The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has officially suspended Edmonton Oilers forward Josh Archibald.
On Sunday night during Game 3 of the first round series between the Oilers and Winnipeg Jets, Archibald delivered a very low hit to the leg and knee of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Logan Stanley, a hit that the league has now determined warrants a one game suspension. One game is the minimum amount of time you can be suspended, however given that the Oilers are now down 0 - 3 in the series against the Jets it could mean that Archibald has already played his final game for the Edmonton Oilers this season.
I suspect that there will be very little objection on the part of the Oilers fan base to this news given that Archibald has, almost overnight, become a complete pariah. There's no question that the hit was a reckless one and it led to an entirely unnecessary penalty that in turn led to the first goal in the Winnipeg Jets third period comeback over the Oilers on Sunday night. Although there is plenty of blame to go around for the 4 straight goals that the Jets would rattle off to complete the comeback, most have placed the blame for the entire fiasco at the feet of Archibald who no doubt played a pivotal role in getting the Jets back into the game.
It is the kind of decision that could have very well led to head coach Dave Tippett sitting him for a couple of games regardless of the suspension, so again I suspect that this one will have almost no one objecting to it. Tippett was demonstrably angry at the post game press conference on Sunday night and although he was somewhat critical of Archibald following the game you could tell that Tippett was biting his tongue when it comes to what he really wanted to say.
Now, as a result of today's announcement, Archibald has not only helped the Jets rally back to a devastating win in Game 3 but he has also left his team without one of their regulars for what will be Game 4 of this series. A very bad day to be Josh Archibald for sure.