The Department of Player Safety has come down hard on Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson, issuing him a three-game suspension for elbowing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot last night. As the accompanying video explains:
It is important to note that while we accept Stephenson’s arguement that he did not attempt to hit Bjornfot in the head, this is not a case where a blow to an opponent’s torso or shoulder rides up and makes subsequent or glancing contact with his head. This is a direct and forceful elbow to an opponent’s head which caused an injury.
Bjornfot did not return to the game and is doubtful for the Kings game tomorrow. Stephenson has not been fined or suspended previously in his career and did receive both a major penalty and a game misconduct for the incident, but was still given a hefty ban today.
He’ll miss games against the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues over the next few days, two teams chasing the Golden Knights in the West Division standings.