The NHL’s Department of Player Safety struck again today, dealing Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen a suspension.
Johansen has been suspended two games for the following high-stick on Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Sheifele.
— ChattTenn Sports (@ChattTennSports) January 18, 2019
Here is the NHL DoPS’ explanation on the suspension. In their explanation they “accept” Johansen’s assertion that his actions were unintentional, but they explain that he is still responsible for his stick. He was not so “off-balance” that his only course of action was to incidentally hit Scheifele.
If you watch the play, it does seem to be part of a regular hockey play, but the contact looked very bad.
The ruling deemed Johansen’s actions “reckless and irresponsible” and agreed with the on-ice penalty of high sticking. While they did consider his clean history in the NHL disciplinary world (he has no previous fines or suspensions), they still suspended him for two games.
A Fair Ruling?
Some folks were calling for a much longer suspension when the NHL announced the hearing today. But considering that Filip Forsberg got three games last year for what seemed like a much less serious crime against New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey, I suppose Nashville should accept that this punishment is fair.
I doubt this becomes a problem for Johansen in the future. As the ruling states, he doesn’t have a history of suspensions and much of this play seemed unintentional.
The Nashville Predators will now be without Ryan Johansen for tomorrow against the Panthers and then for Monday’s game against the Avalanche.
— Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports —