Carter Ashton Suspended Two Games For Hit From Behind

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Leafs' Carter Ashton has been suspended two games for his stupid hit from behind on Derek Smith Wednesday night in the Leafs' 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames.

After a review by the Department of Player Safety, Carter Ashton has been suspended two games by the league for his hit from behind on Derek Smith. After the hit, he had to fight Shane O'Brien and got his nose busted up again. Surprisingly, the threat of that kind of punishment, which the Flames hilariously augmented by inserting Tim Jackman into the lineup in place of Mikael Backlund, did nothing to prevent Ashton from laying the hit. However, missing two games in the NHL will hurt his pocket book first and foremost but it also comes at a time when the Leafs' forwards are beginning to get healthy. Nikolai Kulemin is on his way back and competition for spaces is becoming fiercer. Time out of the lineup could threaten his long term prospects.

From the league's side, it's good to see them take action to deter a dangerous hit despite the lack of injury. Yes, it's easier because Ashton is a nobody but it's not something the league has always been keen to do. Of course, suspensions will keep being maddeningly inconsistent but at least on this one I think it serves it's purpose.

Suspension Video

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