As per an update provided by the NHL’s Player Safety Department, Calgary Flames’ forward Blake Coleman will have a hearing today for boarding Jansen Harkins of the Winnipeg Jets during a game on Wednesday. There was no injury on the play and Coleman doesn’t have a long history of suspensions, but it’s hard to know if the NHL will come down hard on a hit that appeared to be fairly dangerous.
Related: Can Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe Win with a Different Team in 2021-22?
During the second period of Wednesday’s preseason game, Coleman was battling along the boards for the puck with Harkins who lost his footing. He had fallen to his knees and was in a vulnerable position but Coleman followed through on a hit while Harkins’ back was turned. He went crashing into the boards on what looked like a play the NHL has been advocating for years to get rid of.
Coleman came over to the Flames from the Tampa Bay Lightning and is going to be looked upon to provide offense for a bubble playoff team that needs to play well or there could be big changes. A fine, or worse, a suspension, would not be the ideal way to kick off the season for Coleman.
Again, Harkins remained in the game and was not injured on the play. It is more likely this play results in a fine than it does a suspension. He’ll get talking to from the NHL DoPs and be warned the NHL is watching. The next infraction could pose bigger issues for the forward.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice didn’t like the hit, calling it a “pretty solid check into the numbers. At the same time, he was glad Harkins was healthy and noted, “away we go, we’re fine. I’m not going to complain about it.”
Next: Carey Price Voluntarily Enters the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program
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