After suspending Brad Marchand for five games earlier on Monday, Dept. of Player Safety sheriff Brendan Shanahan returned with another slightly less contentious Shanaban: Jean-Francois Jacques of the Anaheim Ducks getting dinged for three games after an illegal hit to the head of R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
From the NHL:
Anaheim Ducks forward Jean-Francois Jacques has been suspended for three games and will forfeit $23,780.49 in salary for delivering an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger during NHL Game #613 in Anaheim on Sunday, Jan. 8, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
Jacques, who was suspended on Sept. 24, 2011, is classified as a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits his salary based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (185). The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 14:17 of the third period. A major penalty for elbowing was assessed on the play. Jacques will miss games Jan. 10 vs. Dallas, Jan. 12 at Calgary and Jan. 13 at Edmonton. He will be eligible to return Jan. 15 at Vancouver.
His previous offense was for leaving the bench in the preseason to initiate a fight with Mike Duco.
Evidently, the going rate for this kind of hit is three games. That's what Max Pacioretty got for nailing Kris Letang in the noggin back in November, even though Letang was injured on the play.
It's just a hit that's not longer allowed under the current rules; plus, the shooter's been given the 'right of way' in this situation, which is the right course of action for the NHL even if old school nudniks like my radio partner Jeff Marek disagree.
For the Ducks, it was a bad news/good news situation with supplemental discipline on Monday. From Ducks Blog:
"J.F. hit a player that was vulnerable after shooting the puck and he needs to be more aware in those situations," Ducks GM Bob Murray said. "We will accept the league's ruling and will move forward."
The Ducks did catch a break as defenseman Francois Beauchemin was not suspended or fined for his hit on Jackets center Jeff Carter in the neutral zone. Carter suffered a separated shoulder on the play.
Puck-Rakers called it "a blindside hit on Jeff Carter that left the Blue Jackets center with a separated shoulder." What say you?