In what was essentially a meaningless preseason affair for veteran players just looking to shake off the rust before the season begins, Max Domi may have risked the start of his Montreal Canadiens career. After coming together with Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and attempting to start a fight, Domi quickly dropped his glove and delivered a punch to the unsuspecting Ekblad, knocking him to the ice. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety will have a hearing today with Domi over the incident, and could potentially hand out a suspension.
Domi did receive a match penalty for the punch, ending his night early in what would eventually become a 5-2 loss for the Canadiens. For a player who is expected to be the first line center in Montreal this season, it wasn’t a great first impression and could get even worse if a suspension is handed down today. It seems unlikely that Domi will miss any regular season games since the incident happened so early in the exhibition schedule, but nothing is certain at this point.
The Canadiens have a lot riding on the 23-year old Domi, and are hoping that he can experience a bounce back offensive campaign after scoring just nine goals last season in 82 games. While this doesn’t change those hopes, it certainly gets him off on the wrong foot.