Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes will have a forced seat in the press box for the next few days.
Hanzal received a two-game suspension for his hit on Edmonton Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry in the Coyotes’ 5-4 win over the Oilers on Oct. 26. The hit occurred midway through the first period, and Hanzal was given a charging penalty while Petry stayed in the game.
The 26-year-old Hanzal is considered a repeat offender by the NHL, having received a one-game suspension during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs for boarding Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown.
Hanzal is already the ninth NHL player to be suspended this season for either charging, boarding, or a hit to the head.
Based on his status as a repeat offender, Hanzal forfeits $75,609.76 in salary (($3,100,000 cap hit / 82 games) x 2 games), and he will be eligible to return on Nov. 2 in San Jose against the Sharks. Hanzal will miss games on Tuesday night against the Kings, and on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.
Hanzal has been a key figure in Phoenix’s 7-3-2 start to the season, which puts them fifth in the Western Conference. He sits second on the Coyotes in scoring with five goals and six assists in 12 games, trailing only Radim Vrbata for the team lead.
Hanzal also leads the Coyotes with 19 penalty minutes early on in the season, though they will certainly miss his offensive presence for the next two games, as he’s scored points in eight of his last ten games.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to replace a 6’6″, 236-pound centre with great offensive instincts, but the Coyotes must do so until Saturday.