Ryan Garbutt suspended five games for charging Dustin Penner

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Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt received his suspension from the NHL on Wednesday, getting five games for charging Ducks forward Dustin Penner.

It would appear that five games has become the new benchmark for suspensions in the NHL. We saw the same punishment handed out to Maxim Lapierre and Cody McLeod for their respective hits. Why five games? Surely the fact that suspensions can be appealed when they are six games or longer has something to do with it.

That said, there is some sense of consistency that's building with these hits and the punishment, something that's been a complaint of many people under Brendan Shanahan (and before). Making head contact, especially when charging or elevating in any fashion, is going to bring you in front of the NHL discipline office every time and if the punishments are getting tougher then maybe the message will get through better.

Penner hasn't played since the hit, leaving the ice in a daze. He does seem to be somewhat OK now, though, engaging people who thought the hit was clean on Twitter with his belief stating otherwise. The league apparently is on Penner's side. There was no penalty called on the play, something that also miffed Penner.

Garbutt has one goal his season in eight games for the Stars. He will forfeit $14,743.60 in salary as well.

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