Jordin Tootoo will sit out two games, beginning with today’s contest against Phoenix, for his collision with Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller on Saturday.
The suspension was announced Tuesday afternoon by the league. A disciplinary hearing on the matter was conducted a day earlier.
Tootoo maintained after the game and again Monday that he attempted to avoid Miller, but was pushed from behind by defenseman Christian Eherhoff. Brendan Shanahan of the league’s player safety department acknowledged that contact but deemed it insignificant in regard to Tootoo’s path.
“The onus is on Tootoo to avoid or minimize his contact with the goaltender,” Shanahan said in a video explaining the ruling. “Instead … Tootoo continues on his direct path out of the corner, toward the crease and crashes up and into the Buffalo goaltender.
“While we believe that Tootoo’s motivation on this play was to score and not to hit Miller, the fact remains that it is the attacking player’s responsibility to make a better effort not to crash directly into the opposing goaltender.”
Shanhan added that the five-minute major for charging and the game misconduct assessed Tootoo at the time of the incident were correct. He also hinted that the suspension might have been longer except that Tootoo had not been subject to any supplemental discipline for four years.
Tootoo will forfeit $13,513.52 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
He will be eligible to return to the lineup Saturday against Anaheim.