Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque has been suspended for two games for this hit from behind on Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook:
Brendan Shanahan, NHL Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations released the standard explanation video (below). Here are the Cole’s notes version of why it’s a 2-gamer:
- Although he lost the puck in the ref’s skates, it didn’t cause Seabrook to turn directly before the hit.
- Seabrook was looking back and to his right. Bourque finished his check high and hard driving Seabrook’s head into the boards.
- The onus is on Bourque to avoid the hit completely or to minimize it when he sees an opponent in a vulnerable position.
- Bourque has no priors and received 5 and a game for the hit.
Thankfully, Seabrook was not injured the play. That’s good news for the ‘Hawks, who will not miss one of their best defenders, as well as Bourque, who probably received a lesser suspension as a result.
Via nhl.com: Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Bourque will forfeit $36,036.04. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
What are your thoughts? Is 2 games appropriate for this or should he have received more?