Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno has been suspended three games for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Foligno was given a major penalty and game misconduct for charging on the hit, which came at 17:15 of the second period of Saturday’s game. Referees Chris Schlenker and Dean Morton reviewed the hit, confirming the major penalty call.
From the NHL’s Department of Player Safety:
“Foligno steps up with speed to challenge from his defensive end. As Bellemare dumps the puck, Foligno continues towards him and attempts to make contact, extending his elbow and making direct contact with Bellemare’s jaw. This is elbowing. It important to note that Foligno is in control of this contact. This is an attempted body check and cannot be classified as excusable or accidental contact where Foligno raises his arm reflexively to brace for sudden contact tor to attempt to avoid a collision.”
“The onus is on Foligno to ensure that he takes an angle of approach that puts him in position to make a legal full body check. Instead, havign taken an angle that has him lined up outside of Bellemare’s body, Foligno extends his elbow to avoid missing the check entirely. This results in Foligno’s elbow hitting Bellemare’s jaw directly and with force.”
Foligno has not previously been suspended, but has been fined once previously in his NHL career. Back in 2010, Foligno was hit with a $2500 fine for an illegal check to the head.
The Columbus forward forfeits $88,709.67 in salary as a result of the suspension.