Teemu Pulkkinen hit: Red Wings F faces in-person hearing with Player Safety


Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen faces an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety for his hit on Mike Kostka on Tuesday night.

The NHL will hold an in-person hearing with Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen on Thursday, the league announced on Wednesday morning. Pulkkinen administered a hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Mike Kostka during an exhibition game on Tuesday night.

The on-ice officials gave Pulkkinen a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct. Kostka was unable to finish the contest. Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville called the play "very dangerous" and stated that Kostka's status would be more accurately determined on Wednesday.

The league's decision to extend Pulkkinen an in-person hearing means he could be suspended in excess of five games, as per the language in the collective bargaining agreement. That doesn't mean that he will be suspended five games or more, but it does mean the NHL will have that option.

Pulkkinen is not projected to make the Red Wings this season, so his suspension (regardless of length) will be completed at a later date. However, as Winging it in Motown notes, the American Hockey League has the ability to administer discipline if it's interested in doing so:

If you'll remember back to 2011, Brendan Smith was suspended 8 games by the NHL for a preseason hit against the Blackhawks' Ben Smith (who scored last night). The AHL also ruled him ineligible to play for a time that included three Griffins games. Smith served his NHL suspension in spurts over the course of the season and eventually joined the Wings full-time.

That last part is likely how Pulkkinen will complete his suspension, with the Red Wings calling him up later in the season to serve games they have no intention of playing him in. That way, when they do need him to play (whenever that is), he will be available.

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