Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Zach Hyman has been suspended two games for a late hit on Boston’s Charlie McAvoy.
The hit, which officially resulted in a suspension for interference that the league deemed “predatory” came midway through the third period of Saturday’s game in Boston.
Hyman was given a five-minute major penalty for interference, which also requires a game misconduct, by referees Kyle Rehman and Jean Hebert.
Here’s the relevant portions of Rule 56:
A minor penalty shall be imposed on an attacking player who deliberately checks a defensive player, including the goalkeeper, who is not in possession of the puck.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of interfering with an opponent. When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed.
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the hit after the game
“I thought it was late,” said Cassidy. “I thought it was unnecessary. If the league takes a look at it – I don’t know if they will or not, usually they do if there’s a major involved. But again, it’s one of those things where you’re at a point in the game, hasn’t been a lot of body checking from the other team and all of a sudden there’s a late unsuspecting one, and it annoys you. Especially when it’s Charlie who just came back, so you’re wondering are they targeting him or not? You don’t know that. I’d like to think it was just a guy playing hard and got there late and didn’t pull up, but our guys responded well.”
Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk stuck up for his fallen teammate, immediately dropping the gloves with Hyman.
“It’s obviously something you don’t like to see especially when you kind of have a lead like that,” said Grzelcyk. “Just trying to stick up for my teammate there.”
Hyman and Grzelcyk both headed off to the ice, their respective nights coming to an end. McAvoy also left but was able to return to the game.
The Maple Leafs’ winger came into his hearing with a spotless record, having never been fined nor suspended previously by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Hyman forfeits $24,193.54 in salary as a result of the suspension.