The NHL Department of Player Safety tweeted Sunday morning that Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett will have a hearing today for an illegal check to the head on forward Cedric Paquette of the Montreal Canadiens.
During Saturday’s game between the two teams, Bennett laid a hit on Paquette in the low slot in the Panthers’ offensive zone. When looking at the video replay, it seems as though Bennett’s shoulder made contact with Paquette’s head during the hit.
In advance of the hearing, it’s important to note two things that aren’t working in Bennett’s favor. For one, he has a history — he was suspended one game during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs for boarding Tampa Bay’s Blake Coleman. Secondly, Paquette did suffer an injury on the play, leaving yesterday’s game with a neck injury.
The 25-year-old Bennett is on his way to a career year in his first full season with Florida. He’s averaging 18:30 per game, by far the highest mark of his career, and he has 11 goals and six assists through 26 games.