The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse three games for being the aggressor in a fight with San Jose Sharks defenseman Roman Polak on Tuesday.
Nurse targeted the Shark after Polak finished serving a minor penalty for interference on a play that saw Matt Hendricks crash violently into the end boards. Many Oilers were incensed at the play, but the replay showed that Hendricks tripped himself up and Polak didn’t really have much blame on the play that left Hendricks dazed on the ice.
But Nurse doesn’t appear to have seen that replay. He went after Polak in a fight that saw both give a five-minute major for fighting, though Polak didn’t throw a punch or even remove his gloves.
The DoPs has determined that Nurse violated rule 46.2, acting as the aggressor in an altercation. In their suspension video the DoPS highlights as key to the suspension that Polak doesn’t remove his gloves or throw a punch, and that he’s a “defenseless” and “unwilling combatant.” Also factoring into the suspension was Polak suffering an injury because of the fight and that Nurse has no prior disciplinary history.
Here’s the league’s video:
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.