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HomeNHLBrenden Dillon suspended over illegal check to Noel Acciari’s head

Brenden Dillon suspended over illegal check to Noel Acciari’s head

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Winnipeg Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon has been suspended for three games, including a rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins, following a headshot that injured Penguins forward Noel Acciari. Dillon was ejected from the game in Pittsburgh after catching Acciari up high with a hit early in the second period of their 3-0 loss.

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruled that Dillon’s hit violated the league’s illegal check to the head rule, as the head was the principal point of contact, and the hit was deemed avoidable. In a video statement, George Parros, the head of the department, acknowledged that Acciari was leaning forward at the time of the hit but emphasized that Dillon should have chosen an angle that didn’t cut across Acciari’s body.

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Brenden Dillon receives suspension verdict over the phone; suspended for 3 days

Brenden Dillon, who received a phone hearing, was assessed a three-match penalty and a five-minute major for the hit. Acciari struggled to get to his feet and needed assistance leaving the ice. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan stated after the game that Acciari was “doing OK” but was still being evaluated. The Department of Player Safety confirmed that Acciari was injured on the play, though no further updates were provided by the Penguins before the suspension decision.

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This marks only the second suspension in Brenden Dillon’s 863-game NHL career, with his previous ban being a one-game suspension in 2017 for slashing. Dillon was not considered a repeat offender as his earlier suspension fell outside the league’s 18-month statute of limitations.

Brenden Dillon will miss three games, including the rematch against the Penguins and a game against the Sharks. He is eligible to return on February 17 when the Jets face the Canucks. In his absence, defenseman Logan Stanley is expected to return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past 21 games.

Brenden Dillon's suspension opens way for Logan Stanley.

Jets head coach Rick Bowness emphasized Stanley’s reliability defensively and encouraged him to simplify his game. Stanley, who hasn’t played since December 12, expressed his eagerness to contribute and acknowledged Brenden Dillon’s playing style, stating that he doesn’t expect Dillon to change despite the suspension. The Jets are on a two-game road trip through Pennsylvania, facing the Flyers in Philadelphia on Thursday before Dillon’s return against the Canucks on February 17.

Read more: Blackhawk Star Connor Bedard Back in Practice in a No Contact Jersey

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Saswata Saha
Saswata Saha
I'm a sports enthusiast with a strong interest in pursuing a career in sports. I watch most of the sports and try to analyse it for a better understanding.
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