September 23, 2010
After his questionable hit on Chris Durno(notes) in an exhibition game Wednesday night, Nick Boynton(notes) was jumped by Blair Jones(notes) of the Tampa Bay Lightning and then knocked to the ice with a nasty left hand. On his way to the penalty box, Boynton profanely threatened Jones and made a gesture with his hand that could be interpreted as a throat slash.
In fact, that's exactly how the NHL interpreted it. After word spread Thursday morning that the league was looking into the incident, the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman was suspended for one regular-season game, as reported by TSN.
The suspension arrived just as the NHL emphasized its stance on taunting with players and teams earlier this week: "Any identifiable player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures directed at any person runs the risk of an unsportsmanlike penalty and possible supplemental discipline."
Boynton was, like, most of those things. And as Bob McKenzie notes, it's his second suspension. Before the Wheel of Discipline landed on one game, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville seemed to anticipate that Boynton would be made an example of, saying via ESPN Chicago (via Digital Sports Daily):
"Every year the league has certain things and messages they want to send out to players to be aware about certain things not to do, and we're just trying to echo the same message."
Thing is, Boynton's "throat slash" wasn't even up to NHL standards. It was more like a Dave Coulier style "cut it out":