video. “As Nurse began throwing punches without warning, Polak is a defenseless and unwilling combatant.”

The video noted Nurse “manages to throw and land around eight punches” on Polak.

The DoPS also made a point of mentioning the retaliatory aspect of this incident. Prior to getting jumped by Nurse, Polak was engaged with Oilers forward Matt Hendricks, which resulted in Hendricks crashing violently into the end boards.

Though replay showed Polak wasn’t at fault for the crash, Nurse went after him anyway, with the DoPS saying it believed he “intentionally targeted Polak in retaliation.”

As a result, Nurse will now miss Edmonton’s next three games — at Minnesota, versus Arizona, versus Nashville — and will be eligible to return on Wednesday, Mar. 16 against St. Louis.

Nurse will also forfeit $13,924.74 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.