Florida Panthers’ defenseman Mike Matheson has been suspended two games for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct against Vancouver’s Elias Petterson.  He forfeits $52,419.35 as a result of the ban.

The hit came in the third period of Saturday’s game. No penalty was called on the play.

The Department of Player Safety admitted that players often fall to the ice dangerously as a result of a legal hitting motion, noting that this play is not such a case.

“Well after the puck is gone and after his natural hitting motion has stopped,” describes the NHL Department of Player Safety in its decision video, “Matheson intentionally – and dangerously – slams Petterson directly into the ice.”

Petterson was injured on the play.

“It was an unfortunate incident that led to an injury of a great young player,” Matheson’s agent, Kent Hughes, told Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal. “To say Mike was out for retribution is crazy. Mike was surprised at how light Pettersson was, it happened pretty quick.”


From the NHL:

Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct against Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson during NHL Game No. 64 in Florida on Saturday, Oct. 13, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 4:47 of the third period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Matheson will forfeit $52,419.36. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.