The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced late Wednesday afternoon that Montreal Canadiens winger Juraj Slafkovsky will be suspended for the next two games for boarding Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff.
Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that Slafkovsky would have a hearing, meaning he could be fined or suspended a maximum of four games. The 2022 first-overall draft selection has played ten games in his first NHL season.
The play occurred with about five minutes remaining in the third period of Montreal’s eventual shootout victory in Detroit. Luff whiffed on a dump-in attempt in the neutral zone by both benches and Slafkovsky responded by burying him face-first into the wall.
Slafkovsky received a major penalty and game misconduct during the game. Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde announced Wednesday that Luff will be out 10-12 weeks due to needing wrist surgery caused by the hit.
“Slafkovsky, having approached from behind Luff and having seen his numbers for some time, finishes a check driving Luff dangerously into the wall,” the DoPS video explains. “This is boarding. It is important to note that while Luff does turn to face the wall he does not do so just prior to or simultaneous with contact in a way that turns a legal check into an illegal one.
“From the time he crosses the blueline, Slafkovsky is looking at Luff’s numbers,” the video continues. “The onus is on Slafkovsky to deliver this check in a legal fashion, minimize the force of the contact, or avoid the hit entirely. Instead, he hits into Luff from behind driving him dangerously into the boards and causing an injury.”
The Slovakian forward will forfeit $10,270 in salary.
Here’s the NHL’s press release on the suspension:
Slafkovsky suspended two games for actions in Canadiens game
NEW YORK – Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff during NHL Game No. 203 in Detroit on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 14:26 of the third period. Slafkovsky was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Slafkovsky will forfeit $10,270.28. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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