Concerning update for Bruins in Charlie McAvoy’s suspension

Concerning update for Bruins in Charlie McAvoy’s suspension

The Bruins’ defenseman may be in over his head…



On Thursday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will appeal his four-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Florida Panthers’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

However, Greg Wyshynski of ESPN reveals that things aren’t off to a great start when it comes to McAvoy’s appeal since a scheduled hearing has yet to be announced and the NHL is quite surprised the defenseman is even appealing the ban.

However, Wyshynski does report that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hear the appeal.

“His determination will be the final step in the appeals process. Since the suspension is less than six games and did not involve an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety, McAvoy is ineligible to appeal Bettman’s decision to a neutral arbitrator.”

But here’s the catch, Bettman could sure, uphold the current suspension or reduce it, but he could also increase the suspension.

Could you imagine?

The incident took place in Monday’s game against the Panthers in which McAvoy received a match penalty at 9 minutes, 24 seconds of the third period for delivering a check to OEL’s head. The game ended in overtime with Boston coming out on top, but without McAvoy, who was suspended the next day.

“McAvoy chooses an angle of approach that cuts across Ekman-Larsson’s body, missing his core and picking his head,” the NHL said in a video explaining the suspension.

It feels like McAvoy was expecting to be handed two games like we usually see for an illegal check to the head. However, the extra two games to McAvoy could be based on his previous suspension history, having been banned for one playoff game in 2019 for an illegal check to the head of then-Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson.

McAvoy’s appeal is the second time in the 2023-24 the NHLPA has appealed a suspension to Bettman. Last week, Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson appealed his four-game ban for a hit to the head of Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine. Andersson was likely hoping to see his suspension reduced to be eligible to play in Calgary’s Heritage Classic outdoor game against the Edmonton Oilers last Sunday. Bettman however upheld that ban.

Recommended articles: