San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Labanc has been suspended one game for slew-footing St. Louis Blues forward Tyler Bozak.
The incident occurred at 8:57 of the first period when the Blues and Sharks met on November 18. Labanc was called for tripping by referees T.J. Luxmore and Furman South.
Bozak crashed dangerously into the boards but did remain in the game.
“What causes this play to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the speed the players are traveling and their proximity to the boards,” said Player Safety in their suspension video. “Labanc leaves Bozak with little to no ability to defend or protect himself prior to hitting the boards with force.”
The NHL rule for a slew-foot specifically required backwards force on the upper body, which is why so many similar plays are deemed ‘dangerous trips’. In fact, this is the first supplemental discipline for a slew foot since Tuomo Ruuttu paid a $5000 fine in 2016 and the first suspension since Brad Marchand sat for two games in 2015.
From Rule 52:
Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice.
Labanc has not previously been fined nor suspended by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. He forfeits $23,625 as a result of the suspension.