By Allan Muir
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau was handed the two-game special today by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for boarding Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
The video from Tuesday night's game made for a pretty clear cut case for the DOPS boys. Comeau was tracking Smith from halfway across the ice and finished him off directly in the numbers about three feet from the boards. As Patrick Burke explains, the onus is on Comeau to avoid or at least minimize the contact when Smith is in a vulnerable position like that.
The hit looked ugly, especially the way Smith's head was driven into the boards, but since he was uninjured and able to finish the game, Comeau caught a break on the suspension.
He will, however, have to fork over a serious chunk of change. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he'll forfeit $10,256.42 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.