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Doughty Will Have Suspension Hearing Today; Should Be Suspended Two Games

See you in Game 4 Drew. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At 1:30 PM today Drew Doughty will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Saftey to determine the punishment he shall receive for his hit on William Carrier in Game 1.

With 10:01 remaining in the game, William Carrier carried the puck in the offensive zone and LA’s Drew Doughty went head hunting.

Doughty is an outstanding defenseman, but his emotions run high. After battling with Carrier for two periods, the Norris trophy recipient saw a chance to take revenge. The star defenseman led all skaters with 28 minutes on Wednesday, but a one second hit should keep him out of the Kings lineup for the next two games, despite not even being sent to the box in the game.

The NHL has set a precedent this season on hits like this over the course of the year. including suspending multiple players that were not penalized in the game.

Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano was suspended two games for a similar hit on LA’s Adrian Kempe. Keep in mind, Cogliano’s suspension ended his ironman streak.

Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was suspended three games this season for a severe interference penalty on Jimy Vesey. The league ruled the hit was late, made significant head contact and was deemed punishable.

The Senators’ Fredrik Claesson got benched by the league for two games after a nasty check to the head of Boston’s Noel Acciari. The league stressed the “main point of contact on this hit was the head” earning Claesson a two game suspension.

While still in Edmonton, Patrick Maroon was suspended two games in January after a dangerous hit to the head of Doughty. The league ruled Maroon was disciplined because the “significant force and substantial head contact” resulted by his check.

I think it was a little high. I think there’s not shoulder to shoulder there. I think Doughty was a little bit unhappy with the way Will was hitting him all the game and I think for him it was payback there. It’s unfortunate. -Jonathan Marchessault

If my hit was a penalty than that hit was a penalty for sure. -Tomas Nosek

The league has a tough call here as the precedent they’ve set is clear, but the player on trial will inevitably be the minutes leader in one of the highest profile series of the first round. Drew Doughty should be suspended for two games, anything less and the league is letting him off easy.


Here are links to each of the hits from the NHL with their reasoning for suspension at the end. Cogliano, Forsberg, Claesson, Maroon.


Forechecking, Backchecking, And Actual Checking, That’s How The Golden Knights Won Game 1


Matching D-Pairings With Top Offensive Lines Worked In Game 1 For VGK


  1. Dave H

    I would normally agree with you on stuff like this, but there is a HUGE difference in all of the videos/incidents you link as comparisons: in all cases, the player being hit did not have the puck or had passed the puck and it was deemed to be a late hit. That is NOT the case here. I think the principal point of contact is definitely the head and that will weigh into it, but using the above examples ignores the fact that those hits were all deemed to be late. Carrier was the puck carrier last night and had the puck at the time of the hit. It was a bad hit, but I am guessing its a fine or 1 game at most.

    • Kyle

      Exactly. All of the other examples are interference and targeting, with initial point of contact being the head.

      Doughty hit shoulder, THEN head. Carrier has the puck (What a genius Carrier is by the way. Targets Doughty for 2 periods and then gets cute coming across the middle).

      Factor in Doughty has never had any discplinary issues, and is (*This might be shocking to some) a Superstar, so it would have had to have been egregious. NHL is still a business, so like NFL QBs, they’d like their stars in there.

      I believe this will be a fine (Maybe).

      “See you in Game 2”.

  2. Mark

    One thing to remember is the NHL considers playoff game to be double to regular season games.

    So if that hit is equal to 2 regular season games, it will be 2 playoff. But I’m expecting only a fine.

  3. Andy

    No intent for the head, led with the shoulder, Carrier actually pulled back too as Doughty was coming in for the hit. Ten year veteran, no priors – not even fines and this hit wasn’t even penalized where as in the game there were suspect hits all over – so I think 2 games is a little bit of Vegas myopia. Fine at most, he will see the Knights tomorrow night on the blue line.

  4. Jeff

    Everyone is saying it was not intentional as part of the argument against suspension. That is just insane thinking. Doughty is absolutely an emotional player. He clearly was frustrated by Carrier’s play and the unexpected physicality that the Knights brought to the game last night. He was definitely looking for a big hit on Carrier. Now I am not saying his intent was a head shot, but he most certainly was intending to lay a big retaliatory hit on Carrier. The tune would be so much different if it had been Reaves laying the same exact hit on Kopitar. Reaves would have been instantly ejected from the game and suspended automatically. The fate should be no different for Doughty just because it’s a star player knocking out a 4th liner. I’ve watched doughty for years he plays a deceptively dirty game. He’s a cry baby and the game plan was most certainly to be physical against him to get him off his game. Very smart coaching by the way. If Doughty is not suspended for at least one game it’s a crime.

    • That’s because Reeves has a previous 3 game suspension and a history of borderline plays (I think he got fined for something with Kopitar once). Meanwhile, Doughty is a super-emotional guy, but I don’t think anyone would call him “dirty” or think he’s trying to hurt someone. He’s been in way higher stake games and suffered far more abuse and has never gone for a headshot (and I’ve only missed maybe a handful of his games in the past 9 years).

      None of the above hits are comparable… they were all late and much more violent. Doughty’s was a missed body check on the guy with the puck. There are PLENTY of examples of similar plays that never received supplemental discipline. The real problem is how small the maximum fine is. It’s definitely fine worthy, but a few thousand bucks on a $7M contract really doesn’t have that big of a bite to it.

    • Andy

      Jeff, are you serious? That hit doens’t even close to warranting a suspension. I completely agree with you about Doughty looking for the big hit, he was run all game long by Carrier. If you have ever played the sport that’s what you do – you look to get even when the opportunity presents itself.

      Well Carrier did his thing, and when Doughty got the chance he dropped him. That’s just hockey. Carrier also pulled his head back at the last second when he was about to get laid out which completely changed the point of contact even though Doughty would have got him body to body if he didn’t. Carrier needs to be held responsible too for putting himself in that position and that will be taken into consideration also. It wasn’t a hit to be penalized but since it resulted in a head injury it’s automatic to look at from the NHL DPS.

      And Reeves did lay a big hit on Kopitar in February, and while it wasn’t a dirty hit it was to a star player and the Kings reacted accordingly. I do not think it was worthy of any suspension let alone a penalty, again, that’s just hockey but Reaves violated The Code and it played out as it should have. No harm, no foul, all handled.

      This has nothing to do with the status of the player, this has everything to do with the play itself – it wasn’t a dirty hit. Doughty will not be suspended, guess you better call 911.

    • Dre

      I don’t know what’s more biased this article or your comment. You haven’t been watching Doughty for years, this is hockey there should be no punishment. Reaves is a goon, Doughty is not. The hit led with the shoulder and touched shoulder first (which this author purposely did not mention). Stop whining and asking for the opposition to lose their top player and just root for your team to beat them straight up! GKG (Go Kings Go! Get creative with your chant Vegas. ) May the best team win the series!

      • Jeff

        Dre…I’ve been (was until we got our own team) a faithful Kings fan living in Vegas for probability longer than you’ve been alive. I saw every Kings playoff game in 2014 live. I’ve watched Doughty cry, slash, make stupid comments, and easily get knocked off his game since the day he was drafted and signed. I’ve watched every single Kings game either live or on television for over 10 years. I do know what I’m talking about. Doughty isn’t a goon, you are correct, but many times it’s the non-goon emotional players causing some of the most damage illegally as they either won’t, are afraid, or have someone to protect them in lieu of fighting themselves.

        I didn’t not want the Kings to lose Doughty for a game. I want the Knights beating your best team so I don’t have to hear/read the excuses. The league, however, made the correct decision… my opinion. I know the Knights are deeper and just a better all around team. If the Kings lose because of this they weren’t going very far anyway. The Kings have 1 playoff win in 3 years. It’s time for a rebuild and I’d be willing to bet Doughty doesn’t re-sign their. We’ll see how you feel about him when he’s playing for Toronto.

    • Kyle

      But in your scenario Kopitar would have been targeting and running Reeves for 2 periods, so it’s not even close to the same.

    • goaliemom

      funny, how that supposed deceptively dirty player has never been suspended before…. but hey, I guess you know more about his play than everyone else in the league?

  5. Mike Freeland

    Anyone who thinks that hot deserves two games probably shouldn’t be writing stories about hockey.

    • Jeff

      Mike Freeland I guess Ken knew a little more than you did eh…..go troll somewhere else.

  6. A Fan

    He’ll get a fine. MAYBE one game, but I doubt it.

  7. Mad max

    Boo hoooo

  8. William

    Doughty didn’t leave his feet, hit initiated shoulder on shoulder with the puck carrier, great clean hit. Move along, nothing to see here.

  9. Roger

    Wondering if the NHL has the guts to suspend the Kings “star”.
    I personally think that EVERY player should be suspended, at a minimum, for as long as the player they injured is out.
    1-2-4-7 game suspensions when you’re trying to end a player’s season or even career is peanuts to these players. MAKE IT COUNT!!

  10. DanK

    What Mark said above. I am not sure of his suspension history, but if that’s clean then 2 or 3 regular season is going to equal 1 playoff game at most. If it were Marchand, who has had his share of attention this season then maybe 2.

  11. John

    You fucking kings fans are something else. I hope this dirty prick is suspended. Quick tripping skaters as they round the net, doughty head hunting. Shitty dirty cheap team terrified of losing to a first year team and being embarrassed after doughty opened his big mouth in the beginning of the year.

    • Gretz

      Who is this “dirty” player yer all spewing about, the guy plays 30 min a game and hasn’t been suspended or even disciplined in any way shape or form so quit kidding yourselves. “Dirty, Shitty team is funny, this is the 3rd best team this decade and they will not lose to these overachieving pussies from Vegas. Oh and the writer of this article is a no-nothin, jhonny-come-lately POS too!

      • Jeff

        Gretz ….you shame the name of the greatest player of all times by using that name and spewing ignorant profanity laced comments.

    • Mike Freeland

      Stop crying

    • Mad max

      Haha boo hoo you fucking pussy.

  12. Lou Filliger

    I’ll be honest here. I’m a Kings fan and I don’t want Doughty suspended. I also think Carrier embellished. If the ice were hot coals he wouldn’t have been lying there face down for quite so long.

  13. Skip

    Vegas Golden Knights new hockey fan base + inexperienced hockey writer = boohoo.
    Do you all even recognize you barely won the game? You did and it counts, but I would be worried. That was a gimpy defense and two missed open nets.

  14. Sean

    Anyone being honest about Doughty’s play should note that he is emotional and at times, dirty. He’s also a star of a two-time championship team of recent years and dodges a lot of what lesser players would receive as punishment. It’s also glaringly obvious who the Kings fans are in these comments. The NHL should be consistent, regardless of the implications on the series.

    • Jeff

      I agree Sean. You know what find humorous?

      You can pick out the Kings fans in the comments by the use of profanity and ignorance in their posts. I actually laughed out loud at the stupidity spewed by the Kings faithful. The arguement and comments about Ken and Vegas fans somehow not knowing the game because we didn’t have a NHL team here just shows complete ignorance.

  15. Jeff Dos

    This suspension just proves the league has written the script for their Vegas love story and are doing anything they can to give them an edge in a very evenly matched series.
    It’s disgraceful and blatantly obvious (and I’m a Sharks fan!). Doughty should appeal (though if will do no good) on principle. The hit was unfortunate that Carrier got hurt, but it was not “headhunting” by any stretch of the imagination. The initial contact was with the shoulder, and a miss. Again, I hope Carrier is okay and back at it tomorrow (I imagine he will be), but suspending Doughty should be criminal.

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