As reported earlier today, David Backes had a meeting with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after delivering a late hit that knocked Frans Nielsen out of Tuesday night’s Red Wings/Bruins game in Boston. The results of the hearing are now in:
Boston’s David Backes suspended three games for interference on Detroit’s Frans Nielsen. https://t.co/TaN0CGiY8v— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 7, 2018
The video explanation linked covers heavily that Backes’ main problem was the lateness of the hit and the injury to Nielsen. The video does mention that Backes did not target the head, but significant contact with the head was made. Left to interpretation, one is forced to believe that DOPS would have suspended Backes for much longer had he done more to target Nielsen’s head, but with the wheel of justice, I’m honestly surprised he even got this many games.
In terms of what the Wings will do to make up for the loss of Nielsen, the surprising news isn’t “play more David Booth”, but instead is refreshingly forward-thinking.
Red Wings calling up Evgeny Svechnikov with Frans Nielsen sidelined at least 2 games.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) March 7, 2018
Svechnikov, 21, had a slow start to the season thanks to his own injury (a neck problem suffered during preseason), but has looked strong of late for the Griffins. He was keyed as a player who would be getting a look after the trade deadline as the Red Wings continue a youth movement. My personal hope is that Svechnikov will get into more than just two games, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.