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Rinaldo's hit on Ruhwedel: You make the call

By Mike Harrington

PHILADELPHIA -- Chad Ruhwedel is concussed, the Buffalo Sabres are understandably upset and Flyers pest Zac Rinaldo is certainly in trouble with the NHL.

With Sunday's eventual 5-2 drubbing long over, Rinaldo foolishly took Ruhwedel out with a clear shot to the head. He earned a five-minute match penalty for his efforts and a meeting with Brendan Shanahan today.

“Those are the type of hits that we have to get rid of,” said coach Ted Nolan. “Those are not only dangerous hits but you’re also putting a fellow player in jeopardy of his career. Head injuries, concussions, we all know how serious they are and we still have guys with flying elbows going directly to the head.”

The NBC Sports Network video above doesn't really catch the hit live but it sure caught it with some replays. Bad news for Rinaldo for sure.

I think there's no chance the NHL will let Rinaldo off on this one, so I'm not even including no suspension as a choice in our poll below. Click to register your vote on how many games Shanahan will make Rinaldo sit and watch.

Postponement extends Myers' suspension

By Mike Harrington

One bad consequence of tonight's postponement is that it will extend defenseman Tyler Myers' three-game suspension that was handed down by the NHL on Monday.

Myers was scheduled to miss tonight's game against Carolina, Thursday's visit by Florida and Sunday's trip to Washington. But with tonight's game not played, Myers will now miss Tuesday's visit by Philadelphia as well and return to the lineup next Wednesday in Toronto.

Myers gets three-game suspension

By Mike Harrington

The NHL has come down hard on Tyler Myers, handing the Sabres defenseman a three-game suspension this evening for his head shot Saturday night against New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus.

In the above video issued by the NHL Department of Player Safety and narrated by Player Safety director Patrick Burke, Myers was cited for unnecessary head contact.

Said Burke: "Until just before impact, Myers is in position to make a legal full bodycheck on Zubrus, who is eligible to be checked. However, rather than remaining in an athletic position, and delivering a check into Zubrus' chest or shoulder, Myers unnecessarily extends upward and drives his right shoulder into Zubrus' jaw -- when head contact such as this is completely avoidable."

It's the second suspension of Myers' career, as he also earned a three-game ban for boarding in 2012.

I would say the NHL got this one about right. And the three-game suspension certainly backs the postgame feeling of New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer that Myers should have gotten a five-minute major penalty for the infraction and not just a minor.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Myers will forfeit $84,615.39. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Myers thus misses Tuesday's game against Carolina, Thursday's visit by the Florida Panthers and Sunday's game in Washington. He is eligible to return Jan. 14 against Philadelphia.

Ottawa's Cowen gets two-game Shanaban for hit on Girgensons

By Mike Harrington

This just in from the NHL Department of Player Safety: Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen has been suspended for two games for a shot to the head of Sabres rookie Zemgus Girgensons late in the third period of Tuesday night's game in First Niagara Center.

Cowen will thus miss Thursday's rematch with the teams in Canadian Tire Centre. There was no penalty on the play and Girgensons was not injured. He went on to score the shootout-deciding goal in Buffalo's 2-1 victory.

Cowen will forfeit $31,794.88. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Cowen certainly would have been on the NHL's radar after an elbow to the head of Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk on Nov. 23 left the Red Wings' star concussed. NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan pretty much admitted it was a mistake that Cowen wasn't suspended, and from the sound of that article linked he got fooled by the fact Datsyuk finished the game before the symptoms arose.

Shanahan correctly says in the video above that Cowen has no history of supplemental discipline. Although the Datsyuk play was clearly worse and caused an injury. So the bet here was that it was clearly a factor.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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