For the second time in less than a month, a hit that resulted in a knee injury for a Dallas Star could result in a suspension.
On Feb. 16, Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was suspended four games for his low bridge hit on Stars center Tyler Seguin and now, little more than two weeks later, New York Islanders tough guy Matt Martin might be sitting out a few games after a vicious knee-on-knee collision with Dallas blueliner Trevor Daley.
The hit occurred two minutes into Wednesday’s game between the Islanders and Stars and left Daley down on the ice, wincing in pain. Martin was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. Take a look at the play:
Worth noting is Martin’s reaction to the call. He knew he was getting the boot and didn’t protest much, if at all.
The case for suspending Martin: Daley is going to be out for, “weeks,” according to Stars coach Lindy Ruff. Whether or not the intent was there, it happened and it’s a play the league wants out of the game. The injury just adds to the likelihood Martin gets a call from the Department of Player Safety. Handing out a major penalty means there was enough contact there for the referees to deem it an ejection-worthy offense. Martin is a repeat offender, having been suspended twice – once in 2010, once in 2011 – for a total of six games.
The against for suspending Martin: Martin already lost a full game thanks to the major penalty and misconduct, which the NHL might view as time served. He hasn’t been handed a ban in more than four years while playing one of the most physical games in the league. He’s led the league in hits for the past four seasons and has not been suspended once. It’s impossible to know what Martin’s intent was, but it appeared he showed immediate remorse for the hit.
Unfortunately for Martin, he’s probably going to be sitting for at least another game. The play was reckless and the Department of Player Safety can sit him down for a game or two without having to fear any backlash. It caused an injury, it was vicious enough that Martin received a major and no amount of apologizing is going to put Daley back in a position to play before his injury heals.