NHL suspends Lemieux two games for blindside hit in Finland

Winnipeg Jets forward Brendan Lemieux has been suspended two games for a blindside hit to the head against Florida’s Vincent Trocheck.

Lemieux, 22, was given a five-minute match penalty in the game Friday in Helsinki, which the Jets lost 4-2. That comes with an automatic review by the league.

A phone hearing was conducted Monday morning, and the NHL department of player safety announced the verdict a few hours later.

“It is important to note that the head is clearly the main point of contact on this hit, and that the head contact on this hit was avoidable,” the league said in the suspension video.

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Winnipeg Jets forward Brendan Lemieux has been suspended two games for a blindside hit to the head against Florida’s Vincent Trocheck.

Lemieux, 22, was given a five-minute match penalty in the game Friday in Helsinki, which the Jets lost 4-2. That comes with an automatic review by the league.

A phone hearing was conducted Monday morning, and the NHL department of player safety announced the verdict a few hours later.

“It is important to note that the head is clearly the main point of contact on this hit, and that the head contact on this hit was avoidable,” the league said in the suspension video.

“If Lemieux wants to deliver this check, he must take an angle of approach that hits through Trocheck’s shoulder and core, rather than picking his head and making it the main point of contact.”

Trocheck was shaken up on the play but remained in the game.

Lemieux, a first-time offender, also forfeits $9,023.30 in salary, which goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Lemieux has no goals, no assists and 27 penalty minutes through nine regular-season games with the Jets, all in a fourth-line role.

The Jets enjoyed a day off Monday but return to practice today. They kick off a four-game homestand Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Lemieux will be eligible to return to action on Nov. 14 against Washington, but whether he gets back in the lineup remains to be seen.

Winnipeg currently has one extra forward on the roster, as Jack Roslovic was the healthy scratch last game while Nic Petan made his regular-season debut. The Jets also have Kristian Vesalainen on the farm with the Moose after he began the year with the big club. However, Vesalainen has missed the past three AHL games dealing with an upper-body injury.

Other potential options include the red-hot Mason Appleton, the reigning AHL rookie of the year, who is leading the Moose in scoring with six goals and five assists in 11 games.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
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Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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