After announcing a hearing just a few hours ago, the Department of Player Safety has made a quick ruling on Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov. The league announced (Twitter link) that the blueliner has been handed a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head against Detroit forward Lucas Raymond.
The incident occurred early in the second period today with Zadorov receiving a match penalty on the play. As the league’s accompanying video notes, Zadorov’s hit satisfies both elements for an illegal check to the head with the head being the principal point of contact and the hit being avoidable; it was deemed that Zadorov’s hit was mistimed and that he needed to take a better angle to hit Raymond’s core.
With Vancouver being back in action on Sunday, the league needed to make a ruling fairly quickly. Zadorov will miss that contest against Washington as well as Tuesday’s game versus Chicago; he’ll be eligible to return on Thursday when they host Detroit in a rematch of today’s game. It’s the first suspension of Zadorov’s career and he will forfeit a little over $39K in salary, that money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.