Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin has been suspended by the NHL for four games for his hit on Henrik Lundqvist behind the goal. This comes as no real surprise, as the league is setting a tone of protecting the goalies in the league from possible injuries in situations like this in the future.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 16, 2016
Cody Eakin Suspended For Four Games For Hit On Henrik Lundqvist
It’s hard to defend this hit from Eakin, with even a majority of fan-based blogs for the Dallas Stars saying the suspension is well-deserved and that the league did the right thing. If the league did not set a precedence that goalies cannot be hit like this behind the net, it would surely set a dangerous tone in a league that values speed and strength more and more every year.
The public relations office for the NHL has charged Eakin with a four-game suspension, without pay. As stated on the news piece on www.nhl.com, “Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his [Eakin] annual average salary, Eakin will forfeit $85,555.56. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”
The fact that the league suspended Eakin without pay is another way of asserting the rules and setting a very strong precedent. This will surely keep Eakin, and likely anyone else, from doing this again, or at least on a regular basis. This is something that any hockey player, or hockey fan, would agree is good for the sport.
Despite the fact that the initial point of contact in the hit from Eakin being the head, Lundqvist would return between the pipes later in the game. There has been no word that Lundqvist suffered any type of injury, and should be good to continue his play in the Rangers next game Saturday against the Nashville Predators.