The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has scheduled a hearing on Monday for Rangers forward Andrew Desjardins, who received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Devils forward Miles Wood on Saturday.
Desjardins, 31, who is on a tryout with the Rangers, was ejected from the game at 8:06 of the first period when he decked Wood, who was curling to the net at the lower left circle. Wood called the hit “dirty.” He went through concussion protocol and returned to the game, which the Devils won, 2-1, at Prudential Center.
“Their guy has his head down and he was taking the puck to the net,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said after the game. “I think Andrew was just playing the man, and his shoulder did hit the head and referees are told to call that. It’s unfortunate. I just talked to Andrew about it and obviously, it’s not something he wanted to do, but the guy’s taking the puck to the net.”
Desjardins had just 52 penalty minutes in 123 games during the last two seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Asked if the incident would impact Desjardins’ chances of making the roster, Vigneault said, “we still have two more games, it’s unfortunate, but stuff like that happens, and he’ll be ready for the next game.”
Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended for two pre-season gamea on Saturday after he left his feet for a high check on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas, who had lost the puck along the boards during Friday’s game. The department of player safety cited “the predatory nature and force of the hit.”