Aaron Dell Suspended Three Games For Hit on Drake Batherson

Former University of North Dakota and current Buffalo Sabres goalie Aaron Dell has been suspended three games by the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety. He probably could’ve gotten a longer suspension.

Tuesday, in the final minute of the first period, Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson was tracking the puck behind the Sabres net when Dell stepped into the Senators leading scorer. Batherson was thrown feet-first into the boards, injuring him. Batherson suffered an ankle injury knocking him out of last week’s All-Star Game.

According to TSN, Batherson is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

After the game, the Ottawa Senators head coach expressed his displeasure with Dell.

“Our best, leading scorer is going to be out for a significant amount of time on a play that didn’t need to happen,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said.

You’re probably sensing a pattern here.

“I didn’t know anything about it, but after I came in, I see replays of him other times and running out and hitting players. And you know it’s a pattern,” Smith said. “It’s a bad play by the goalie. And he’s done it before.”

Yes, Dell has a history of hitting other players on the ice. Goalies aren’t supposed to be initiating contact or making body checks. Dell is lucky he didn’t get challenged to a fight by one of the Senators.

There’s no defending Dell’s hit Bathersonon it was a bush-league play, and he will have a three-game ban to think about it. After the game, Dell’s response was pretty lame.

“I was just trying to buy some time for my defenceman and step into his (Batherson’s) lane,” Dell said. “I hope he’s all right. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.”

“I thought that play on Batherson was pretty dirty,” Senators forward Tyler Ennis said, “the goalie looked like he threw his shoulder into Batherson”

During the 2021-22 season, Dell has played in 12 games with the Sabres, has a (1-8-0 record, 4.03 goals-against average, and a .893 save percentage).