New York Rangers’ Brendan Lemieux was suspended for an illegal hit, but for how long?
In the New York Rangers last game before play was suspended, Brendan Lemieux ws penalized for an illegal hit on Colorado Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi. Besides getting a two minute penalty for interference, Lemieux was called before the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hearing. After the hearing, it was determined that he would be suspended.
Following a hearing today, the DOPS has determined that Brendan Lemieux will be suspended for his hit on Joonas Donskoi Wednesday night. The precise parameters of the suspension will be determined and announced once resumption of play guidelines have been established.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 13, 2020
The odd thing about the suspension is that the length is still be to determined so Lemieux has been twisting in the wind for almost three months, waiting for it to be announced.
Now that the parameters for resuming the season have been established, it’s clear that Lemieux’s suspension will mean he will mean some of the qualifying round games, something that will impact the team’s chances of winning.
In a prior article on Blue Line Station, we discussed the lack of discipline displayed by Lemieux in taking the penalty. While many feel that the hit didn’t warrant a suspension, that’s the call and the team will have to live with it. Here is a video clip from Sportsnet about the hit and suspension:
Dirty hit or not, it was a blindside elbow to Donskoi’s head and Lemieux will sit. That it came in the waning moments of a game with the Rangers trailing 2-1 and fighting desperately for a playoff spot makes it even more egregious. Let’s just say it was a dumb play and leave it at that. Now, they will be without the services of Lemieux in their first postseason game in three years.
It is very possible that Lemieux’s suspension could keep him out of all of the qualifying round games, even if it goes five games. He has a history and this will be his second suspension in his second year in the league.
In November 2018 while with the Winnipeg Jets, Lemieux was suspended for a dangerous hit to the head of the Panthers’ Vincent Trocheck. He received a match penalty for the hit and after a hearing, he was suspended for two games.
Earlier this season, Lemieux was fined $2,000 for an illegal hit to the head of Vegas Golden Knight center Cody Glass. Some observers felt that Lemieux was lucky to escape a suspension as a second time offender.
When determining the length of the suspension, the Department of Player Safety will take his prior suspension and fine into consideration. It could be costly.