Hoffman & Eakin Suspended, Marincin Update & More News

Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman has been suspended two games, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Friday.

The suspension comes as a result of a cross-check to the back of the head of San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture during the Senators’ 4-3 shootout loss on Wednesday.

Logan Couture Sharks
Logan Couture (Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)

The play occurred at the midway point of the third period and seconds after Hoffman was pushed in the back by Couture earlier in the sequence. After Hoffman passed the puck to a teammate in the Sharks’ zone, he skated towards the front of the net and cross-checked Couture in the back of his head. The league noted that Hoffman’s stick rode up to near Couture’s helmet, in part, because Sharks defenseman Brendan Dillon’s stick got underneath it.

Hoffman has never been suspended by the league before and will be eligible to return to action when the Senators play the Blackhawks on Dec. 20.

Eakin Suspended Four Games

Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin has been suspended four games for charging New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Friday.

Cody Eakin (Lisa Battista)
Cody Eakin (Lisa Battista)

The play occurred near the midway point of the first period of the Stars’ 2-0 loss to the Rangers on Thursday. Lundqvist went behind the net to play the puck and after seeing Eakin skating along the boards, turned his body to play the puck to a teammate. Eakin continued towards Lundqvist at a high rate of speed and knocked him to the ice with a high check. Lundqvist left the game with an injury but later returned and secured the shutout.

The Department noted that before the hit, Eakin “loads up, braces for contact and delivers an intentional and forceful hit to Lundqvist, making substantial contact with the goaltender’s head.” Eakin has never been fined or suspended during his 330-game NHL career before now.


Leafs’ Marincin Out 4 to 6 Weeks

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin will miss four to six weeks with a lower body, the team announced on Friday.

Martin Marincin, Maple Leafs
Martin Marincin (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The 24-year-old blueliner was injured during the Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Dec. 10 and has missed the past three games. Marincin has skated in 16 games and tallied a goal and four assists. His 18:03 average ice time per game is fourth on the team.

With Marincin out for the next month to month and a half it will open up a spot for another Leafs defenseman.

Frank Corrado, who has been a healthy scratch in all but one game this season, may have an opportunity to work his way into the lineup for the club. He received 16:24 of ice time in his one and only appearance this season — a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 12.

“It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said, according to The Athletic’s David Alter. “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally… Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career. I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”

Frank Corrado (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Frank Corrado (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Leafs picked up Corrado on waivers from the Vancouver Canucks last season and the Toronto native skated in 39 games registering six points and averaging 14:27 of ice time.

The Maple Leafs made headlines earlier this season when Peter Holland, who had been a healthy scratch multiple times this season, did not accompany the team on a road trip and was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional draft pick on Dec. 9.

“Everyone on our back end gets a chance to play except me,” Corrado said, according to Alter.  “I’d love to play. I had a good camp. I put on ten pounds in the summer. I sacrificed a lot to earn a job here when there might not have been one for me. I’m sure Holly’s (Peter Holland) situation was similar in ways, but for me, it’s really frustrating right now.”

The Maple Leafs will be back in action again when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Odds and Ends

— San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic has been fined $5,000 for spearing Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson on Wednesday. The infraction took place behind the play and was unnoticed by the game’s officials at the time.

— The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without forwards Ryan Callahan, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat when they faceoff against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Head coach Jon Cooper said Kucherov and Palat will probably miss Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, according to Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns. The Lightning recalled forward Erik Condra from the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch and re-assigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the club.

— The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and loaned Antoine Bibeau to the team.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw will be out of the lineup with concussion-like symptoms when the Habs play the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Shaw’s symptoms began late Thursday afternoon, according to an announcement by the team.