The New York Rangers will have an extra body to choose from midway through the Stanley Cup Final.
The NHL announced Tuesday that it has reduced forward Daniel Carcillo’s suspension from 10 games to six games. Carcillo has already served three of those games, and he will be eligible to return to the lineup for Game 4 of the Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
Carcillo was handed the 10-game suspension after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Montreal Canadiens. The forward put his hands on an official in an attempt to get to a developing scrum. He was ejected in the first period for his actions, and the league ruled he violated Rule 40.3, which calls for a 10-game suspension.
However, the league’s announcement Tuesday indicated that Carcillo convinced the league that he was just trying to get free.
“The Commissioner ruled that Carcillo’s actions were more appropriately deemed a violation of Rule 40.4 for deliberately applying ‘physical force to an official for the sole purpose of getting free of such official during or immediately following an altercation,'” the league explained in a statement.
Gary Bettman also acknowledged in his full report that he took into consideration that the incident occurred during the playoffs.
“I have taken into account that the suspension will have been served during the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup Final. While there is no precise formula that places a ‘premium’ on playoff games, I note that the length of the suspension here might well have been longer hard it involved regular season games.”
For whatever it’s worth, the Rangers were 4-4 with Carcillo in the lineup for the eight playoff games he played before being suspended. Carcillo isn’t necessarily a difference-maker, as he’s yet to play more than 11:54 in any game this postseason.
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