Gustav Nyquist Suspended Six Games for Slash on Jared Spurgeon

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OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 29: Gustav Nyquist #14 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on December 29, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended six games by the NHL for a slash to the face of the Minnesota Wild’s Jared Spurgeon.

Gustav Nyquist Suspended Six Games for Slash on Jared Spurgeon

Nyquist speared Spurgeon hard in the face during the first period of Sunday’s game between Detroit and Minnesota. He was given a two-minute minor penalty for high-sticking at the time, and Spurgeon did return to the game after leaving briefly to tend to his injury.

Earlier this week, Nyquist waived his right to an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, opting instead to do it over the phone.

After the game on Sunday, Nyquist claimed that he did not intend to high-stick Spurgeon, asserting that his stick got caught:

Spurgeon was not seriously injured, receiving stitches during the game before returning.

In 56 games this season, Nyquist has seven goals and 22 assists, making him the Red Wings’ third-highest scorer. He has logged 92 penalty minutes in his 317-game career.

Despite his 121 shots (third on team) and 55.16 shot attempts per hour (third), the 27-year old winger is looking at a second straight season of decline from his 27 goals in 2014-15. He scored 14 power play goals that season, and has just one this campaign, mostly due to the historically weak Detroit power play (12%, 30th). He is a normal fixture in the man advantage, logging 162:51 to place second to Henrik Zetterberg.

Nyquist was drafted in the fourth round (121st overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and is one of six forwards past pick #100 in that class to play at least 300 games in the NHL. He has 83 goals and 187 points in his career, posting two consecutive 25+ goal campaigns in his first two seasons.

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