The NHL is set to conduct a disciplinary hearing this afternoon with Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo, who ran over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in the crease Saturday night. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff wants the league to follow the hearing with a strong message.
"I hope to see a strong message," Ruff said following practice. "Really, it’s just time. I just hope they do the right thing with it.
"I understand with a phone hearing the max you’re going to get is [a five-game suspension]. In my eyes, is that a big message? It’s OK. I look at the NFL and I look at the Detroit Lion [Ndamukong Suh] that got two games for a 6-inch kick. He got kicked out of the game, and then that amounted to one-eighth of our season. That’s a 10-game suspension. I think they do it right. The message there is we’re not putting up with this stuff. I think we need a strong message. Is five strong enough? I don’t know."
The Sabres practiced without Paul Gaustad, who suffered an upper-body injury during the ensuing scrum with Tootoo, and fellow forwards Patrick Kaleta and Jochen Hecht. Jordan Leopold skated but remains doubtful for Wednesday's game against Philadelphia. If he is unable to go, the Sabres would need to summon a player from Rochester.
"You would almost say it becomes humorous, but it’s something that obviously you don’t want to take lightly," Ruff said of the run on injuries. "Once we get by that and get healthy, we’ll be OK."