The hockey preseason has begun, which is great news, because it means that we're writing about actual hockey games once again. The only downside is that it also means we're writing about suspensions. Whee!
Upon hearing that Rusty Klesla had left the game on a stretcher after taking an open-ice hit from Jordan Nolan, we assumed that the first suspension post of the 2013-14 season would be about Nolan. Not so. The league deemed it a legal hit.
But Paul Bissonnette didn't like it, and when he left the bench for the purpose of punching Nolan a bunch of times (starting an altercation, the league calls it), he broke Rule 70.6. That's 10 games, Biz.
At 12:09 of the first period, Bissonnette was assessed a Game Misconduct penalty under Rule 70.6, which states: "A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on the player who was the first or second player to leave the players' or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation, from either or both teams."
The suspension is mandated by Rule 70.10, which states: "The first player to leave the players' or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended without pay for the next 10 regular League and/or playoff games of his team."
On the bright side, it's Paul Bissonnette, so there's no guarantee he'd have been playing all of those 10 games anyway.
Bissonnette forfeits $37,820.51 in salary for the ban.
As it happens, the Coyotes' pugilist is eligible to return on October 24 when his club visits the Los Angeles Kings. One assumes the first time he's on the ice with Nolan, he'll be dropping the gloves. But in order to stay on the right side of the law, he should probably skate around a bit first.