The results are in (despite our poll being less than an hour old), and Michael Matheson will indeed have a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. That decision seems to be the one our PHR community agrees with, since more than 75% of voters currently think he should be suspended. Since it is a phone hearing and not an in-person one, any possible suspension will five games or fewer.
Just having a hearing does not guarantee that Matheson will face suspension at all, but it certainly does not bode well for him. Plays like this on vulnerable targets are often punished by the league, but there will still be many fans who saw it as a hard hockey play on an undersized opponent. That’s what the DoPS will determine, and like always will give a video explanation if they do issue a suspension.
The Panthers are back in action on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, likely meaning that the decision will be handed out at some point today or tomorrow. If he is kept out of the lineup, that only hurts the Panthers already rough start to the season. The team is 0-2-1 through three games and hasn’t been able to close out the third period effectively. Luckily, the team activated Bogdan Kiselevich recently who will at least give another option on the blue line.