Winnipeg defenseman Brenden Dillon has been suspended three games for an illegal hit to the head on Pittsburgh Penguins center Noel Acciari Tuesday night.
That means Dillon will not play in the Penguins’ rematch with the Jets Saturday night in Winnipeg.
He also will miss Winnipeg’s game in Philadelphia Thursday and a home game against San Jose next Wednesday.
Dillon was given a match penalty for his hit on Acciari, which happened as Acciari was carrying the puck through the neutral zone at 4:15 of the second period in what became a 3-0 Penguins victory at PPG Paints Arena.
Acciari was shaken up by the hit and was helped off the ice and then to the dressing room. He did not return and it’s not clear whether he will be available for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game in Minnesota Friday.
In announcing the suspension, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety noted that Acciari was injured by the hit, and that “as Acciari chips the puck into the Jets’ zone, Dillon finishes a high, hard hit that misses Acciari’s core, making the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable.”
Although Acciari was leaning forward when he absorbed the hit, the league’s announcement pointed out that “he was in this position for some time (before the hit) and does not materially change the position of his head or body in a way that contributes to the head being the main point of contact.”
Dillon’s suspension will cost him $60,937.50, with that money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Winnipeg’s Brenden Dillon has been suspended for three games for an illegal check to the head on Pittsburgh’s Noel Acciari. https://t.co/fpfGFVIM8B
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 7, 2024