During the third period of Sunday’s game, Panthers’ defenseman Mike Matheson made an illegal hit on Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson. Petterson had to be helped to the bench and has been sidelined for concussion protocol.
The Department of Player Safety reviewed the play. After a hearing that Matheson joined via phone call, the DoPS suspended Matheson two games for interference and unsportsmanlike behavior. Matheson has no prior suspension history.
The video describes the hit in detail. Many elements of the hit are what one could expect for a hard hit along the boards.
“While these plays can be dangerous, these are hockey plays that are legal or sufficiently penalized by the on-ice officials,” the video states. “This is not such a play. This is not a hockey play,”
The puck was “long-separated” from the play. Additionally, after being forcefully and cleanly pinned to the boards, “Pettersson [was] unable to defend himself.” At that point, “Matheson drives him directly downward into the ice, causing an injury.”
The elements that factored into the DoPS’s decision to impose supplemental discipline would seem to warrant more than two games.
The fact that Matheson has not yet been suspended in his NHL career weighed in his favor.
Notably, the video starts before the hit in question. Petterson had the puck in the Panthers’ zone. He outmaneuvered Matheson, causing Matheson to fall down. Matheson may have been seeking retribution for being outplayed.
Pettersson broke Matheson's ankle with a deke and so like all good hockey men, Mathesson got embarrassed and took it out on Dekey Pete with a rough hit pic.twitter.com/M6jUBXnM3r
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) October 14, 2018
The pay that Matheson would have received ($52,419.36) will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Petterson joins Jay Beagle on the Canucks’ injured list. Beagle will be out approximately six weeks with a broken forearm.
Updates from Coach Green:
Pettersson is in concussion protocol. Beagle is out six weeks with a broken forearm.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 15, 2018
Petterson, who has been a favorite in the running for the Calder trophy, is undergoing concussion protocol and has no timeline to return yet.
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