You can watch the NHL’s explanation for suspending McCarron two games for that hit on Gourde in the video above. In that video, the Department of Player Safety emphasizes that Gourde’s head was the primary point of contact. The DoPS points out that the contact was avoidable, and Gourde didn’t change the position of his head.
This is the first time McCarron’s been suspended over his 72-game NHL career. It seems like Yanni Gourde avoided a major injury on the play. (Although it’s worth noting that sometimes players notice ill effects from head injuries after the fact.)
Perhaps the league should also take context into consideration? This hit seemed especially unnecessary being that it happened during the last minute of a 3-0 win for Tampa Bay.
(Tyler Myers received a major penalty, but no suspension, for a questionable hit late vs. Joel Armia earlier this season, as an example of something that didn’t receive supplemental discipline. Armia ended up concussed.)