Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was suspended for one game by the NHL on Tuesday for his hit on Kraken forward Jared McCann.
Cale Makar suspended for one playoff game.
Defenseman Cale Makar will miss Game 5 of the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round playoff series on Wednesday after he was suspended for his hit on Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann while committing an interference penalty.
The hit occurred in the first period of Seattle’s 3-2 overtime win that tied the series 2-2 on Monday.
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, who described it as a “late hit,” said McCann would miss Game 5 at Ball Arena in Denver and could possibly miss more than just one game.
The Avalanche were on the power play when an error led to a turnover. McCann chased down the puck for a breakaway only to have his shot stopped by Avs goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, with the puck bouncing off Georgiev and appearing to go into the netting behind the goal.
While the puck was in the air, Makar gave McCann a light shove and then both skaters went off toward the corner.
McCann appeared to have slowed down and was not looking when Makar delivered a shoulder-to-shoulder check. McCann banged into the glass.
He initially landed on his back before rolling over on his stomach. He tried getting up but remained on the ice while receiving medical attention from a member of the Kraken’s athletic training staff. McCann then went to the locker room and did not return for the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, Makar was assessed a five-minute major penalty that was reduced to a two-minute minor for interference upon further review.
But that also came with the possibility that Makar could face further punishment. A hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety was scheduled.
Makar said he didn’t know if the puck was in or out of play. He said he knew McCann got the shot off and that he was going to the corner because the puck was coming down.
“It’s unfortunate. I never want to injure guys,” Makar said. “Hopefully he’s all right. At the end of the day … I didn’t feel like I tried to finish him that hard. But, I mean, I feel like if I was in that scenario, they would have done the exact same thing. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. It’s just unfortunate, tough bounce there. They got the call right, and that’s all you can ask for.”
After Makar was done serving his penalty, he was booed whenever he had possession or was even near the puck for the remainder of the game.
The league did note in its decision that it took into account the fact that this is Makar’s first career offense.
Hakstol said officials told him Makar’s penalty was reduced from a five-minute major to a two-minute interference minor because there was a puck in play during the battle, which is why Makar was penalized for interference.
“I disagree with that, obviously,” Hakstol said. “As I assessed it and looked at it live and … looking at it after on video, I … disagree with that assessment, whether that’s by the refs or by Toronto. That’s not an accurate description of the play.”