Sabres goalie Aaron Dell suspended three games for hit that injured Drake Batherson

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Senators all-star Drake Batherson was injured after this dirty play from Sabres goalie Aaron Dell.
Senators all-star Drake Batherson was injured after this dirty play from Sabres goalie Aaron Dell.

Aaron Dell has been suspended three games for the dirty hit that injured Drake Batherson and got him out of the All Star Game.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the decision on Wednesday, following the controversial play during Tuesday night’s game at the Canadian Tire Centre.

“Batherson does not and should not expect a shoulder check from Dell in this situation, much less a high, hard shoulder delivered as Batherson travels towards the boards with speed,” the DOPS said.

Batherson is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain on the play, and is expected to be out long-term. Ottawa’s leading scorer has 13 goals and 34 points in 31 games so far this season. The 23-year-old was selected to appear in this year’s NHL All-Star Game, but will now be replaced by teammate Brady Tkatchuk due to his injury.

“It definitely stings," Tkachuk said after the game. "It definitely sucks. Quite frankly, it was just a bullsh-t play. What happened was unnecessary and dirty. You just feel for [Batherson]. He's put in so much work to get to where he's at. It definitely sucks."

Some online seem to think Dell got off lightly for his actions, especially considering this wasn't the first time Dell was involved in this type of play.

“I don’t like calling out other goalies, but they’re not expecting to get hit by a goalie. Just like when a goalie comes out to play the puck, you can’t hit him,” Ottawa netminder Matt Murray said. “I just thought that was a dangerous play that turns out to be a really unfortunate result.”

The Senators got the best of the Sabres on Tuesday, posting a 5-0 win. But the overall tone post game indicates that the victory was bittersweet at best.

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