Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves dropped to the ice during the Winter Classic on Wednesday, and many of the 105,000 fans in The Big House probably weren’t sure why.
Then came the video replay, and ample evidence that Joffrey Lupul did a bad, bad thing.
The Toronto Maple Leafs winger connected with Eaves’ head as the two battled along the boards, earning him a hearing with the NHL on Friday. From the League:
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday afternoon for a hit delivered to Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Wednesday.
At 11:04 of the first period, Lupul was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking after the hit against Eaves. Eaves did not return to the game.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: cross-checking. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
Lupul told Chris Johnston of Sportsnet that he was aiming for Eaves’ arm, which might be the case if Lupul had (a) incredibly bad aim or (b) believed Eaves was a Chernobyl mutant. Plus, this also looks retaliatory. But we’ll see how his case holds up in Shanny Court.
Please note Lupul is a repeat offender, having been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head, man, of Victor Hedman last season.
How many games for Lupul? (Our guess: Four, although it could be three depending on the severity of Eaves’ injury.)