Tanner Pearson has a lot to prove this season. The 24-year-old winger is looking to establish himself and to lock down a top-six role on the Kings this season. Under contract on a bridge deal and coming off a 15-goal campaign, there’s plenty of motivation for Pearson to earn his spot — and his next paycheck.
Of course, it’s a lot harder to get off on the right foot when your feet will start the season in the pressbox.
Pearson has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason and two regular season games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Edmonton’s Brandon Davidson.
Pearson caught Davidson up high at center ice midway through the second period of Sunday’s Hockeyville game in Vernon, British Columbia, between the Kings and Oilers. The Kings winger left his feet as he delivered a direct shot to Davidson’s head with his upper arm, extending his elbow as he delivered the hit.
Pearson was given a game misconduct. Davidson did not return to the game and is currently listed as day-to-day.
Referees for the game were Tom Kowal and Kyle Rehman. Linesmen were Lonnie Cameron and Kiel Murchison.
Pearson has never been suspended nor part of any disciplinary hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
From the NHL:
Unlike what we saw with the hit by Radko Gudas on Jimmy Vesey, Davidson did not appear to alter his body positioning prior to the hit. He’d established position on the ice, barely moving as he played the puck. Pearson had ample time to correct his course and deliver a solid, legal body check. Instead, he hit him high.
Pearson will forfeit $15555.55 in salary for the two regular season games of his suspension.
Los Angeles has two preseason games left – both in Las Vegas, making this effectively a four-game suspension. Pearson will be eligible to return on Tuesday, October 18 when the Kings visit the Wild.