Unfortunately, just because the 2014 Bridgestone Winter Classic was a special event does not mean there are no penalties for infractions. According to NHL.com, Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul will have a hearing with the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety on Friday afternoon regarding his actions at the Winter Classic.
It all went down on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium as the Toronto Maple Leafs went head-to-head with the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Bridgestone Winter Classic.
Just before the 11 minute mark in the first period, Lupul was hit by Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl. This hit sent Lupul tumbling to the ice. As soon as he was able to reach his feet, he immediately targeted right wing Patrick Eaves, sending his stick right across Eaves’ neck.
Eaves was not able to return to the game. Fortunately, Eaves did not suffer any broken bones. He was however evaluated for a possible concussion.
In case you missed it, here is a look at what happened.
This is not the first time that Lupul has been suspended. He was suspended for two games last season for a hit on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Go figure, another shot to the head.
If I know the Department of Player Safety, and I think most of us do with the abnormally large amount of infractions we have had this season, Lupul will more than likely receive 5 games for the incident. However, as this seems to be becoming a pattern with Lupul, you never know what they will decide to do. They may decide to throw the book at him.
At some point, this is what they are going to have to do. As I said before, there have been a highly abnormal amount of infractions of this kind this season, some resulting in very serious injury. If the league doesn’t do something quick to put a stop to the madness, eventually, someone is going to have their career prematurely ended, or even worse.
How many games do you think Lupul should get for this blatant infraction? Do you think it is time for the Department of Player Safety to make an example of someone in order to quell the amount of illegal hits in the league this season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.