Edmonton Oilers center Matt Hendricks will have a Department of Player Safety hearing after his hit on Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad
The Edmonton Oilers had a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday. It was a game that was full of brutal hits. One of those brutal hits was by Matt Hendricks. In the third period, Hendricks hit Aaron Ekblad from the behind. Though he was not penalized for the hit, the league will be taking a hard look at the hit because it is considered boarding.
There are several factors that work in Hendricks’ favor. The first is that Ekblad seems to be OK because he returned to the game. The second is that Hendricks has never been suspended by the league or received any supplemental discipline. It doesn’t always guarantee that a player won’t be punished (Marcus Johansson was suspended for two games despite having as clean of a record as a player could have), but it is something that the league considers when handing out punishments.
Another factor working in Matt Hendricks’ favor is that the hearing will be a phone hearing. That means that the suspension will not be over five games in length.
Hendricks will most likely not be suspended for that hit for those reasons. However, the league is looking at the hit, so a suspension is definitely possible. Hendricks has seven points in 33 games this season. Zach Sill of the Capitals recently received a two game suspension for boarding against the Bruins, but keep in mind that the player he boarded did not return to the game.