The Department of Player Safety has handed out another suspension, this time giving Vancouver Canucks forward Zack MacEwen a one-game ban for kneeing Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse. The incident occurred partway through the second period in last night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. As the accompanying video explains:
It is important to note that while we agree with MacEwen’s assertion that the contact is not excessively forceful, the concept of intentionally kneeing a vulnerable player in the head is simply unacceptable. This is not a hockey play. It is only because the impact of this play is so light that MacEwen is not facing a substantial suspension for this action.
Nurse did not suffer a serious injury on the play and MacEwen has never been fined or suspended previously in his short NHL career. Both things would have helped the suspension stay at just one game, though couldn’t help him avoid the supplementary discipline entirely.
The Canucks and Oilers are set to play a rematch tomorrow night, which MacEwen will not be eligible to participate in. The two teams do have one other game on the schedule for Saturday, May 15. This is the second kneeing suspension the Canucks have received this season after Alexander Edler was given a two-game ban for his hit on Zach Hyman.