The Boston Bruins will be without forward David Pastrnak for their next two games. Following the Bruins loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, Pastrnak was informed that he would have a hearing for his high hit on Rangers’ defenseman Dan Girardi. The hit occurred at the midpoint of the second period following Pastrnak scoring an early goal in the first period to kick off the scoring of the game.
Boston’s David Pastrnak suspended two games for an illegal check to the head on NY Rangers’ Dan Girardi. https://t.co/YhCC6CsWit
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 28, 2016
The 20-year-old forward is currently playing in his third season with the Bruins and is off to a scorching start, recording five goals and eight points in seven games so far this year. The hit in question came on a defenseless Girardi, and though the league’s player safety department deemed the Rangers’ defenseman eligible to be checked, the hit being high was enough to merit a suspension. As it stands, it appears as though the NHL is looking to create a much safer experience on the ice for the players, as well as the fans watching the game.
With concussion protocol at an all-time high across professional sports leagues – due to numerous lawsuits and continual dangerous hits – it appears the NHL is dropping the hammer early this season and will provide little-to-no leeway on hits involving the heads of players.
St. Louis Blues to Retire Bob Plager’s Jersey Number
The St. Louis Blues are paying the ultimate homage to Bob Plager. The team announced through their Twitter account Friday that they would be retiring the former Blues defenseman jersey No. 5 and hanging it from the rafters. The official retirement ceremony will take place on Thursday, Feb. 2 ahead of the Blues game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scottrade Center.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) October 28, 2016
Plager was acquired by the Blues in June of 1967 and has been a part of the organization ever since. With the team celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it’s fitting that Plager will get his number retired as he’s been a member of the franchise ever since their first year. Through 50 years of history, only six players have had their numbers retired with the St. Louis Blues, including Al MacInnis (No. 2), Bob Gassoff (No. 3), Brian Sutter (No. 11), Brett Hull (No. 16), Bernie Federko (No. 24) and Barclay Plager (No. 8).
The retirement of Bob Plager’s jersey number is a little more special than most retirement ceremonies typically are for one very distinct reason. When the No. 5 jersey is firmly entrenched in the rafters and retired from use within the Blues organization, it will mark only the second time in history that two brothers have had their numbers retired by the same NHL teams. The only pair to do so other than Barclay and Bob Plager are Maurice and Henri Richard as members of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Blues also plan on recognizing Bob Plager on Saturday, Oct. 29 during the first period of their game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Odds and Ends
– The Anaheim Ducks have recalled Shea Theodore from the San Diego Gulls. The former first-round pick will look to figure into the club’s plans moving forward, though the transaction comes at a curious time given the fact that Hampus Lindholm just re-signed a contract with the team Thursday.
– Teemu Pulkkinen has once again been placed on waivers. The Wild just picked up Pulkkinen off of waivers when the Red Wings attempted to send him down to the AHL. It’s unclear whether or not there will be more, or less interest in Pulkkinen from other teams that may or may not have placed a claim for Pulkkinen the first time around. In his eight games with the Wild, Pulkkinen recorded only one goal.
Related: Teemu Pulkkinen Waived
– Team Canada and Team USA will play outdoors during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships. The rival nations will play a preliminary-round game on Dec. 29, 2017 at New Era Field, otherwise known as the home of the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
– 23-year-old Defenseman Zach Yuen became the first Chinese player to score for the Kunlun Red Star KHL expansion team.
– Dallas Stars’ forwards Jason Spezza (lower-body) and Jiri Hudler (illness) are both dealing with injuries and their status for the team’s upcoming game is to be determined following further examination.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.