Just prior to the Boston Bruins taking on the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit Sunday afternoon, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Bruins rookie defenseman Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan during the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Coyotes Saturday. Anticipating that Lauzon may be suspended, the Bruins had already recalled defenseman Urho Vaakanainen on an emergency basis.
Boston’s Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended for two games for an Illegal Check to the Head on Arizona’s Derek Stepan. Video: https://t.co/DevHoYnnc8
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 9, 2020
Lauzon served the first game of the suspension on Sunday and will sit out on Wednesday when the Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Lauzon will forfeit $8,037.64. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund
Lauzon received a match-penalty 19:39 into the opening frame Saturday after following through high on a hit on Stepan in the corner of the Coyotes zone. Lauzon was ejected and Stepan later returned to the game with 4:20 left in the second period and logged 16:09 TOI. The Bruins almost killed off the Coyotes’ five-minute powerplay but allowed a goal to Phil Kessel 3:26 into the second period and with just 1:34 left on the Arizona man advantage.
Jeremy Lauzon is assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head against Derek Stepan. pic.twitter.com/xk6tYsT1bC
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 8, 2020
Following the game Saturday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was not thrilled with the call on Lauzon and also at the fact that one of his players, defenseman Charlie McAvoy took arguably a worse hit to the head from Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse.
“Well, there is in this,” Cassidy replied when asked if there is inconsistency overall when it comes to headshots in the NHL? “Clearly they’re both very similar hits and you’d like to see more consistency, but again, I don’t want to get onto that soapbox today. They’re going to look at Lauzy’s hit. Listen, I don’t even know if it’s an automatic suspension, I assume it’s a review. I don’t believe last year when he was up he had any issues with the league. I guess we’ll see down the road. That would be my only concern if there’s a suspension. Obviously he’s played well for us. That would be unfortunate.”
Lawson Crouse hits Charlie McAvoy right in the head.
Only a minor. pic.twitter.com/pTPoepA5mm
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) February 8, 2020
Lauzon has played seven games for the Bruins this season and scored a goal. In 23 career games in the NHL, the 6-foot-1, 204-pound rearguard has two goals. Lauzon was drafted by the Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.