Brad Marchand suspended five games for hit on Sami Salo
|01.09.12 at 6:30 pm ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand was suspended five games by the NHL Monday for Saturday’s low-bridge hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo. Because the hearing was conducted via phone, five games was the maximum penalty Marchand could receive.
Marchand saw the Canucks defenseman coming in to hit him along the boards late in the second period of the 4-3 loss, lowered his body and hit Salo in the hip area. The hit was called clipping on the ice, and Marchand was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.
“As the video shows, Marchand skates towards Salo along the boards,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said. “Rather than deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, Marchand drops dangerously low into Salo’s knee area, propelling Salo up and over, causing an injury.
“While we understand that in certain instances, a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to prevent himself from an imminent, dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive. Rather, we feel that this was a predatory, low hit delivered intentionally by Marchand in order to flip his opponent over him. Further, Salo is not coming at Marchand with great speed nor in a threatening posture. He does nothing to indicate that Marchand is about to be hit illegally or with excessive force. To be clear, we do not consider this to be a defensive act where there were no other options available to Marchand.”
Marchand, 23, has now been suspended twice in his career, as he was given two games last season for his elbow to the back of R.J. Umberger’s head. Earlier this season, Marchand was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Marchand will begin serving his suspension Tuesday night against the Jets. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Jan. 19 against the Devils.