Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks has been suspended three games for boarding Florida Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad.
The incident occurred during the third period of the Panthers’ 2-1 victory in Edmonton on Sunday. The 19-year-old Ekblad was going back for a loose puck behind the Florida net 2:12 into the third when he was nailed by Hendricks.
Ekblad initially had trouble getting to his feet and went to the dressing room, but returned to the game later in the period.
Ekblad missed Florida’s game against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday with an upper-body injury he sustained from the hit. Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant said before the game that there’s no timetable for his return.
There was no penalty on the play for the hit, but Hendricks had a phone hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety on Monday, which meant any suspension would be five games or fewer.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Hendricks will forfeit $29,838.72 US. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The first overall pick in 2014, Ekblad has nine goals and 10 assists in 42 games this season for Florida, which was going for its 13th straight victory on Monday.(The Canadian Press)
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