After an in-person hearing on Monday, Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen has been suspended three games for his high, late hit on Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen.
The hit came 4:38 into the second period of Saturday’s game between the Panthers and Senators. Jokinen was caught admiring his pass to linemate Jimmy Hayes when Cowen delivered a late body check. The hit was made worse by the height difference between the two. Cowen stands 6-foot-5 while Jokinen is a solid half-foot shorter at 5-foot-11.
The NHL’s previous rulings have indicated that as much at 0.6 seconds leeway is granted before a hit is considered late. Cowen’s check on this play came at least a full second after Jokinen dished the puck.
Cowen was given a two-minute minor for interference on the play. Referees for the game were Eric Furlatt and TJ Luxmore. John Grandt and Andy McElman were the linesmen.
Jokinen was able to return to the game.
Cowen is a repeat offender, having been suspended in December 2013 for a hit to the head of Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons. As such he’ll forfeit $113,414.64 of salary. Here’s the official ruling from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety:
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