BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Bruins forward Daniel Paille does not agree with the length of his four-game suspension, but certainly understands it.
“I was expecting a suspension for sure,” Paille said after Friday’s practice. “Possibly two games, but I was a bit shocked at the amount. I’ll just learn to accept it right now.”
Paille was ejected in the second period of Thursday night’s 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars after delivering a check to the head of Raymond Sawada. After a disciplinary review Friday morning, the NHL handed down the suspension.
“Paille delivered a lateral hit where the principal point of contact was his opponent’s head,” Mike Murphy, senior vice president of hockey operations said in announcing the suspension. “Additionally, the injury suffered by the Dallas player was a factor in this decision.”
Sawada suffered a broken nose but showed no signs of concussion after the game.
Bruins Daniel Paille and Peter Chiarelli React To Suspension
Paille is the fifth player suspended this season under a new rule aimed at cracking down on dangerous hits.
“I’m aware what this rule does to our team especially with how sensitive it was for us with Marc (Savard). We’re pretty much why it started,” the Bruins forward said. “Permanently injuring players is something I don’t want in this league. In saying that I also believe that I went to hit for shoulder.”
Although some of his Bruins teammates saw the hit as a bad hit, both Paille’s coach and general manager agree four games might be excessive.
“It’s a very touchy question because we were all supportive of the new rule that came in,” coach Claude Julian told reporters. “At the same time you want to support your player. You look at it over and over again, and in the end you have to respect what the league is trying to do.”
“I thought it was a bit stiff,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “They’re sending strong messages, and I’m not opposed to that. This thing is a hot issue and rightfully so. Part of me deep down thought something like this might come down, and it did.”
As for his teammate’s opinions on the hit, Paille still contends he meant not harm and the hit was clean.
“I think that if that’s what they see, that’s their opinion,” the forward said. “I know that a lot of the guys on the team here know me, understand me and agree with me. Just looking at the replay over and over, I feel that I see the shoulder hit the shoulder and just kind of drag along. I won’t focus too much on those guys, just get the support from everyone else.”
Paille was not able to get in touch with Sawada but hopes to clear the air at some point.
“I’ll probably say I was just finishing my check,” Paille said. “I had no intention of hurting him the way I did. I would hope that he would somewhat understand, just know the player I am. I don’t go looking for that. I hope that he would understand that.”
Paille will lose $23,118 in salary and miss the Bruins’ games with San Jose and Montreal and a home-and-away against Detroit. The forward will be eligible to return Feb. 15 against Toronto.