The Department of Player Safety has had a busy few days. Their latest discipline has been handed out to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, who has been suspended for two games. Cernak elbowed Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the head, resulting in a concussion for the young player. As the accompanying video explains:
It is important to note that while we acknowledge the Lightning argument that they believe Dahlin’s glove drove Cernak’s elbow upward and caused the head contact on this play, we disagree.
While Dahlin’s glove does make glancing contact with Cernak’s forearm, it is clear to us that Cernak’s elbow is already on a trajectory where head contact is inevitable.
The Lightning will be without Cernak for the next couple of games, but the concern now is how long Dahlin will be out after being placed in the concussion protocol. The young phenom has had his share of struggles this season but the Sabres were already looking to move one of their other defensemen to upgrade the forward ranks.