The violent bodycheck served by Mark Scheifele against Jake Evans, towards the end of the first game of the series between the Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, is reminiscent of some past incidents that have won very long suspensions to certain players in the National Hockey League (NHL).
See in the main video the comments of former referee Stéphane Auger about the possibility of seeing Scheifele suspended soon.
In the context of the playoffs, an infamous case is that of Dale Hunter dating from April 28, 1993. At the time with the Washington Capitals, the former Nordiques had hit Quebecer Pierre Turgeon of the New York Islanders, following a goal by the latter in the sixth game of a first-round duel. If Scheifele’s hit came during the action, Hunter’s checking was undoubtedly a gesture of frustration, as Turgeon was celebrating alongside the strip, having incidentally scored after taking advantage of a turnaround from his assailant. The Islanders then took a 5-1 lead in this game, with less than nine minutes to go in the third period, leading to the elimination of the Capitals. Hunter had been suspended for 21 games for the stupid move.
Forward Chris Simon, who has also already worn the colors of the Quebec Nordiques, has multiplied the escapades during his career. On March 8, 2007, while wearing the Islanders colors, Simon punched Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg in the face. The result: a suspension for the remainder of the regular season and for the playoffs. With the Islanders losing in five games in the first round of the playoffs, Simon was also suspended for the first five games of the 2007-08 campaign for a total of 25 games.
In the regular season, the sad record for the longest suspension is held by Raffi Torres, with 41 games, for a vicious hitting against Jakob Silverberg of the Anaheim Ducks in October 2015. However, Torres had previously suspended for 25 games when, in the 2012 playoffs, he beat Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round series against the Phoenix Coyotes.
A player suspended for life …
In NHL history, Ontario defenseman Billy Coutu was punished as severely as possible, having been banned for life in 1927 following the Stanley Cup final. The captain of the Boston Bruins, who also played for the Canadian Montrealer for eight seasons, savagely attacked referee Jerry Laflamme, in the officials’ locker room, after the loss in the final against the Ottawa Senators. His life suspension was lifted several years later, but Coutu never played in the NHL again.
In this vein, but in the regular season, it should be remembered that Marty McSorley’s 23-game suspension in February 2000 also marked the end of his career. The Bruins defenseman then hit Quebecer Donald Brashear of the Vancouver Canucks on the head with his stick. In the high-profile suspension category, Canucks’ Todd Bertuzzi was penalized for 20 games after seriously injuring Colorado Avalanche Steve Moore by attacking him from behind in March 2004.
To conclude, another otherwise historic suspension in Quebec was obviously that of Maurice Richard, in March 1955, which ultimately provoked the famous Forum riot. The « Rocket » had, it should be remembered, been suspended for the last three games of the regular season and for the playoffs (12 games) for hitting linesman Cliff Thompson, who was holding a punch. to interfere in a fight.