The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced earlier today that San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl will be suspended for two games without pay following a high-sticking incident against Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm on Sunday night. Hertl will forfeit $87,972.98, based on his salary and the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the NHL Players’ Association, and that money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The high stick occurred when the pair took the opening faceoff of the third period, while the Sharks were on a power play and the Flames led 2-1. Lindholm landed several crosschecks on Hertl, which were ignored by the officials. Harder to ignore was Hertl’s blatant retaliation, swinging his stick to strike Lindholm in the face. Hertl was assessed a minor penalty for the incident.
The Department of Player Safety did note the lack of force on Hertl’s part, however, it was still a textbook retaliatory high stick to a dangerous area.
In 618 career games, Hertl has never previously been fined or suspended. He will be eligible to play again on Dec. 27, when the team visits the Vancouver Canucks.