Chicago Blackhawks winger Brett Connolly was ejected for an illegal hit on Dallas Stars center Tanner Kero.
The hit came on Connolly’s first shift, just 3:02 into Saturday’s game in Dallas.
Connolly was assessed a major penalty for interference, along with a game misconduct.
There are quite a few provisions of the Interference rule. Applicable to the hit is interference via pick. From 56.1:
A “pick” is the action of a player who checks an opponent who is not in possession of the puck and is unaware of the impending check/hit. A player who is aware of an impending hit, not deemed to be a legal “battle for the puck,” may not be interfered with by a player or goalkeeper delivering a “pick.” A player delivering a “pick” is one who moves into an opponent’s path without initially having body position, thereby taking him out of the play. When this is done, an interference penalty shall be assessed.
56.4 Major Penalty – 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.
56.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – 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.
Connolly headed off. Kero was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Update: Tanner Kero is conscious, alert and responsive. He’ll be transported to the hospital for precautionary measures and evaluation.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 19, 2021
Referees for the game were Trevor Hanson (#14) and Dan O’Rourke (#9). Linesmen were Jesse Marquis (#86) and Killian McNamara (#93).