Maple Leafs’ Komarov gets three-game ban for head hit
Now we know there's a right way and a wrong way to knock Ryan McDonagh loopy.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety made that clear on Friday, handing a three-game suspension to Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov for the vicious elbow he delivered to the jaw of the Rangers captain on Thursday night
McDonagh was forced to leave the game, eventually won by the Rangers, 4-2. There's been no update on his condition, but there are concerns that he may have suffered another concussion. McDonagh had just returned to action Wednesday after missing four games as a result of a punch to the jaw from Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds.
Despite inflicting a serious injury, Simmonds avoided supplementary discipline from the DoPS.
Komarov's hit didn't leave much room for similar leniency. As Patrick Burke notes in the league's suspension video, the Maple Leafs All-Star approached the Ranger from center ice and “deliberately extend[ed] his elbow out and into the head of McDonagh.”
There was a clean hit to be made on the play, but Komarov went for the blatant cheap shot instead. A lack of prior offenses probably spared him from a stiffer sentence.
The suspension will cost Komarov $47,580.66 in salary, which goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. He’ll be eligible to return on Feb. 27 when the Leafs meet the Canadiens.