John Erskine Open-Ice Elbow on Wayne Simmonds
Game: Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals (2/1/13)
The Play: Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine mishandles a D-to-D pass inside the blue line of the Philadelphia Flyers zone and steps up in an attempt to regain possession of the puck. Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds gets his stick on the puck and directs it to the boards. Erskine, realizing he’s already beat on the play, resorts to a last-ditch effort to prevent an odd-man rush and throws a flying right elbow at the head of Simmonds.
League Statement: ”As the two men approach the puck, Erskine looks up and clearly is aware of Simmonds’ proximity before delivering the illegal hit. While we acknowledge there was no malicious intent and that Erskine was reacting to getting beat, this nevertheless was a reckless elbow to the head that caused a serious injury.”
Penalty: No penalty assessed
Suspension: 3 Games; Erskine forfeited $24,324.33 in salary
Erskine: ”I don’t think it was a reckless play or a reckless elbow. I wasn’t flying down the ice a hundred miles an hour with my elbow up in the air.” [via Washington Post]