Canadiens' Ryan White suspended five games for hit on Kent Huskins

By Brian Stubits |

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Montreal Canadiens forward Ryan White has been suspended five games for his high hit on Flyers defenseman Kent Huskins on Monday night.

The hit came in the Flyers' 7-3 win and resulted in a match penalty for White at the time. It was perhaps the most clear example this season of a hit that was going to result in a suspension.

The NHL announced on Tuesday morning that it had requested an in-person hearing with White for the hit, and he accepted the invitation. The request meant that White was eligible to be suspended for five games or more. The NHL went with five.

The reasoning from Brendan Shanahn, head of the Department of Player Safety, went thusly:

"As White approaches Huskins, his timing and his route are off. Instead of making a legal, full body check, he recklessly picks Huskins' head with his shoulder, making it the principle point of contact. It's important to note that, in spite of the fact that Huskins appears to be brace himself just prior to the check being thrown, in our opinion he does not dramatically change the position of his head or body in a way that would significantly contribute to the violent result of this illegal check to the head.

"Huskins is eligible to be checked on this play. However, if White wants to finish this check, he needs to take a different angle and hit Huskins more through the body. Instead, he overshoots Huskins and drives up through the hit with significant force, picking Huskins' head and causing injury."

When it came time for the sentencing, the factors broke down as follows: It was a really bad hit, White has no supplemental discipline history and Huskins was injured as a result. So the finished product was the five games.

It's interesting to see how many games that White would have received had he been a repeat offender, because that's pretty stiff for a first-timer. It goes to show how bad the hit was, picking Huskins' head the way he did.

As a result, White will forfeit his salary for the five games, totaling $18,581.10.

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