New York Islanders forward Colin McDonald has been suspended two games for the hit he administered to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy on Tuesday night, according to an announcement by NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan on Wednesday afternoon.
Shanahan described the hit as reckless and noted McDonald's ability to clearly see Lovejoy's number before forcefully engaging in contact with him.
The key factors that were used in determining whether to suspended McDonald, as well as to the length of the suspension, were the length of time that the Islanders forward was able to see Lovejoy's number and the degree of force which he used to hit him.
Shanahan noted that a significant factor in the decision was that Lovejoy did not turn his back prior to or simultaneously with the hit. This, in the league's opinion, puts the responsibility on McDonald to avoid or minimize contact.
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