Skip to main content

Habs forward Pacioretty hit with a three-game suspension for Letang head shot

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. - Max Pacioretty has been hit with a three-game suspension for his head shot on Pittsburgh defenceman Kris Letang.

The NHL announced the decision Monday night after the Montreal Canadiens forward had an over-the-phone hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan earlier in the day.

The incident occurred late in the third period of Montreal's 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh when Pacioretty caught Letang with a shoulder to the head, leaving the Penguins player bloodied with a broken nose.

Letang, who suffered a broken nose as a result of the hit, returned to the game and scored the winning goal in overtime. No penalty was assessed on the play.

"While we agree with Pacioretty's assertion that Letang's body position makes it difficult to avoid the head, it is still his responsibility to make principle contact through the core of Letang's body," said Shanahan in his video statement on the decision.

"Instead Pacioretty shifts his weight to his right leg just prior to contact, changing his body position in a way that makes Letang's head and not his body a principle point of contact."

Pacioretty is no stranger when it comes to punishing hits. He suffered a concussion and fractured vertebra last season after a hit from Boston's Zdeno Chara.

"I'm sorry for what happened and I'm glad he's okay," Pacioretty said after the game when he also reportedly apologized to Letang. "I feel terrible that he got hurt and I'm thankful that he came back."

Pacioretty will be eligible to return Dec. 6 when the Canadiens take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Under the terms of the CBA, he will forfeit US$26,351.34 in salary.

TOP HEADLINES

Connor McDavid
Play

NHL Three Stars: McDavid, Kaprizov and Kochetkov Show Off

Adam Proteau explains why Connor McDavid, Kirill Kaprizov and Pyotr Kochetkov had the best performances of the week.

Matt Murray
Play

It Looks Like the Maple Leafs Made the Right Bet in Goal – For Now

Evaluating goaltenders is a tricky task. They're very unpredictable. But Mike Stephens breaks down the stats between Toronto's tandem this year and the last.

Luke Schenn
Play

'It's an Honor': Canucks' Luke Schenn Sets NHL D-Man Hits Record

Luke Schenn set the NHL hits record among defensemen, first tracked in 2005-06, with a check on his former teammate as the Vancouver Canucks rallied to beat the Arizona Coyotes.