Washington Capitals defenceman John Erskine has been handed a three-game suspension for his elbow on Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. The incident took place on Friday night at 18:09 of the first period. The Capitals wound up winning the game by a score of 3-2.
There wasn’t really much doubt about the fact that Erskine was going to earn a suspension for the elbow. Simmonds left the game and Erskine somehow escaped a penalty on the play.
Saturday saw the Cap have a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan and the handing down of the suspension. Erskine will give up $24,324.33 in salary. The cash will, as always, go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Simmonds, meanwhile, was not in the line-up when the Flyers took to the Caroline Hurricanes on Saturday. Philly GM Paul Holmgrem confirmed that his forward suffered a concussion on the play. There is no timetable for his return.
“As the two men approach the puck, Erskine looks up and clearly is aware of Simmonds’ proximity before delivering the illegal hit,” Shanahan said in a video explanation. “While we acknowledge there was no malicious intent and Erskine was reacting to getting beat, it was an elbow to the head that caused a serious injury.”
This is a perfect example of how the NHL hopes to use corrective discipline. Erskine isn’t a repeat offender and he’s not a “dirty player,” so the hope here is that the suspension will serve to have him think twice the next time he’s in the same situation.
You can check out the elbow here.