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.