UPDATE (11:02 AM 4/27/17): Evander Kane has been scheduled for a hearing with the Department of Player Safety.
One of the big stories from the Golden Knights first round sweep of the Los Angeles Kings was the Game 2 suspension of Drew Doughty.Well, gear up, because here we go again.
With the score already 5-0 Vegas early in the 3rd period, a slashing penalty was called that brought a halt to a Sharks offensive possession. Following the whistle, Evander Kane skated towards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Kane took a slight jab with his stick grazing Bellemare’s shoulder, then he struck again, this time cross-checking Bellemare directly in the mouth sending him straight to the ice.
Kane was a given a five minute major penalty for cross-checking and he was issued a game misconduct, ejecting him from the game. Bellemare skated back to the bench where he was then escorted to the locker room by trainers, likely to undergo concussion protocol. He returned to the bench shortly thereafter and returned to play following the power play.
I’m not a dirty player by any means. Obviously it was unfortunate. (I) just went into a scrum and kinda just cross-checked him in the arm as you saw there. Unfortunately it kind of rode up the second time when he extended his arm. Obviously there was no intent. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt on the play and it was good to see him back on the ice. Obviously (I) don’t want to put my team in that situation. We’ll put this one behind us and look forward to the next game. -Evander Kane, Sharks forward
I don’t know. I haven’t even looked at it. We had a laundry list of clips to look at. I haven’t started that process yet. Once I get a look at it on video, you can ask me that and I’ll give you an opinion. -Pete DeBoer, Sharks Head Coach
It was the right call made on the ice. It was a cross check to the face, and obviously they are going to look at it. It was definitely a five minute major, and I’m sure they’ll look at it. -Gerard Gallant
The NHL Department of Player Safety usually waits until the following morning to decide whether or not they will have a suspension hearing. The announcement on Doughty’s hearing was made at 7:39 AM Pacific Time, with his hearing taking place via phone at 1:30 PM.
The NHL has suspended just one player for a post-play cross-check this season. It was Johan Larsson for a cross-check on Vincent Trocheck in February.
This play occurred near center ice but is nearly identical to the Kane cross-check as it was seemingly aimed at the shoulder, rode up the arm, and struck the player in the face.
It is important to note that we understand Larsson’s argument that he was not aiming for Trocheck’s head and we acknowledge that the stick did ride up Trocheck’s shoulder pad before making contact with Trocheck’s head. However, this is not a case in which a stick rides up unintentionally while a player is trying to make an otherwise legal play such as establishing body position or making a play on the puck. This is not a hockey play. -NHL Department of Player Saftey
When a player attempts to intentionally use his stick to deliver a blow to his opponent, he cannot be necessarily be excused of all responsibility when the blow lands in an unintended place. -NHL Department of Player Saftey
Larsson was suspended for two games. He was given a five-minute major penalty for cross-checking, was assessed a game misconduct, and was ejected for the remaining 0:35 of the game.
Suspensions to this point in the playoffs have appeared to take on a 2:1 ratio compared to the regular season precedent. Thus, a two-game suspension in the regular season has been equated to a single game in the playoffs.
Kane is likely looking at a one-game suspension from the league to be handed out today, however, he was ejected from the game and missed nearly a full period of action. The Department of Player Saftey could decide that missing that period was significant enough punishment and let it slide.
Honest guess, he’ll get a one-game suspension, but due to the missed period, it would not be outrageous if the league chooses to let him off. Either way, we should know by this afternoon.
Reminder: Prior history is NOT taken into account by the DoPS when deciding to suspend or not to suspend a player. It IS taken account to determine the severity of the punishment in the event the player is issued a suspension or fine. (Kane has never been suspended for an on-ice altercation.)
**Here is the full video review of the Johan Larsson suspension.**