NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek appeal of a two-game suspension. Voracek, 29, was suspended for his hit on New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk in a game on March 9. This will be Voracek’s first suspension in his NHL career.
Voracek’s five minute major for interference. pic.twitter.com/aOhD4KhPOg
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 10, 2019
In a press release, Gary Bettman stated his reasons why his appeal was upheld.:
While I accept Mr. Voracek’s explanation that he thought Mr. Boychuk was going to initiate a check, the video makes it clear that it was Mr. Voracek who initiated the contact. At the hearing, it was acknowledged that Mr. Voracek had other options available to him, but instead Mr. Voracek moved into Mr. Boychuk’s path by taking a step to the left and driving upwards into Mr. Boychuk. The onus was on Mr. Voracek to avoid causing a significant blow to Mr. Boychuk’s head. The force was significant enough to cause Mr. Boychuk to require medical attention on the ice and he did not return for the balance of the game. It is worth acknowledging that during his long career in the NHL, Mr. Voracek has maintained a strong character and a clean record with no prior supplemental discipline history. However, that does not absolve Mr. Voracek of the responsibility to play this game in a safe manner in accordance to the applicable rules.
He will also have to forfeit $88,709.68 and sit out of tomorrow night’s matchup against the Washington Capitals. The Flyers are currently five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Wild-Card spot. Every remaining game and point are essential for Philadelphia.
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