It’s not every day that a goaltender gets suspended in the NHL.
Aaron Dell has somehow managed to do it.
The NHL suspended the Sabres’ netminder three games for his hit on Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson in the first period of Tuesday’s contest between the two teams, making Dell the first netminder to earn a suspension since Carey Price was forced to sit out one game for missing the 2019 All-Star festivities.
The hit, which occurred when Batherson did not have possession of the puck, left the Senators’ young star unable to leave the ice on his own power, with coach D.J. Smith telling reporters post-game that he expects Batherson to be out long-term.
Interestingly, there was no penalty called on the initial play, which is somewhat surprising given the degree of supplemental discipline Dell received following the game.
Not only will the Senators be without a key player for the foreseeable future, but Dell’s errant hit also cost Batherson a chance to play in his first-ever All-Star Game next month.
As a result of his suspension, Dell will forfeit $11,250 in salary. And with the Sabres weathering a rash of injuries that have depleted their depth in net in recent weeks, having one of their goaltenders sideline himself with an indefensible play is less than ideal.