The Toronto Maple Leafs forward will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after a boarding incident in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
Late in the second period, Ashton drove Flames defenceman Derek Smith into the boards from behind, earning himself a two-minute boarding penalty. He also received a fighting major on the play, as Calgary’s Shane O’Brien came to Smith’s defence.
Video of the hit can be found below.
The hearing will be a conference call, meaning Ashton could be suspended for a maximum of five games.
Earlier on Thursday, Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott became the ninth player to receive a suspension for either charging, boarding, or hitting to the head. He received a seven-game suspension for a blindside hit to the head of Loui Eriksson, though he served three while waiting for his in-person hearing.
If Ashton is suspended, he would become the tenth player on that list, which seems to get longer every two or three days. In the shortened 2012-13 season, there were 21 total suspensions handed out, including the playoffs.
Of those 21 suspensions, 12 were for either charging, boarding, or hitting to the head, while an additional three were suspended for elbowing, two were for illegal line changes, and one each for high-sticking, interference, kneeing, and roughing.