Micheal Haley suspended one game for sucker punch vs. Predators (Video)

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Micheal Haley sucker punch screen shot
Micheal Haley sucker punch screen shot

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Micheal Haley one game for punching Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok in the face.

The infraction occurred at the 12:56 mark of the third period of their Saturday game at Bridgestone Arena with the play in the San Jose zone. Jarnkrok had hit Haley hard into the boards as the San Jose player was trying to move the puck up ice. Because of this, the official raised his arm to call a penalty for boarding.

After the hit, a clearly angered Haley dropped his gloves and went after Jarnkrok, punching the unsuspecting young forward in the face. Haley received a match penalty for roughing. In a video explaining Haley’s suspension, the Department of Player Safety said this type of play was completely unacceptable.

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“It is important to note that while Jarnkrok did hit Haley before this altercation, Haley’s response is in no way permitted or excusable. Haley acknowledges that he was seeking retribution for the hit thrown by Jarnkrok seconds earlier, which was already being penalized by the on-ice officials. Jarnkrok backs away to disengage from the confrontation and appears to be distracted by multiple players coming together around him. Haley, focused solely on retribution and with his gloves already off, regains his balance and makes no attempt to square up with Jarnkrok or in any way ensure that Jarnkrok is a willing combatant in the fight,” the Department of Player Safety said. “Haley forcefully punches a player that his off-balance, not engaged in the confrontation and not even looking when the punch is thrown. This is a forceful punch on an opponent not able to defend himself at the time.”

The Sharks lost the game 7-2 and afterwards defended Haley’s action against Jarnkrok.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” coach Peter DeBoer said.

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The 30-year-old Haley, who has 11 points and two goals in 54 games this season, had not been fined or suspended in the previous 125 games of his NHL career. He will forfeit $3,472.22 of his salary.

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