Suspend him or not: Capitals’ Orpik could be in trouble after hit on Penguins’ Maatta

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Olli Maatta #3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins falls back to the ice after getting injured in the first period against the Washington Capitals during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was only playing his second game since returning from what looked to be a serious injury resulting from a questionable check. And in that second game back, Orpik became the hitter under that same scenario rather than the recipient.

Orpik caught Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Olli Maatta with a high and late hit in the first period of Game 2 on Saturday – a 2-1 Pittsburgh victory. Orpik made contact with Maatta almost two seconds after he released the puck. Orpik’s forearm or elbow appeared to make contact with Maatta’s head.

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Flyers to start 2016-17 without Schenn, who’s suspended three games for charging

Jared Clinton
Brayden Schenn hits T.J. Oshie (via NHL)

Philadelphia Flyers winger Brayden Schenn will be the first player to sit out games in 2016-17 due to suspension, and he’ll have the whole summer to think about the hit that has him missing the first three games of the upcoming season.

Schenn, who will turn 25 this off-season, has been handed a three-game ban for charging Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie in Game 6 of the first-round series between the two clubs. Schenn’s hit came in late in the second period of the contest when Oshie was attempting to dig the puck out of the left wing corner in the Flyers’ zone.

Oshie was pulling the puck out of the feet of Alex Ovechkin after the Capitals captain threw a hit in the corner when Schenn approached Oshie from the side and, per the suspension video released by the Department of Player Safety, drove upwards through a check that caught Oshie high. Schenn’s hit is made worse by the fact there is “significant contact with the head” of Oshie on the play: Read more

Yes, Andrew Shaw should be suspended for his embarrassing actions (Updated)

Ryan Kennedy
Andrew Shaw (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve all seen the video by now, right? We all know that Chicago’s Andrew Shaw bowled over Jay Bouwmeester for no reason, cost his team a chance to come back in a crucial game and then blew up at the refs. He flipped them off with both middle fingers and it really looks like he swore and directed a homophobic slur towards someone more than once – even tapping his stick on the penalty box glass to make sure the object of his derision was paying attention.

So what should happen to Andrew Shaw?

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Suspend him or not: Kris Letang gets away with an absurdly violent slash in Game 3

letang slash

Full marks to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning Game 3 against the New York Rangers Tuesday night. Details here. But, sheesh, things might have gone differently had the referees caught defenseman Kris Letang’s dastardly act in the third period.

The Penguins led 2-1 at this point, so the Rangers surely could’ve used a power play, and they deserved to get one here. Check out the over-the-top slash from Letang on Rangers right winger Viktor Stalberg:

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Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen won’t be completely out of the picture

Ken Campbell
David Branch  (Tara Walton/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The five-year suspension levied to Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen by the Ontario League does not include off-ice activities, nor will it prevent Nilsen from participating in board of governors’ meetings or conducting league business, thn.com has learned.

And that’s a very important aspect of the suspension. Because the OHL is not denying Nilsen the opportunity to run his business and make a living from his hockey team, the suspension would have a far better opportunity of surviving a court challenge, should Nilsen choose to go that route. Nilsen has not declared his intentions and several calls to Patrick Ducharme, Nilsen’s Windsor-based lawyer, were not returned.

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OHL sanctions against Flint help, but don’t completely clear up a murky situation

Ken Campbell
Flint Firebirds  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Faced with the possibility of a mass revolt from teenaged prospects against the Flint Firebirds, Ontario League commissioner David Branch had no choice but to take decisive and punitive action against Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen three days before the league’s annual draft.

Branch announced Wednesday night the league has suspended Nilsen for five years – with an opportunity to apply for reinstatement in three years – revoked the third overall pick in the draft and fined the team $250,000 for violations, “contrary to the best interests of the players, the Team, and the OHL.” If Nilsen is found to violate the order by getting involved with the team in any way, the league reserves the right to force him to sell the team.

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Kadri suspension will please Tank Nation, but makes no sense compared to others

Nazem Kadri on Jimmy Howard (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, start your conspiracy theories. Wait, how many games do the Toronto Maple Leafs have remaining this season? Oh, four. And how many games did Nazem Kadri get suspended? Hmm, four. Well, now, isn’t that convenient.

Kadri just happens to be the Maple Leafs best player of late. He also happens to be their hottest scorer, with eight points in his past six games, and their leading scorer with 45 points. (Although that point total definitely puts him in fastest-kid-at-fat-camp territory.) So having Kadri out of the lineup for the final four games of the regular season obviously enhances the Leafs chances of running the table with losses and catching the red-hot Edmonton Oilers for last place overall and the best chance of winning the draft lottery.

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Suspend him or not: Leafs’ Kadri gets hearing for cross-checking Red Wings’ Glendening

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 24: Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs carries the puck up ice against the Anaheim Ducks during game action on March 24, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI  via Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri looked ornery when he got to his feet after being knocked down by Detroit Red Wings’ Luke Glendening. His actions that followed have him in trouble with the NHL.

The league announced Kadri has a hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Monday for cross-checking Glendening in the second period of Saturday’s 3-2 victory by Detroit. The incident began with Kadri and the Red Wings center battling to the left of the Toronto net. Glendening swiped at Kadri with him crouched over, knocking the Leaf player to the ice. As Glendening skated toward the Toronto net, the now helmet-less Kadri gathered himself, made a bee line to his opponent and cross-checked him in the side of the head.

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