It seemed pretty cut-and-dry that Washington Capitals defenseman Dylan McIlrath was going to pay a heavy price for hitting Boston Bruins center Steven Fogarty in the head with a punishing, illegal check in Sunday’s exhibition opener. The theory was proven true on Monday as the 29-year-old McIlrath was given a four-game suspension for his head shot on Fogarty, that has resulted in an upper body injury to the B’s depth forward that means he’s “probably miss some time.”
The punishment from the NHL Department of Player Safety was in addition to the five-minute major and match penalty game misconduct handed to McIlrath in the third period of Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win for the B’s over the Capitals at Capital One Arena.
“This is an illegal check to the head. It’s important to note that the head is the main point of contact. Further, the head contact on this play is avoidable. While hits from the side aren’t illegal, they are difficult to execute legally,” said the NHL in the suspension video. “If he wants to deliver this hit legally, he must take an angle that hits through Fogarty’s shoulder and core and doesn’t result with Fogarty’s head as the main point of contact.”
McIlrath will serve a two-game suspension during the preseason and then will be suspended for two games during the NHL regular season as well, though it’s expected that the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defenseman will be in the AHL for most of the season anyway.
Here’s the rest of the BHN Puck Links:
*Erik Johnson has made it back for the Colorado Avalanche, but it remains to be seen in what kind of role. (Colorado Hockey Now)
*Charlie Coyle was excited to ditch the no-contact jersey and participate without any limitations at Monday’s training camp session with the Boston Bruins. (Boston Hockey Now)
*It looks like an injury to Jakub Vrana could open the door for Bobby Ryan to carve out a bigger role with the Detroit Red Wings to start the season. (Detroit Hockey Now)
*Today marks an important milestone when it comes to having hockey in Las Vegas dating all the way back to 1991. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Steve Carp has more. (Vegas Hockey Now)
*Ilya Samsonov is ready to take his game to the next level for the Washington Capitals after a somewhat disappointing ending to last year in the playoffs. (Washington Hockey Now)
*The Hockey world is still holding the memory of Jimmy Hayes’ generous spirit and good heart strong a month after his tragic, sudden passing, and that won’t change anytime soon. (Facebook Bulletin)
*Feels like there’s something afoot with Travis Hamonic in Vancouver as he’s not in training camp. Is it my imagination or is there issues with his particular player every couple of years. He’s talented, but not sure he’s worth the trouble at the end of the day. (Province Sports)
*For something completely different: Still loving Letterkenny as I blaze through the episodes on Hulu, and a bonus is that it’s got some excellent Canadian music that I’ve never heard like this one from a dude from the Maritimes. Good stuff.