After handing out its first suspension over the weekend to Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals for interference, the NHL Department of Player Safety rung up New York Rangers forward Andrew Desjardins for two preseason games on Monday, after his hit to the head of Miles Wood of the New Jersey Devils.
Yes, two preseason games. Basically the death penalty, if the death penalty was a stern talking to with no tangible consequences for the team (if a few for the player).
Here’s the play in question:
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m happy about it,” Wood said of Desjardins’ hearing, via NorthJersey.com. “Stuff like that shouldn’t go on in hockey. The fact that he is having a hearing speaks a lot about Player Safety and what they want to see in a hockey game. Hockey is supposed to be played hard but there’s a fine line and when you cross it like that hit, it has to get looked at.
This is your classic “learn how to hit a guy the proper way in 2017” suspension, as Wood was eligible to be checked and Desjardins recklessly picked the head.
“If Desjardins wishes to deliver this check, he must take an angle of approach through Woods’ core, delivering a legal, full-bodied check,” said DoPS.
Through the core?
Like with Wilson’s two (preseason) game suspension, this is the first time Desjardins, 31, has been suspended in his NHL career. Unlike Wilson, this suspension could impact his status for next season: He’s on a professional tryout contract with the Rangers, so missing these games will mean missing some audition time. And some Rangers fans already wonder what his role with this team would be anyway.