Leafs' Joffrey Lupul looking for answers on suspension
Forward banned 2 games Thursday for illegal check to the head of Lightning's Victor Hedman
Joffrey Lupul is searching for some answers.
One day after the Toronto Maple Leafs forward was suspended two games by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Victor Hedman, the Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman, Lupul used his verified Twitter account to look for some clarity on Friday.
"If someone can explain the decisions on what warrants a suspension and what doesn't, please let me and the rest of guys know," he tweeted.
Less than a minute into the third period of the Leafs' 4-2 win, Lupul nailed Hedman with what the league judged to be a high hit just before Toronto's blue-line. It appeared the principle point of contact from the shoulder was Hedman's head.
Hedman left briefly but returned to the game.
The Toronto winger may have been wondering why he was handed the punishment after Rangers sniper Rick Nash wasn't suspended for his controversial hit on Florida Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky Thursday night.
Nash levelled Kopecky with just over five minutes left in New York's 3-1 loss, catching the Panthers winger with his back turned and drilling him with what appeared to be a high hit.
Brendan Shanahan, the head of the NHL's department of player safety, released a video statement Friday explaining his decision to let Nash go unpunished.
"Although we do not think this was a legal hit, we also believe it does not rise to the level of supplemental discipline," said Shanahan. "As the video shows, Kopecky turns just prior to Nash making contact which contributes to the impact of the hit.
"Furthermore, Nash does not target Kopecky's head nor is it the principle point of contact."
Lupul, the 29-year-old native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. sat out Toronto's 5-4 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday as a result of the suspension, and will also miss the Leafs' tilt against the Boston Bruins on Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).
He maintained he did not intentionally try to hurt Hedman.
"I've got to see the replay, but by no means did I go after him and try and hit him in the head," Lupul said, after the game Wednesday.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler was suspended two games Friday for charging Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith on Thursday night.
Smith finished the second period, but did not return for the third frame against Vancouver.
With files from The Canadian Press