PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was suspended for two games Tuesday because of his hit on Alex Burmistrov in the third period of Monday night’s game at Winnipeg.
The suspension was issued by NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan has made it a point this season to put out videos breaking down suspendable hits in order to explain the violations and help teach players what is illegal.
In describing Letang’s suspension, Shanahan said that multiple factors played into his decision.
“In our opinion, Burmistrov’s path to the puck is predictable, and there are no sudden movements just prior or simultaneous with the hit,” Shanahan said. “In spite of the fact that Letang is looking at Burmistrov in the numbers, he finished his check hard and with authority and fails to minimize the check.”
Shanahan continued to say that a fine issued to Letang in April for a similar hit contributed to the suspension.
“The onus is on Letang to avoid the hit entirely or at least minimize the contact,” Shanahan said.
Letang said before Tuesday night’s game at Minnesota that he had a hearing with Shanahan and the league is trying to limit those types of hits. In turn, Letang said he needs to be more careful along the boards.
“They said at the moment where I can see his number I should have hit the brakes or slowed down or tried to let up, I guess,” Letang said, according to the Penguins official website.
You can watch Shanahan’s video here.