Dallas Stars wing Ryan Garbutt was suspended for five games by the NHL on Wednesday after his helmet-to-helmet hit that briefly knocked out Ducks wing Dustin Penner.
Although no penalty was called when Penner was hit in the second period Sunday night at Honda Center, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety defined Garbutt’s taking aim on Penner and “launching” to hit him as charging.
The Ducks rallied to win the game, 6-3, but Penner, who left the ice supported by first-line teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, did not depart with the Ducks on Monday when they flew to Toronto to start their eight-game road trip that continues Thursday in Montreal.
Penner has continued to undergo medical testing, which is protocol after a player is knocked unconscious. His return is unknown.
Garbutt forfeits $14,743.60, with the money going to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
In a video accompanying the discipline, a league official said Penner suffered a “serious injury.”
“Garbutt launches himself up and into Penner. This is charging,” the narrator said.
“ … Garbutt, who is gliding, shuffles his skates in order to pick up speed. He then clearly leaps into his check, causing his own head to crash into Penner’s head and turning what might’ve been a full body check into a violent and dangerous hit.”
Garbutt had no prior history of discipline in 64-game career.
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