The NHL’s Department of Player Safety is busier than it would like to be.
The league has handed out several suspensions to players who made illegal hits to the head over the last week, and the latest player to receive a ban is Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod. The 29-year-old veteran delivered a massive hit from behind on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall while he was along the end boards during Thursday’s game in Colorado.
It was a reckless play that has resulted in McLeod getting a five-game suspension.
“Although Kronwall might’ve put himself in a more vulnerable position, the key to this play is that we’re convinced McLeod has time to avoid or minimize checking Kronwall from behind,” Brendan Shanahan of the league’s Department of Player Safety said. “Although Kronwall cuts back, McLeod actually makes an adjustment to his own path and is responsible for the violent collision that results.”
Check out Shanahan’s official explanation on the McLeod suspension in the video below.