Brad Stuart had just made his 2013-14 NHL regular season debut for the San Jose Sharks after missing six preseason games, but he’ll be back in the press box after the NHL decided to suspend him for three games for a high hit on Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. The play in question occurred during the first period of the October 8 match between the two teams.
As per the official report via NHL.com:
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart has been suspended for three games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash during NHL Game No. 44 in San Jose on Tuesday, October 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
Stuart will be eligible to return for the Sharks on October 17, when the club takes on the Dallas Stars on the road. While this isn’t his first suspension, it has been long enough that he wasn’t considered a repeat offender in this instance. He was assessed a two-minute minor for elbowing on the play, and Nash did not return for the second or third periods of the contest.
Nash missed four games last season with a concussion, and this could be a big blow to the Rangers early on in the season. The team has not announced a time table for its star forward and he should be considered day-to-day at this time.
For a full explanation of the suspension, see the NHL’s video on the matter here.