During Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, Gustav Nyquist high-sticked Jared Spurgeon in the face. While Nyquist was penalized on the play, he was not given a major penalty and/or a game misconduct. In case you missed it, here is the play:
After the game, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that Nyquist would have an in-person hearing for the play, which means that he could face a suspension of more than 5 games. Nyquist ultimately waived the in-person portion of the hearing, preferring instead to be admonished over the phone.
Nyquist’s hearing was today, and it was announced that he has been suspended for 6 games.
Six game suspension for Nyquist.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 15, 2017
This being a first offense, Nyquist will lose $158,333.34 in salary. He will be eligible to return on March 4th against the Oilers.
Given the history of the DoPS and their decisions and the actions of Nyquist, this is actually a pretty reasonable punishment. He wasn’t used as an extreme example when other incidents have gone unpunished, and he wasn’t let off with a slap on the wrist. It’s likely his lack of any history of bad behavior contributed to the decision.
For the Red Wings, it will be interesting to see who slots in to his spot on the top line alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Anthony Mantha. My personal hope is that Tomas Jurco gets in the lineup and the opportunity to play with very talented linemates for an extended period of time, but I don’t have the confidence in this coaching staff to make that decision when the playoffs are still a mathematical possibility.
UPDATE: Here is the video explanation from DoPS.