Florida Panthers forward Will Lockwood has been suspended three games for running into Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury during the first period on Friday night.
Both players ended up leaving the game as an indirect result of the hit: Fleury pulled himself out midway through the second period; Lockwood left with a suspected concussion after fighting Brandon Duhaime upon exiting the penalty box.
Lockwood was called for interference when he skated around the backboards going after a puck Fleury was playing.
The two made contact, with Fleury’s head appearing to whip back.
According to the video sent out by the Department of Player Safety, Fleury was injured on the play and that Lockwood did not slow down or try to avoid running into the veteran Wild goalie.
The explanation was Lockwood made “high, forceful contact with his head and caused an injury. … His shoulder makes direct and significant contact with Fleury’s head causing him to fall to the ice. This is goalie interference.”
The video continues to explain that while Lockwood argued he had no intent to hit Fleury nor to injure him, “it is at the very least reckless due to his speed and angle of approach.’’
Lockwood, the league argues, could have tried slowing down or going closer to the boards before impact instead of bowling through the goalie.
Based on his average annual salary, Lockwood will forfeit $12,109.38.
That money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Florida has three more games before the All-Star break starting Monday in Nashville.
FLORIDA PANTHERS @ NASHVILLE PREDATORS
- When: Monday, 8 p.m.
- Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
- Season Series — At Nashville: Monday. At Florida: March 21.
- Last Season: Nashville won 2-0
- All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 21-14-6, 3 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Wednesday vs. Arizona Coyotes, 7 p.m.