Kings’ Pearson suspended for preseason, two regular season games for ‘forceful’ headshot


The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has come down on L.A.’s Tanner Pearson for his illegal check to the head of Oilers d-man Brandon Davidson.

The incident, which occurred Monday evening, earned Pearson a game misconduct. Davidson left the contest and did not return.

“[Pearson] takes an angle of approach that makes a full bodycheck impossible to deliver,” the DoPS said in a video release. “Pearson then extends his body up and outward, picking Davidson’s head with a forceful blow.”

The DoPS said it accepted Pearson’s explanation that he wasn’t intentionally targeting Davidson’s head, but mitigating factors resulted in a suspension — specifically, the fact that Davidson suffered an injury on the play.

Pearson, who had never previously run afoul of the player safety department, will now miss the Kings’ final two preseason contests — Friday against Dallas, Saturday against Colorado — and the first two games of the regular season: Wednesday, Oct. 12 in San Jose and Friday, Oct. 14 versus Philadelphia.

He’s eligible to return on Oct. 18, when L.A. takes on the Wild in Minnesota.

In addition to the suspension, Pearson will also forfeit $15,555.56 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.