BOSTON (CBS) — Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended by the NHL for two games.
Phaneuf hit Kevan Miller from behind on Sunday night, sending the Bruins rookie defenseman face-first into the boards.
Miller was shaken up a bit on the play but did not suffer injuries as a result of the play. Phaneuf was not called for a penalty on the ice.
Phaneuf had a phone hearing with the NHL department of player safety on Tuesday.
“It’s relevant to note that just before contact, and while Miller is trying to control the puck at his feet, he is slashed behind the right leg by David Clarkson,” Brendan Shanahan said in the video explaining the suspension. “This causes Miller to buckle his plant leg, and although this clearly contributes to the awkwardness and violence of Miller’s contact into the boards, the fact remains that he was never eligible to be hit like this in the first place.”
On the play in question, Miller had the puck in the corner of the rink with his back to Phaneuf, who took several strides toward Miller seeing only his back. Phaneuf delivered a body check through Miller’s back, sending him into the boards.
“At no point during his approach does Phaneuf see anything other than Miller’s numbers, so the onus is on him to either avoid the hit completely or at the very least minimize it more than he does,” Shanahan explained.
Phaneuf has not been suspended before in his 11-year NHL career.
The Maple Leafs play Wednesday against Los Angeles and Thursday at St. Louis.