Even though the NHL season is temporarily suspended, the league is still operating. The Department of Player Safety has decided to suspend New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux for his hit on Colorado Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi earlier this week, though they have not yet settled on the severity of the punishment. In a release, the DoPS explained:
The precise parameters of the suspension will be determined and announced once resumption of play guidelines have been established.
There is an easy explanation for why the department can’t decide on a penalty at this point. In the past, missing playoff games has been held as a much more severe punishment (with each game usually the equivalent of two regular season contests). With the uncertainty around how the league will move forward out of this suspended season, it’s hard to know exactly what Lemieux will be missing.
Still, the Rangers will be without one of their young forwards whenever the season does resume, or potentially even at the start of next season. It will also go on Lemieux’s record, another incident with head contact that will only increase any supplementary discipline in the future.