BOSTON - While not the suspension that those around the Bruins would probably have hoped for, given the concussion sustained by their All-Star forward Loui Eriksson, the Buffalo Sabres' John Scott on Thursday was handed a seven-game suspension by the NHL for an illegal check to Eriksson's head last week.
Scott has already served three games of the suspension before having an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan in the NHL’s New York City offices on Thursday, and it’s believed this is the most severe suspension rolled out by the Player Safety Department for a “first-time offender.”
Eriksson has missed three games with a suspension stemming from the Scott head shot, and isn’t expected to start resuming hockey activities until next week at the earliest. There were hopes that the NHL would hit Scott with a 10-15 game suspension to underscore how seriously they view the head shot/concussion problem around the league, but the specter of a possible appeal by the NHLPA probably kept the sentence at less than 10 games.
The Bruins have moved on from the incident, and were instead focusing on their opponent on Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks, rather than a 6-foot-8 goon in Buffalo that they’ll no doubt have to deal with in a home-and-home against the Sabres just before Christmas.
“I didn’t really pay attention to it,” said Claude Julien. “I knew he had a hearing today, and you let the league take care of those things. That’s the decision that was made, and we’ll live with it.”
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and based on his average annual salary, Scott will forfeit $26,923.05 in salary while missing the seven games with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.