Cale Makar will have a hearing today for his hit on Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann during Sunday’s Game 4 between the two teams. The belief is a suspension coming and part of why the NHL might be looking to send a message with this pending ruling is because they want to avoid nothing short of a war on the ice where the Kraken players approach the next contest with a mandate to headhunt the Avs’ best players as a way of seeking retribution.
Despite the fact the penalty itself was deemed a major and then reduced to a minor, most believe this hearing will result in a suspension. Because McCann has already been ruled out of Game 5 for Seattle, the least the NHL DoPS can do is take Makar out for Game 5 as well. Suspensions aren’t necessarily worked out to see both the perpetrator and the injured player miss the same amount of time, but when the league can potentially even things out, many believe that goes into the equation.
If Makar was not suspended for at least one game, there is a lot of talk that Seattle would specifically target the stars of the Avalanche as a way of getting back at the team for taking out their top scorer. Even a one-game suspension would limit the retribution seeking that would come from the Kraken, who have now evened up the series and perhaps feel at ease to take liberties knowing they are not facing elimination if they get out of hand.
Meanwhile, Makar is maintaining that he didn’t intend to hurt McCann, nor that he thought his hit was incredibly hard. Makar explained: “I didn’t feel like I tried to finish him that far. I feel like if I was in that scenario they would have done the exact same thing. I’m not trying to hurt anybody.”
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstoll probably isn’t sugarcoating things with his team either. If anything, he’s likely rallying them behind their 40-goal guy. He noted to the media after the game, “And … I believe the puck is being caught by a fan as [McCann] is being run into the end wall. So a late hit. Really late. No puck in play. And like I said, our 40-goal scorer not available for the rest of the game. And like I said, not going to be available going forward here.” Someone has to pay for that and if the league isn’t going to take care of it, you can bet the Kraken players will try.
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