On Friday night in the second period, New Jersey Devils forward Matt D'Agostini skated through the middle of the ice, looking down to find the puck on his stick. Nate Thompson of the Tampa Bay Lightning saw his opportunity and laid him out.
According to the NHL, it’s not that Thompson hit him, it’s how he chose to hit him. And that earned the Lightning forward a 2-game suspension:
From the NHL:
Tampa Bay forward Nate Thompson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for delivering an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Matt D'Agostini during NHL Game No. 502 in Tampa on Friday, March 29, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Thompson will forfeit $9729.72. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
It’s a pretty emphatic head shot, but the combination of Thompson’s clean record and D'Agostini continuing to play make the two-game ban understandable and adequate.
It’s just not the hit he needed to make there. “There” being 2013 in the NHL.