The Department of Player Safety has handed out another suspension, this time to Erik Gudbranson of the Vancouver Canucks. Gudbranson has been given a one-game ban for hitting Frank Vatrano from behind last night. The Boston Bruins’ forward would initially leave the game, but would find his way back to the bench later on. Gudbranson was immediately confronted by Tim Schaller in a fight, but would also be given a five minute major for boarding. Boston would get some measure of revenge by scoring three times during the ensuing powerplay, but the league has issued even more punishment.
As the video explanation states:
From the moment Vatrano gains possession of the puck behind the net, Gudbranson sees nothing but Vatrano’s numbers. While Vatrano shifts slightly as he attempts to move the puck to his teammate, he makes no sudden movements just prior to contact that turn this from a legal hit into an illegal one.
Gudbranson has never been suspended by the DoPS before, but has toed the line of legality quite a few times. He’s previously been involved in borderline hits, and was reported to have yelled threats towards Matt Martin after an incident in Toronto last year. Still, having no recorded history of discipline helped him keep the suspension to just one game. Going forward he’ll have to exercise a bit more caution, or else face stiffer penalties.