Boston Bruins agitator Brad Marchand was caught “punching” Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington in the back of the head as time expired on Game Three on Tuesday night. While unnecessary and unsportsmanlike, the NHL Department of Player Safety has decided that the otherwise innocuous play is not suspension-worthy. As The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline points out, there are no fines in the postseason, only suspensions, as players aren’t paid for playoff games and thus there is no mechanism for calculating fines. Even with Marchand’s track record, it would have been hard to imagine a postseason suspension for the incident as well. Commissioner Gary Bettman opined that Marchand should have received a penalty on the play, but given the timing of the incident and the result holding, it would not have made a difference. One might expect the Blue Jackets to thus police the situation themselves through the rest of the series, but Portzline believes that no retaliation is coming after speaking with several players. While Marchand is capable of getting fans riled up better than anyone in the league, it seems this issues could be over as soon as it began.
- There have been rumors for some time that Dave Tippett has been itching to get back behind an NHL bench, despite his current adviser position with the Seattle expansion team, and he is now officially taking steps toward such a move. Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman writes that Tippett has interviewed for the Buffalo Sabres head coaching vacancy, as some speculated he might. Tippett now joins Jacques Martin and less established options like Rikard Gronberg and Sheldon Keefe among Buffalo’s top options, according to Friedman. Tippett, who has nearly 20 year of NHL coaching experience, held both the head coach and VP of Hockey Operations positions with the Arizona Coyotes when he was last in the league in 2016-17 and would still be a great option for the Sabres even after a few years off.
- After losing starting keeper Cayden Primeau to the pros after a remarkable year, Northeastern University was hoping that graduate goaltender Ryan Ruck may stay with the program to help bridge the gap. That won’t happen, as Colorado College announced today that they have received a commitment from Ruck to join the program as a graduate transfer. Although he played in only six games last season for the Huskies, Ruck was nearly unstoppable, posting a .956 save percentage and 1.01 GAA. Those numbers should give Ruck the leg up on the starter competition at Colorado College, who lost this year’s starter Alex Leclerc to the pros. Meanwhile, Northeastern will likely have to lean on true freshman Connor Murphy in net next season.