Dallas Stars defenseman Jason Demers has been suspended two games for elbowing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino. Demers did receive a major penalty and game misconduct late in Thursday night's game as well, however the NHL's Department of Player Safety felt additional discipline was necessary.
What makes this suspension particularly unique is that Demers was actually the player in possession of the puck when he delivered the hit. Bonino sat out the rest of the game, but was able to practice with the Penguins Friday morning.
In the video explaining the suspension, the Department of Player Safety explains that the reckless nature and force with which the elbow was delivered is why supplemental discipline was required. Players in possession of the puck are permitted to initiate contact with their opponent, but in this instance, Demers poorly executed a “reverse hit.”
Demers has never been suspended or fined previously. He will miss the Stars' games against the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks and forfeits $36,559.14 in salary to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.