Toronto’s Zach Hyman has been suspended for two games for interference on Boston’s Charlie McAvoy. https://t.co/1qvBURr6sM— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 9, 2018
The video details their reasoning and mentions the lateness and force of the hit, but also notes Hyman’s totally clean record coming into this game. The phrase “predatory nature of the hit” will get a lot of angry fan reaction, but I take it mean primarily that the hit would have been a blind, on-the-numbers, nearly from behind boarding if McAvoy had still had the puck. Or maybe that’s just a fancy way of saying he set out to hit him, circumstances be damned.
The Leafs have one other forward on the roster: Frederik Gauthier. If they want to have an extra for the two games Hyman will be out, they will have to make some roster moves. The Leafs play in Carolina on Tuesday and then Tampa on Thursday.
Toronto’s Zach Hyman will have a hearing today for interference on Boston’s Charlie McAvoy.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 9, 2018
At 9:53 in the third period of the Boston - Toronto game on Satruday night, Zach Hyman was awarded five-minute majors for fighting and for interference and a 10-minute game misconduct, which ended his night on the ice.
It all stemmed from a hit on Charlie McAvoy, and this is the long form capture from the Boston broadcast, so you can hear how they saw things. “That’s suspension city,” is their ultimate summation, and I’m hard-pressed to disagree.
The key for me is not the Charlie McAvoy just came back from concussion. This sounds heartless, but I don’t care about that. There is no no-contact jersey in the NHL, and you’re either healthy enough to play or you aren’t. For the purposes of handing out discipline, either on-ice or not, it’s not relevant. It’s not good, however.
Also not really the point is how long McAvoy was on the ice before he left the game. He was reported, by the way, to have returned to the bench very late in the game, and was on the ice for the celebration of the win, but he did not take a shift. But the point for discipline should not be much beyond what the players were doing at the time of the infraction.
Key for me is how late this hit is, not the worst ever, but it wasn’t clean. Also where the hit occurred — close to the boards, with McAvoy looking away, which he would be because he just passed the puck that way.
The hearing seems to be a phone hearing, although I’m surmising that based on the timing, so what that means is that the number of games is limited to a fine of no more than $5,000 (fines are not the same thing as salary forfeited from games lost to suspension) or a suspension of no more than five games.
I offer no guesses as to the result of the hearing because I just don’t see a logical pattern in the actions of Player Safety, particularly lately as they’ve come under close scrutiny and appeal to the neutral arbitrator. There might be a logical pattern there, but I can’t find it.
At this time, there has been no confirmation of any supplemental discipline on Chris Wagner for charging against Morgan Rielly. He was assessed two minutes for charging, five for fighting (Ron Hainsey) and given a 10-minute misconduct.
Amount of discipline on the ice at the time is often taken into account in deciding if a hearing is necessary.
We will update this post when we know more.