Pat Maroon facing suspension for attacking Brandon Montour after the whistle.

Maroon looking at some time off.

HockeyFeed

The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety is looking to send a message, and with one more regular season meeting between these two franchises and a first round playoff series looming in the near future it's not hard to imagine why that might be.

An official announcement from the league's Department of Player Safety has revealed that veteran forward Pat Maroon of the Tampa Bay Lightning will have a hearing on Sunday. The league has not made any mention of an in person hearing in their announcement, so if this does result in a suspension for Maroon it appears it will be a relatively short one which makes sense to me given the context of this situation.

For those of you who missed the incident that has led to the hearing, it stems from Saturday night's contest between interstate rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. The two teams engaged in a game that very much had a playoff atmosphere, one that included over 130 combined penalty minutes between the two teams. As I stated at the start of this article these two squads are headed for a first round playoff matchup that will effectively be the Battle of Florida, and you could tell that tensions were running very high during the game.

There was perhaps no better example than the incident that led to the hearing, one in which Maroon just flat out attacked Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour well after the whistle. Not only did the attack come well after the whistle was blown, but it came after the two men had been pulled apart by the NHL officials on the ice. Maroon effectively burst through the officials that were separating the two men, potentially putting them at risk in the process, and jumped Montour after the Panthers blue liner appeared to say something that set him off.

If I'm being honest here though, my biggest gripe from this scenario is with the officials and not with either player. As Maroon came charging at Montour one official grab a hold of him, effectively preventing him from defending himself as Maroon came in and landed a sucker punch to his face. If you're going to fail to hold back one player, you can't restrain the other and prevent him from defending himself.