Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs will face a hearing at 2pm today for his hit on the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s Victor Hedman in last night’s game. He received a 2 minute minor penalty on the play for the hit. Hedman did not return to the game.
There is no question that Lupul connected with Hedman’s head but there is the question of whether Lupul intended to hit him. To me it looks to be an accidental collision. The media spoke with Lupul after the game:
“I wasn’t even truly tracking him to go hit him… I didn’t realize I got him in the head”
“By no means did I go after him and try to hit him in the head”
The fact that the hit was an accident might lessen his suspension as part of what the league looks at is malicious intent. This hearing could go either way.
For the sake of the Leafs I really hope Lupul doesn’t get suspended. He has been a vital part of the team since returning after missing 25 games with a broken arm. In his 2 games back he has 3 goals and 1 assist including one in his first shift with his first shot on goal. Losing Lupul for any number of games at this point of the season could be detrimental to the Leafs.
So, I leave you with last night’s video and this question: Do you think Lupul will get suspended? If yes, for how many games? Leave your answers in the comment box below.
UPDATE: Lupul has been suspended 2 games.