Sunday afternoon, at the 14:13 mark of the first period Detroit Red Wings Gustav Nyquist speared Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face. For his efforts, Gustav was assessed a double minor.
Looking at the video, a four-minute penalty was light. Gustav should have been given a major penalty and thrown out of the game, pending a disciplinary hearing. In the end, it’s going to cost him more. Gustav is going to be suspended by the National Hockey League’s Department of Players Safety.
After the game, Nyquist said that he didn’t mean to spear Spurgeon in the face. An inch higher and Spurgeon loses an eye. The little nudge in the back by Spurgeon didn’t warrant that reaction by the Nyquist.
“It was completely accidental,” Nyquist told the media following the game. “Obviously, I didn’t mean to do that. My stick gets caught. I’m trying to get body position. I’m happy he was out there again. I had no intention of doing that. My stick gets caught. It looks bad but I’m happy he’s OK.
“I’m just trying to get over to the other side of him and my stick gets caught. You know, obviously, I’ve got to have better control of my stick but completely accidental.”
You can watch the video below and decide for yourself. To me, it looks like he did it on purpose. Even though Nyquist has never been suspended by the NHL, I expect to see at least a five-game suspension. Actually, it could be more.
Checking twitter tonight, you can see that Nyquist has been offered an in-person hearing. So, how many games is Nyquist get?
Detroit's Gustav Nyquist has been offered an in-person hearing for high-sticking Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon. Date and time TBD.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 13, 2017