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Deep Blue Sea: Aaron Dell suspended 3 games

Plus breaking down the market for Claude Giroux, Martin Jones on the move and more in today’s news notes.

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hris Tierney #71 of the Ottawa Senators talks with Aaron Dell #80 of the Buffalo Sabres during warmup prior to a game at Canadian Tire Centre on January 18, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s not often that a goaltender has a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Former San Jose Sharks netminder Aaron Dell — now with the Buffalo Sabres — met with the department yesterday and was assessed a three-game suspension for his illegal shoulder check to Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson.

The hit occurred with a little more than a minute remaining in the first period of Tuesday’s game between the two teams. Dell came out of the crease to play the puck behind the net to defender Mattias Samuelsson, with Batherson in pursuit. As Dell returned to the crease, he stepped into Batherson’s path toward the puck carrier and delivered the high check. Batherson dropped to the ice, sliding dangerously into the boards.

The play resulted in a high ankle sprain, which will keep Batherson out for a significant amount of time. Teammate Brady Tkachuk will be taking his roster spot in next weekend’s All-Star Game.

The DoPS outlined their decision for the three-game suspension, citing Dell’s lack of history with the department, the injury sustained by Batherson and the illegality and intentionality of the hit. Dell will forfeit $11,250 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, per the CBA.

Not only was it a bone-headed, dangerous and frankly disgusting play, but it leaves the Sabres in a really tricky spot with their goaltending situation. Three netminders are recovering from a long-term injury, one is recovering from COVID, leaving one other goaltender under contract, aside from Dell. The team would have to sign one of the two AHL netminders (one is on an AHL contract, while the other is on an AHL PTO Agreement), or a local Emergency Back-Up if Craig Anderson is unable to return from a long-term upper-body injury to play back-up.

News & Notes

  • Sharks’ Meloche scores perfect birthday gift for mom [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Gadjovich gets into postgame fight after Sharks’ win [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Reimer, Sharks hold off Ovechkin, beat Caps [TSN]
  • Despite possible suspension, Evander Kane could soon join a Sharks’ division rival, report says [The Mercury News]
  • NHL Power Rankings: Each Team’s NFL Doppelgänger [Sports Illustrated]
  • NHL Player Tiers, midseason refresh: Who’s in, who’s out — and who rose the most [The Athletic]

Blood in the Water

  • Dell Suspended Three Games [Die By The Blade]
  • Brian Boyle has been a nice surprise [Pensburgh]
  • The Difficulty in Designing a Claude Giroux Trade [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Buyers or Sellers? 10 NHL Teams That Should Make Deals at the Trade Deadline [Bleacher Report]
  • B/R NHL Roundtable: Which Team Has Been the Biggest Disappointment This Season? [Bleacher Report]
  • Flyers: 4 Trade Destinations for Martin Jones [The Hockey Writers]
  • Report: The NHL is bringing back Reverse Retro jerseys next season [RMNB]
  • Chase Field a possible NHL Stadium Series site; Coyotes’ ‘Skatin’ For Leighton’ returns [AZ Central]
  • NHL Rumour Roundup: Will Canadian buyers be at a trade disadvantage? [Sportsnet]
  • Q&A With Stephen Walkom: NHL Officiating Honcho on Cross-Checking, Calling Games in the Playoffs and More [The Hockey News]

Scores & Recaps

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