Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo has been suspended two games for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry.

The incident came late in the third period of Tuesday’s game, with the Lightning leading 4-2.  The two teams came together after a whistle with Philly’s James Van Riemdsyk at the top of the crease. The mostly-peaceful gathering took a sharp turn when DeAngelo skated in an delivered a sneaky spear on Corey Perry.



DeAngelo was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for the ol’ pickle-stabber by referees Frederick L’Ecuyer and Peter MacDougall.  This was the first spearing penalty handed out since the 2017-18 season.

“[Perry] tried to slash my stick out of my hand a second beforehand,” DeAngelo said after the game. “He talks all game. I asked him to fight. He doesn’t want to fight. He’ll tell you he’s asked me to fight for years. I don’t say no…  I wasn’t trying to give him a shot. The replay probably looks a little worse than it was meant to be, but it is what it is. I took 30 punches on the ground and when I get up, they don’t let me do what I got to do. Whatever.”

Rule 62 covers spearing:

Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.

A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.

A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent. Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.

A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.

There’s no question DeAngelo jabbed Perry with the stick blade. When contact is made, that’s an automatic major and a game.   Now it’ll be a few more games.

From the NHL’s Department of Player Safety:

As the goaltender freezes the park for a whistle, Perry slashes down on the stick of DeAngelo as he passes through the net front. Well after the whistle was blown, DeAngelo circles back towards Perry, pulls back his stick and drives the point of the stick blade into Perry’s groin with a stabbing motion, causing him to fall to the ice. This is spearing.

It is important to note that DeAngelo does not engage with Perry in any way prior to spearing him, choosing to deliver this strike while Perry is not looking at him.

What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is the premeditated nature of the foul against an unsuspecting opponent well after the whistle, the area of the body where the spear was delivered, and the force of the blow.

DeAngelo has been suspended once before, but not by the Department of Player Safety.  DeAngelo’s three game ban came for abuse of officials during his time with the Arizona Coyotes.   He’s also been fined by Hockey Operations for diving/embellishment.

This is Player Safety’s first suspension for spearing since Brad Marchand picked up two games in 2017.  Two fines were issued for spearing in the 2021-22 season, with three the year prior, two in 2019-20, none in 2018-19, and two in 2017-18.

The Flyers’ blueliner forfeits $54,054.06 as a result of the suspension.