Prout gets one-game suspension for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Kucherov

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Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout has been suspended one game for delivering a “forceful punch” to an “unsuspecting” Nikita Kucherov during Sunday’s Blue Jackets-Lightning game.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety noted in its explanation that Kucherov was not aware of Prout’s presence prior to the punch, and that it was not a case where two players were “squaring off in confrontation.”

“Kucherov has no reason to believe that a punch may be thrown by Prout,” said DoPS director Patrick Burke, adding that Prout’s actions were not an acceptable way of defending a teammate.

Here’s the full video explanation: