NEW YORK (AP) — Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy has been suspended four games by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Florida's Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the ban Tuesday, saying after a disciplinary hearing that McAvoy made Ekman-Larsson's head the principle point of content on a hit in which head contact was avoidable.
McAvoy hit Ekman-Larsson in the head with his left shoulder midway through the third period of the teams’ game Monday night. McAvoy was ejected with a match penalty, and Ekman-Larsson did not return after leaving the ice.
The Panthers also took issue with a hit that McAvoy delivered on Carter Verhaeghe in the first period. Asked after the game what his view of the hit to Ekman-Larsson was, Florida coach Paul Maurice said, “I thought it was exactly like the hit on Verhaeghe in the first.”
McAvoy scored the tying goal about two minutes before the hit on Ekman-Larsson.
It’s McAvoy’s second NHL suspension for a head shot and the first since getting one game for an illegal check on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson in the second round of the 2019 playoffs. He has also been fined once before in his six-plus year professional career.
McAvoy will forfeit $197,917 in salary and, barring appeal, won't be eligible to play again until Boston's game Nov. 11 at the Montreal Canadiens.
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