New York Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies was suspended 10 games for a headshot delivered to Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck, the NHL announced Friday afternoon.
“By targeting his opponent's head, three shifts into his first game back from a suspension for a very similar action, Mr. Gillies has forfeited his privilege of playing in the League for 10 games,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice president of hockey operations, in a statement. “While it is fortunate there was no injury on the play, there can be no justification for a player delivering a dangerous check to an opponent in this manner."
The incident occurred Wednesday in Gillies' first game back from a nine-game suspension for a blindside hit to the head of Pittsburgh's Eric Tangradi on Feb. 11. Unlike Tangradi who had to be helped off the ice, Clutterbuck remained in the gamne.
Either way, Gillies was considered a repeat offender by the league.
Gillies met with NHL officials in Toronto on Friday, a sign that he was in store for a lengthy penalty. In the 33 games that he has played in this season, the 32-year-old winger has 124 penalty minutes and one point. As New York Times SlapShot blogger Chris Botta points out, Gillies has played less than four minutes over his last two games and has been suspended a total of 19 games.
Gillies will forfeit it $60,975.60 in salary and will be eligible to return March 26 for a game against the Flyers.
With players like Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby on the shelf for long periods of time with concussion-like symptoms and the revelation this week that late NHL enforcer Bob Probert had signs of a degenerative brain disorder, a double-digit suspension was likely an easy call for the NHL.