The National Hockey League has returned to play this past week, albeit preseason action. Despite the battles being of the ‘exhibition’ style, the fast-paced, heavy-hitting game has remained.
That said, the penalties and suspensions have also returned to the forefront.
Fans of the Winnipeg Jets were treated to a majestic display of puck control on Sunday evening, as former Brandon Wheat Kings forward Ridly Greig put on a clinic en route to an early goal from the visiting Ottawa Senators.
Ridly Greig are you kidding me?!
1-0 OTT! pic.twitter.com/rgv3oktVuW
— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) September 27, 2021
But later in the game, those same Jets fans also saw the rough and tumble personality that Wheat Kings supporters have come to know over the past number of years. After chipping a puck out of his own end, Greig got his hands up high on Jets’ checking forward Pierre-Luc Dubois. Forcefully cross checking PLD in the face, Greig was initially called for a double minor, but that call was later changed to a five-minute major.
Greig gets 5 and a game for cross-checking. Getting sick of clipping him anyways 😂 pic.twitter.com/q9zPVxJNzM
— Lalime's Martian (@LalimesMartian) September 27, 2021
The play left Dubois with 15 stitches, but he luckily skipped a trip down the hall to the team’s dentist.
“I don’t think he did it on purpose,” Dubois said post-game. “I don’t really know him. But I know he’s a good player, scored a nice goal in the first. I think he just got scared, threw his stick up. He saw me coming and threw his stick up to defend himself, which is obviously against the rules for an obvious reason. It is what it is.”
On the same night, Winnipeg product Dylan McIlrath delivered a crushing hit to the jaw of Boston forward Steven Fogarty. Despite the forward quickly changing direction, the 29-year-old former Winnipeg Warrior went through with his check, catching Fogarty up quite high.
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) September 26, 2021
Following the two plays, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced suspensions to both players. With the incidents occurring in the preseason, the penalties assessed will include both preseason and regular season games for both offenders.
Greig will miss one preseason game and one regular season game, while McIlrath will sit out four total games – two in the preseason and one in the regular season. Should neither Greig nor McIlrath make their respective NHL clubs for the 2021-22 season, their suspensions will carry over to the first games they attempt to suit up for when called back up to the big leagues. Should they be traded or moved, the suspension will travel with the offenders.