St. Louis Blues netminder Jordan Binnington was handed a two-game suspension and will forfeit nearly $65,000 of his average annual salary after he was ejected from Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild for punching forward Ryan Hartman in the face.
The 29-year-old goaltender was ejected after being assessed a match penalty during the second period of the Blues’ 8-5 loss to the Wild after he left the crease and hit Hartman in the face with his blocker following Hartman’s power play goal.
The incident prompted a massive pileup and even drew Wild goalie Marc Andre Fleury out of the net, but officials separated the two before a secondary brawl could break out.
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“On the way to celebrate with his teammates, [Hartman] makes light and incidental contact with Binnington, who was sliding out of his crease towards Hartman,” NHL Department of Player Safety said in a video explanation of the ruling.
“With the play long over, and as the Wild celebrate their goal, Binnington leaves the area of his crease, approaches the unsuspecting Hartman and his teammates, raises his blocker and stick to head level and strikes Hartman in the face with the blocker.”
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Binnington was suspended Thursday for two games without pay and will forfeit $64,864.86 of his average annual salary, the league announced.
Binnington said Friday said he had “hoped for less” than his two-game suspension, adding that he doesn’t believe he made contact with Hartman.
“I was just reiterating that he knows how to embellish a play,” he said. “I watched the video numerous times. I never made contact with him.”
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The Blues called up prospect Joel Hofer in Binnington’s absence. He will make his third NHL appearance on Friday against the Washington Capitals.
“I’ve been waiting for the call all year,” Hofer said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.