Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo has successfully challenged his suspension. His 10-game ban for physical abuse of an official in the Eastern Conference finals was reduced to six games by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday.
Originally Carcillo was deemed to have violated Rule 40.3 about abuse of officials, which carries an automatic 10-game suspension but after his appeal was heard on Friday in New York but upon review Bettman thought it applied more to Rule 40.4.
Carcillo had originally been assessed a suspension under Rule 40.3 for deliberately applying physical force to an official. A violation of that particular Rule requires a minimum suspension of "not less than ten (10) games."
After considering Carcillo's appeal during a hearing at the NHL's New York office on Friday, May 30, the Commissioner ruled that Carcillo's actions were more appropriately deemed a violation of Rule 40.4 for deliberately applying "physical force to an official for the sole purpose of getting free of such official during or immediately following an altercation." The Commissioner determined that as appropriately re-classified under Rule 40.4, and under the totality of the circumstances, a suspension of six (6) games was the proper penalty.
The National Hockey League does not and will not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the abuse, physical or otherwise, of our on-ice officials. The strict and proper enforcement of Rule 40, therefore, plays a critical role in safeguarding the integrity of the game by maintaining a safe and respectful working environment for our officials.
Carcillo is only the third player to appeal a suspension ruling now that it is legal under the CBA and is the first to actually succeed in having his penalty reduced by the commissioner.
As a result of Bettman's ruling, Carcillo will now be available to return to the Rangers starting in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Before the reduction, he was not going to be available for any games in the Final.
Carcillo spent this season between the Rangers and Kings, being dealt to New York in January for a seventh-round draft pick. He has appeared in eight playoff games, scoring two goals while averaging 8:46 of ice time per game.