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Steven Diossi The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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Nyquist Suspended, Capitals Trade for Gilbert & More News

Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended six games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings, NHL

Gustav Nyquist (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The suspension comes as a result of a high-sticking play he made on Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon during a game between the clubs on Sunday. The Department of Player Safety noted that just before the play in question, Spurgeon knocked down Nyquist with a crosscheck to his back. However, they also said that after Nyquist got up from the ice, and while swinging around, he “jabs his stick into Spurgeon’s left cheek.”

Importantly, the department noted that this was “not an accidental high stick delivered by a player who is swatting at a puck in mid-air or who simply fails to control his stick in traffic.” The video commentator said that Nyquist acknowledged during his phone hearing that he acted in retaliation for being crosschecked from behind during the play in question. However, Nyquist also added, according to the video’s commentator, that Nyquist’s intention was to return a crosscheck of his own and was attempting to move his stick into position do that when this incident occurred.

Jared Spurgeon

Jared Spurgeon (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

The department accepted Nyquist’s statement that he did not intend to spear Spurgeon in the face, but noted that there were two factors that went into to determining this suspension. First, Nyquist admitted to intending to use his stick in a retaliatory manner and second, he’s responsible for using his stick dangerously in a play such as this — one that could have resulted in a “major or career threatening injury.”

In coming to their decision, the department also acknowledged that Nyquist has never been fined or suspended in his 317-game NHL career. The six-game suspension will cost Nyquist more than $158,000 in salary, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

It’s worth noting that Nyquist’s suspension is the same length as the suspension received by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith for slashing Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face near the tail end of the 2015-16 regular season — a period which included the final five games of the regular season and one playoff contest.

Capitals Trade for Kings’ Defenseman Gilbert

The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Tom Gilbert from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for future considerations on Wednesday.

Gilbert, 34, will report directly to the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League, according to the Capitals. While Gilbert will not immediately play with the NHL club, he gives the Capitals some insurance on the blue line as a veteran of 655 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens and Kings. He’s tallied one goal and four assists in 18 games of action with the Kings this season and has played in 17 postseason games in his career.

At 6’2″, 202-pounds and extensive NHL experience, he gives the Capitals an alternative in the event that one of their other blueliners go down with an injury as they close out the regular season and begin what they hope will be a deep playoff run in the postseason.

Odds and Ends

— The Los Angeles Kings recalled forward Adrian Kempe and defenseman Paul LaDue from the Ontario Reign (American Hockey League) on Wednesday.

— The Detroit Red Wings will honor longtime team owner and humanitarian, Mike Ilitch, by wearing “Mr. I” patches on their jerseys and also adding it to the ice at Joe Louis Arena, the team announced on Wednesday. Ilitch founded Little Caesars Pizza before purchasing the Red Wings in 1982 and Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers later. He passed away on Friday at 87 years old. More important than his commitment to sports, however, was his commitment to the Detroit community and to helping other people throughout the United States.

— The San Jose Sharks recalled forwards Timo Meier and Nikolay Goldobin and defenseman Tim Heed from the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) on Wednesday.

— Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr turns 45 (forty-five) today! Perhaps 25-year-old Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin wished for that same sort of career longevity when he touched Jagr’s famous mullet, below!

And because you only turn 45 once in your NHL career, here are a few more beauties of the NHL’s second all-time leading scorer from over the years!

— Seguin took things up a notch in the latest battle for “last player off of the ice for warmups” between he and Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele. When the team’s met earlier this year, the star forwards were the last two players left on the ice in warmups and jokingly played each other in rocks-paper-scissors to determine who would be the last one to leave. After going toe-to-toe through three rounds, Scheifele went with scissors in the decisive fourth and was the “victor.” Fast forward to Tuesday’s matchup between the teams and Seguin had a new trick up his sleeve!


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