Minnesota Wild defenseman Carson Soucy has been suspended for one game for charging Arizona Coyotes forward Conor Garland.

The illegal hit came 9:15 into the first period of Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.



Soucy was issued a major penalty for elbowing on the play from referees Garrett Rank and Peter MacDougall.  Here’s the relevant portion of Rule 45:

Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.

A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to foul an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent. When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct penalty shall also be imposed.

Player Safety noted that Garland was eligible to be checked on the play, provided it’s a legal hit.

“If Soucy wishes to deliver this check legally, he must stay low and hit through Garland’s shoulder or core rather than elevating upward and into his head.”

Soucy’s suspension, though, was for charging — not elbowing, as was the original call on the ice.  The league based that change on the fact that Soucy “elevated unnecessarily, launching up and into a check that makes significant contact with Garland’s head” on the play.

42.1 Charging – A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates, jumps into or charges an opponent in any manner.

Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.

Soucy forfeits $23,706.90 in salary as a result of the suspension.  He had not previously been fined or suspended by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.